Build your own Death Star…sort of

Why it’s taken me seven months to type ‘Star Wars Raspberry Pi’ into Google is beyond me. But this morning, as I sat on a bus in traffic with BB8 in my bag and memories of watching Rogue One last night, the thought finally came to me.

Cut to a few moments later, as I eagerly scrolled through the Interactive Persistence of Vision Globe website from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering team at the University of Leeds.

POV Globe Death Star

The project was originally launched a few years back by a MEng student group consisting of Thomas Carpenter, Oliver Peel, Adam Clarkson, and Laurence Bird, with supervision from Craig Evans. It uses a ring of RGB LEDs, rotating on an axis at 300rpm, to display an image.

POV Globe

A Raspberry Pi sits within the rotating build, offering HDMI connectivity to allow images to be sent to the LEDs via a decoder.

Images can be sent to the globe from any smart device, allowing you to display a map with your own chosen coordinates, visual temperature readings, and much more. This makes the globe useful for marketing and education, as well as good ol’ fashioned fun and total planet destruction.

A Spherical Persistence of Vision Display – 3rd year project

Warning – contains flashing images* Students from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering create a Spherical Persistence of Vision Display in their 3rd year group project.

The team go into a lot more detail on their website, explaining the components used and how the globe was built. If you’re interested in the ins and outs, head to their site.

Given it’s been a few years since the launch of the globe, we’d love to hear what its builders are up to now. If you know, leave an update in the comments below.