Making of Tvor

The design: the shape and luminosity of the body were inspired by various organic shapes such as water animals, sea creatures or embryos. The body of the light is 750mm tall and is based on two wheels of 300mm diameter. The shape gets narrow in the middle and then wider again to create a head. The main source of light is positioned in the head, making Tvor look like a spotlight. Another light-source, positioned in the neck, is subtly pulsing, creating an impression of breathing. In Tvor’s base is a red light, also pulsating, that represents a heartbeat. Its intensity reflects the speed at which Tvor moves around. This can be regulated by a rotating dial positioned on the base.

Tvor’s wheels are cut from transparent acrylic by CNC router. Each wheel is made up of three parts that are connected together with plastic screws and attached to the motors that drive them. The shell is made up of two halves that are assembled with plastic screws. It is vacuum-moulded from PETG thermoplastic, using a plaster mould.

The engineering: the heavy components such as motors and batteries are placed within the body, under the wheels’ axis. This gives Tvor stability and a characteristic rocking movement. The prototype of Tvor is powered by a off-the shelf 12V 12Ah lead-acid battery, which keeps Tvor in continuous operation for up to 16 hours. The movement is enabled by two 12V variable-speed motors. The speed of Tvor’s movement is between 5 and 18cm per second.

The source of the light is 3 LEDs with combined maximum luminosity of 800lm – an equivalent of a 60W light bulb. The main LED placed in Tvor’s head is a powerful 500lm, the second LED is in the neck. The pulsating heart is provided by a standard red LED.

The orientation within the space and location of the darkest place is enabled by three sensors: a photo resistor, which detects the intensity of light from all directions, an ultrasound distance sensor prevents collisions with obstructions and a tilt sensor stops and rotates Tvor when something prevents the movements of the wheels. The ‘brain’ that processes the data from the sensors, runs the motors, ‘heartbeat’ and ‘breathing’ and controls the intensity of light is a circuit board Arduino Mega.

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