As an exploration in biofeedback and chameleon coloration, I chose to create this project to translate users’ biological and environmental input into a series of variables used to determine the color of the simulated chameleon skin. After conducting research into the factors involved in chameleon’s coloration (and the common misconceptions about it) I chose to assign three sensors, connected to an Arduino Uno and three sets of LED NeoPixel strips, to three corresponding elements of the coloration system. The NeoPixel lights projected light upward onto clear acrylic that had been etched with icons depicting xanthophores and iridophores. Using a thermistor to detect the user’s external temperature (to mimic a chameleon’s cold-blooded reliance on external factors for thermoregulation) I mapped a range of common temperatures to a red-yellow color spectrum to simulate a xanthophore’s (front layer) effect on chameleon coloration. I then used a pulse sensor to gather data which I mapped to a brightness spectrum on the xanthophore layer to represent the effect that mood/anxiety level has on the saturation of the red/yellow color. Finally, I used a photo-resistor to detect the amount of light in the environment so that that could be translated into a second brightness spectrum on the iridophore (back) layer to show how sunlight reflection off of iridophores greatly affects the intensity of a chameleon’s color.
Programs/Tools Used: Adobe Illustrator, Logilase Laser Cutter, Arduino Uno, Arduino Coding Environment