Light and Technology: The Mochoid Installation at Ontario Place

Posted by Jacqueline L on

At Canada Robotix, we are always thrilled to see technology intersect with art, creating immersive experiences that captivate and inspire. That's why we are excited to share the story of Mochoid, a breathtaking light-based art installation now for viewing in Trillium Park at Ontario Place.

The Artist Behind Mochoid: Steve Mann

Before we delve into the installation itself, let's take a moment to appreciate the creative maker behind Mochoid: Steve Mann. As a professor and inventor renowned for his pioneering work in wearable computing, HDR imaging, and smartwatch technology, Mann is a leader in contributing to the world of innovation.

Mochoid is a manifestation of Mann's vision to merge art, technology, and sustainability. Drawing inspiration from his childhood invention of the Mochord—a musical instrument based on spinning strings—Mochoid represents a visual exploration of interconnectedness. With LED light ropes attached to a spinning base, Mochoid creates a mesmerizing kinetic sculpture that invites viewers to contemplate the intersections between sustainability, technology, and society.

The Mochoid Installation: A Symphony of Light and Movement

As visitors wander through Trillium Park, they encounter Mochoid—a radiant display. Powered by robotics components, Mochoid's LED light strips dance and sway, casting an ethereal glow that illuminates the surrounding environment. But Mochoid is more than just a static display; it's an interactive experience that encourages engagement and exploration.

Canada Robotix Robotics Parts in Mochoid 

Behind the scenes, Canada Robotix's robotics parts play a pivotal role in bringing Mochoid to life. Here's a glimpse of the components used in this groundbreaking installation:

  1. Strip LED: These vibrant LED light ropes form the core of Mochoid's visual spectacle, casting a dazzling array of colors and patterns that evoke a sense of wonder and awe. 
  1. Gear Motor: The robust gear motor drives Mochoid's spinning base, enabling fluid movement and graceful choreography. Though the Mochoid uses a 37D gear motor, you can make a mini recreation of this project at home with the motors we have available. We have various motors with a wide range of V and RPM available for purchase. With precision engineering and reliability, this motor ensures smooth operation throughout the duration of the exhibition. 
  1. Microcontroller (ESP32): While the exact microcontroller powering your mini Mochoid may vary, its role remains consistent—to orchestrate the synchronized movement of the LED light ropes, creating captivating patterns and sequences that mesmerize audiences.
  2. Hall Effect Sensor Positioned within the installation, this sensor detects magnetic fields, enabling real-time responsiveness to viewer interaction and enhancing the overall immersive experience. With its ability to detect rotational movement and engage with external stimuli, the Hall Effect Sensor elevates Mochoid from a static display to a dynamic work of art

Additional Supplies:

5. Power source (Battery or USB power bank)

6. Breadboard

7. Jumper wires

8. Electrical tape

Step 1: Prepare the LED Light Strips

  • Cut the LED light strips to your desired length, ensuring they are long enough to create a visually captivating display.
  • Peel off the adhesive backing and attach the LED light strips to a suitable surface, such as a cardboard base or a clear acrylic sheet.

Step 2: Connect the LED Light Strips to the Microcontroller

  • Use jumper wires to connect the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of the LED light strips to the corresponding pins on the microcontroller.
  • Ensure a secure connection and use electrical tape to prevent any loose wires.

Step 3: Set Up the Gear Motor

  • Attach the gear motor to a stable base, ensuring it is securely fastened.
  • Connect the gear motor to the microcontroller, following the manufacturer's wiring diagram or instructions.

Step 4: Program the Microcontroller

  • Write or upload a program to the microcontroller that controls the synchronized movement of the LED light strips and the gear motor.
  • Program captivating patterns and sequences that mimic the mesmerizing display of the original Mochoid installation.
  • Test the program to ensure smooth operation and adjust as needed.

Step 5: Power Up Your Mini Mochoid

  • Connect a power source, such as a battery or USB power bank, to the microcontroller.
  • Turn on the power and watch as your mini Mochoid comes to life, casting an ethereal glow with its LED light strips and spinning base.

Experience Mochoid: Connecting People and Planet

As visitors interact with Mochoid, they embark on a journey of discovery, capturing the essence of sustainability, technology, and society in a single moment. Whether admiring the intricate patterns of light, or contemplating the deeper meaning behind Mann's creation, Mochoid invites us to reflect on our interconnectedness with the world around us.

Join Us at Trillium Park: March 12 to April 20, 2024

We invite you to experience the magic of Mochoid firsthand at Trillium Park, Ontario Place. From March 12 to April 20, 2024, immerse yourself in this captivating outdoor art exhibition, where light, technology, and imagination converge to create unforgettable moments of connection and inspiration.


At Canada Robotix, we are proud to support innovative projects like Mochoid, where creativity knows no bounds, and the possibilities are endless. As we continue to push the boundaries of technology and art, we look forward to sharing more stories of collaboration, ingenuity, and wonder.

Note: To learn more about Mochoid and other exhibits at Trillium Park, visit the official Ontario Place website for event details and schedules.

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