Introduction: Capacitive Globe

For the school project If This Then That at the HKU we had to build an interactive Arduino experience. I decided to build a globe with lights that would react to your interaction with a Capacitive sensor. In the following steps I explain my method and share the code I used.

Step 1: Wiring

The first step is to wire up your Arduino with LEDs for feedback and Aluminium foil for the Capacitive sensor.

You will need the following:

  • an Arduino UNO
  • Aluminium foil
  • a 10 mega-ohm resistor
  • 2x a 220 ohm resistor
  • red LEDs
  • yellow LEDs

Now follow the following steps to connect everything:

  1. connect pins 2 and 4 with a 10 mega-ohm resistor
  2. connect a piece of aluminium foil with pin 2
  3. connect your red LEDs to pin 9 and through a 220 ohm resistor to the ground
  4. connect your yellow LEDs to pin 10 and through a 220 ohm resistor to the ground

Step 2: The Code

To make it all work, upload the code to the Arduino

Make sure to install the CapSense Library, which you can find here:

This library will make it easier for you to read the incoming data.

Step 3: How to Use

At this moment, you have the technical base to make an interactive light controllable by your capacitive aluminium foil. Be creative and use it to make your own interactive art!

Remember: capacitive sensors are very sensitive, and wiring might influence it's efficiency. Sadly, this happened with my project which made it impossible to put the capacitive sensor in my globe to control the lights by getting close to them.