Project Description

The Motorized Facebook Thumb is an interactive installation that physically reacts to the virtual ‘likes’ on a Facebook-page.

In a world where the Facebook inspired ‘like’ has become an integrated part of our language and where people all around the world pushes the like’-button on Barak Obama’s, Pepsi’s or even Britney Spears’ Facebook page, I thought it could be interesting to visualize these virtual likes in a physical form.

The Motorized Facebook Thumb can be set up to listen to any Facebook-page. It reacts in real-time to new likes by rising its thumb and turning on blue LEDs.

The process of making the Motorized Facebook Thumb started in Rhino (a 3D software application) where all the parts have been modeled in 3D. After having build a complete 3D model (including gears) of the Motorized Facebook Thumb , the parts where laser cut, and lastly they were put together.

The inside of the Motorized Facebook Thumb consist of an Arduino Mini Pro, two homemade blue diffused-LEDs, a stepper motor, and a Xbee(ZigBee) device that enables the Motorized Facebook Thumb to wireless send and receive data.

The Motorized Facebook Thumb is connected to a computer (with an internet connection), where a small JAVA application has been designed to listen for likes on a specific Facebook page. Everytime a Facebook user ‘likes’ the set Facebook page, the Motorized Facebook Thumb is automatically notified that someone somewhere in the world liked i.e. Carnegie Mellon University, and the Motorized Facebook Thumb then raised it thumb and lights up for a few seconds, before dimming out ant waiting for the next like

I have also made a version with the Arduino Ethernet shield, which makes it possible to connect the Motorized Facebook Thumb directly to the internet without the need for a computer.

The stand is modeled in Rhino and milled in plywood.