Calm Automaton : A DIY toolkit for Ambient Displays

Calm Automaton

Calm Automaton is a user-customisable automaton toolkit that functions as an ambient display for peripheral information. It allows the user to be calmly notified of information changes with shape shifts of the Automaton.

Calm x Automaton x Alarm

Instead of noisy alarms disturbing your concentration, Calm Automaton lets you be aware of information fluctuations with slow and gentle shape changes over time.


Users can make their own calm alarm by simply attaching print-out images or objects from your surroundings. Each transparent acrylic plate defines a single motion, actuated by one servomotor attached in the back.

Prototype Design

Layers of 2D acrylic plates achieves 3D motion insired from the automata example in theatric play.

Motion Modules

Six acrylic motion modules with one stationary module are included in the toolkit and users may combine at most three motion modules to visualize multidimensional shape changes. Without any professional engineering knowledge, it allows users to tangibly link internet information and visualize in their desired way.

System Design

The system is consisted of three parts; the processing code running in the Raspberry Pi on the bottom part of the device. It is connected with Arduino, the reading and actuating part of the device, to send and receive specific commands send fro Android application. The Android application detects any position changes made by users, saves and simulates motions and eventually relates motions with states of information.