Harsha’s White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

Growing up I really enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, I love the curiosity the variety of characters and all the motifs within the story. As I progressed from reading the fairytale to watching the movie adaptation I became increasingly interested in the symbolism behind the white rabbit character. His anxiety of time fleeing was very relatable to myself growing up and today. Through this I was inspired to create the clock accessory which he is always carrying around.

White Rabbit from original children’s animation movie

1. Clock object

Materials

– Foam core

– Cardboard

– Gold & Black Paint

– Chain

– Gold cord

– Lasercut Acrylic numbers

– Hot Glue

– Polycarbonate (?) Plastic Sheet

First I used a stencil to cut out my circles which would hold the Led strips and be the back of my clock. Then used cardboard to create a frame and made the appropriate cutouts for my circuits wires and battery pack. After painting it was ready to assemble. I added a chain and then wanted to use acrylic number to make it look like all of the numbers were falling out of place. I used the thin polycarbonate sheet to cover the clock body and the gold trim to hide some seams.

2. Code Concept

I wanted to indicate this passage of time so I was interested in using a potentiometer which would speed up and slow down the time. The time would be represented by an led strip which light would be diffused throughout the clock body. Further I wanted to exaggerate the “hypnotic” qualities of time passing through the use of the brightness variable. So I had one potentiometer which controls the brightness of the led strip as well.

Here is the tinkercad file for this project: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/9XLEkLMRgjq

3. Soldering & Physical Circuit in Clock

Materials Used

– Gemma

– LED strip

Potentiometers

This is a circuit diagram:

I first used the breadboard and metro board to figure out that my circuit was in the right sequence and working with the code.

Then I started soldering and tested with my Gemma and alligator clips to make sure that was also running before soldering it into the structure I made for my clock.m

Insulating all my solder connections
Interior of all my soldered wires with the Gemma

4. Final clock accessory

5. Photos with outfit

6. What I would do differently

One of the things I wish I did more of was decorate the clocks body. It would have been fun to use paper mache and give more texture for the aesthetics of being a pocket watch. I also wish I added more dimension inside the clocks face, I tried with the letters offsetting and overlapping but maybe going further with that.

In terms of the Arduino and code I wanted to originally do a strip and a circle of led but it got kind of messy when I added two potentiometers because it didn’t feel cohesive with the brightness and the speed controlling two different LEDs. I ended up only using the strip but it would be fun to figure out how to use two seperate LED objects in this smaller accessory and make it feel like one object. I’d love to play with more sensors, I know for the parade it was best to keep it just analogue but I really love the interaction component of physical computing so that something I’d like to keep working on.

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