Making Paper Circuit Art Interactive with the Chibi Chip

In my newest video, I take you into my process as I create interactive paper circuit art using the Chibi Chip and Chibitronics LED stickers.

I love the process of collaging and augmenting existing images, especially using paper circuit materials. Paper circuits can add a magical touch to any project and using the Chibi Chip opens up even more possibilities for interactivity and storytelling with lights and paper.

One of my favorite places to find open source images is the Smithsonian’s digital collections. For this project, I used this fantastic image called, “Beautiful exotic bees from Curiosities of entomology“.

Something different I did for this project was use the online tool to plan my design in advance and create a “template” for myself. I printed this image and used it as my base. I then printed another copy of the image (without the circuit elements) and layered it on top of my circuit.

I made this image interactive by creating a circuit with the Chibi Chip that turns the LED stickers on when I move a magnet close to the reed sensor in the upper left corner of the image. For me, using code and sensors is a way to extend storytelling. When I create a program, I try to create something that looks fun or interesting, but also tells a story. The story I told here was about busy bees communicating with each other. As I move a cut-out of a bee closer to the image, the rest of the bees appear to light up and flicker, almost like they’re greeting each other!

Here’s what my code looked like, and a link to the program:

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Making Paper Circuit Art Interactive with the Chibi Chip
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