Passive smoking machine

An Arduino-based coughing cigarette bin
Client: Art project
Technology: Arduino
Date: Sept 2014

Pareidolia is the human tendency to recognise patterns, shapes or faces where none exist. The cigarette bins found all over London are a great example of this - once you see the face, stubbing the cigarette out in the eye seems cruel to the inanimate metal object.

In this project, one cigarette bin has developed a spluttering, metallic cough in reaction to each cigarette. The bin was exhibited at London Design Festival 2014, and we recorded some reactions to the bin coughing back.

Technically, the project combined some disassembled e-cigarettes, a CPU fan, a load of 9V batteries, an IR sensor, and some LEDs, all driven by a control board with an Arduino at its core.