ortogere - 'magical' device - similar to a compass

View project on GitHub

ideas & concepts

ortogere first sketch 3d model ortogere first sketch 3d model
ortogere paper model white ortogere paper model


main processor

use a PocketBeagle some useful hints -Ken Shirriff goes hands-on with the PocketBeagle

alternative: BeagleCore Conrad: ~110€


till now i had the idea of a direct 1 to 1 connection from the generating high power CPU to the led-drivers. but it seems that this is very tricky.. i would need high speed connections from the stationary to the rotational part.

so the new concept is to have a ‘display driver / frame-buffer’ on option for this could be an ESP32-WROVER-B mouser 5€ this is an 18x32x4mm module that contains a dual core 240MHz CPU and WiFi and Bluetooth

touch(less) input

buildin / hidden in the top outer edge is a copper surface that acts as electrode. it is split in 4 parts and managed with an FDC1004 or similar

this allows for ‘hand waving gestures’ and approach detection (hopefully ;-) )

top input rim


compass needle (POV display)

the idea is that the compass needle can rotate slow in both directions to set / point a direction of choice.

but also can spin up to about 1800rpm (= 30rps) and have LEDs on-top to create a classic POV display. more details on this aspect can be found in POV

wind rose

the printed graphics under the compass needle could also be turned individually -
that gives a second level of abstraction -

here the idea is to rotate a thin acryl-plate - supported by 3 rollers around. (where on is powered by a micro dc gear motor or something similar.. )

this needs some sort of indexing - so the thing knows where the disc is currently..

some illumination for this part should be also planned for..

motor for here could be this 700:1 Sub-Micro Planetengetriebemotor 6Dx21L mm one. its 90RPM@6V

Lid / Cover



the unit should have a W-LAN and / or 433MHz wireless communication link - so it can be controlled from remote locations to set new values for position or text/image of needle or wind rose


best solution would be a GPS + 9DOF inertial measurement unit.. so the thing can report the current absolute location and orientation over the communication channel back to the base and also be used to route the user to a fixed absolute position (this is in sync with the naming part Ortus for origin.. )



in the bottom of the unit needs to be place for some LiPo / LiFe cells… if the housing is made with an inner width of 180mm (the outer width of the paper model) then two 2s1p inline LiFePo4 packs with 26650 form-factor can fit in the bottom..

most power hungry is the POV section.. more details there..