Wednesday, 27 of August of 2014

RFID Art Project

The following device has been unofficially dubbed the “Blasphemous Bible Box” by my roommate. It was built for my art class, in which we were instructed to create our own ‘box’ project. The limitations were few. The size and style of box did not matter. The concepts were to be approved by the professor, and it did not need to be comprehensible, ie, it could be extremely personal and secretive.

My project was built from a lightly modified inexpensive cigar box. From the outside it looks like a modern though simplistic black box, with a kind of hammered metal sheen.

The inside is lined with genuine leather, complete with a New Testament Bible. The Bible is stuck open to the book of Revelations. Specifically, the primary verses concerning the Mark of the Beast.


Hidden beneath the paper and leather is a bird’s nest of electrical wiring and components. Inside is an Arduino, six AA batteries wired in series, a five volt regulator, a servo motor, and an RFID reader.

This is an art project, you ask? Yep. Read on, there’s a video of it in action after the break.

The project’s internals give the box an interesting characteristic. Using the RFID tag I have implanted in my hand as a wireless ‘key’, I am the only one who can open the box. I place my hand upside down on theĀ  closed box and the built in servo swings the locking mechanism to the unlocked position, and the box lid can be lifted. Otherwise, the arm stays in place, holding the lid down.



This box was more of a proof of concept to myself, but I’m very pleased over all with its aesthetic qualities. I have plans for an even more advanced and professional looking mini storage box which I plan to build over the summer. Below are pictures of the box in different levels of completion. Be sure to leave questions and comments!


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