Packet Routing @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

IMG_9223 This device shows a network of 18 nodes and 27 edges that form a model of the internet. Messages can be send betweeen 4 terminals. These messages are split into data packets that are reassembled at the receiving terminal. The routing of the packets depends on the different base speed of the connections and the current network load. Nodes (routers) can be disabled to simulate network outages.

The data flow is visualized using flip-dots (mechanical bistable display elements). A high load on the network can be experienced as a real motion with an acoustical effect.

The whole exhibit is covered under a glass panel, all 30 buttons are touch-sensitive capacitive elements.

Main controller Raspberry Pi, python-based software
Distributed controllers 31x ARM microcontroller (PSoC 4)
Data bus RS 485 (2-wire and 4-wire versions)

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)


Terminal with input and output buffer


Node detail with controller board


Network with nodes and connections

>> Click here to see videos showing prototypes and the development process of this exhibit