The VisualCube1e3 is a complex embedded-system constructed out of several communicating sub-systems. It’s topological structure follows a precise hierarchical order as can be seen in the following picture:
System interface is a linux-powered main-controller board, based on the Atmel AVR32 microcontroller. This device provides high connectivity through multiple communication ports like LAN, USB and RS232. A possible way to communicate with the Cube is to use wireless LAN together with a WLAN-accesspoint connected to the main-controller.
Internally it’s connected to two EIA-485 buses, where each bus connects 10 sub-controllers.
The sub-controllers are build upon ATmega8 controllers and primarily operate like a router between two hierarchical layers. Each sub-controller drives 5 bi-directional serial bus-lines, where every bus connects 10 voxels.
A voxel is build from a single board including an ATtiny11 microcontroller and a RGB-LED. The controller is busy with communication and generation of 3 PWM signals.
Some rendered views of the Cube’s CAD model created with SketchUp: