So what is this? It is a harness that turns the action of juggling into buzzing noises, flashing LEDs, and arcing electricity. Each palm has two separate copper wires exposed, one of which is hooked up to the positive terminal of a battery, while the other connects to a motor (or bank of LEDs, or people-shocking device). When the wires are bridged by a tinfoil-covered juggling ball, the circuit is closed and the motor (people-shocker, eye-blinder, etc.) runs. Thus, the juggling becomes a method of switching things on and off… like so:
Not pictured: burned-out LED bank… I am not yet wise in the science of adding resistors. But a new, more awesome version is on the way.
Finger-contacts! These copper rings are a pain, both figuratively (the donning/doffing process is tedious) and literally (they have a tendency to channel voltage straight through my fingers, resulting in anguish and blisters). But they look… kinda awesome.
I brought this machine to exhibit (with AHA!) at TEDxUofM, which was pretty stupendous. My favorite presenters were John Holland, Udae Sandhu (who voiced basically my current philosophy of happiness), Jacob Mendel’s “Zlatá Rybka” video, Mason Proper (!!), Matt Shlian, and Alex Wand (with his awesome marimba-bowing musics). Yesssssss.
AHA! and the Apparatus will also be making an appearance at several future DIY/tech/Maker events, including the Hands-On Museum’s Tech Event (May 22), the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire (June 5), and hopefully the Detroit Maker Faire (July 31 – August 1). Actually, this post is part of my application for Detroit… I anticipate all three being fantastic.