Interactive Art display using an mobile phone App

Hello all,

This is my first time posting here and I have never used an Arduino... I'm looking for a bit of direction from the Forum.

My project involves pouring paint onto a canvas using some type of mechanic regulation to control the amount of pours. I haven't decided exactly on how I want to trigger the apparatus I'm making to do the pour, but I want it to be interactive with a person using it... First idea, it would be great if I could make an app for a mobile phone that would send triggers to the apparatus to pour the paint, either via wifi or bluetooth. Is this possible, which arduino would I need and where would I begin to learn how to get started?... Second idea for the interactive portion is using something along the lines of an Xbox Kinect and have some sort of motion that is sensed trigger the pours back to the apparatus. Again, is this possible, which arduino would I need and where would I begin to learn how to get started?

I really appreciate any and all help!


You can use either WI-FI (ie: ESP8266 module)
Bluetooh: (ie: HC-05/06 modules)

What Arduino you need depends on what you want to do with it. ('pouring paint doesnt cut it')

HOW do you plan on 'pouring' this paint?

Is it a pump/nozzle?
Is it a 'real' bucket' that need to be moved by a servo or stepper motor?

How many 'buckets' are there? 1 for each color?

I think at this point.. your putting the cart before the horse.

Plan out your 'intended' process...
*how it works for the end user(s)
*how the physical/mechanical set-up looks in your mind.

I mean if I want to make a bluetooth based project.. where I hit a button on my phone, and it moves a servos that 'opens' the bottom of some bucket...

that should be fairly easy to do.

If you have pumps, or a more colors...etc..etc things get more difficult and should be sorted out FIRST.. so you plan & code accordingly.

I also suggest you break this down into separate steps.. and get each working individually.


How to control a servo or stepper motor..

How to connect and use a bluetooth module (serial data)


then work on merging everything into one project.

@xl97 Thanks for the reply… Your completely right, I haven’t worked out all the steps I need to get to the end yet. I guess I wanted to get a comment like yours to start to understand how big of a project I’m taking on and feasibility.

With the wifi or bluetooth sending signals to the arduino, how does that happen, or how could that happen… through an app? text message? is there any other way?

also, how do I get an email sent to me when someone replies to this post? I didn’t even know you replied until I logged on and had to search for my post… I feel like that is the default on all the other forums I have signed up for

Thanks! Appreciate all help!

Its in your user settings.. or in the upper & lower right hand corner of this page/thread..

Also 'how' it works.. depends on what components you go with.


wi-fi.. has several options.. including making the ESP8266 (wi-fi) modulea 'server' itself.. that can host a webpage with some 'controls'..

bluetooth- you could use a serial terminal.. or write your own mobile app.. perhaps using MIT App Inventor..

Thanks again for explaining a few of the different options using mobile signals... I had also never heard of the MIT App Inventor, it looks like something I could deff benefit from being a noob.

I have another question... I agree with you on trying to break down this project into smaller projects and solve those first.... I found this tutorial on how to create a "shot bot" liquor pouring machine using a pump. I think using a pump would be great to get my mixture of paint to pour out of a tube and onto my canvas. But, I don't think the pump in the tutorial will work for paint, it looks as though it will only work for liquids with a viscosity similar to water.... Do you know of a pump that I could use with an arduino to pump the paint? I would more than likely be pumping at least two different colors and would pump them separately, so I would need two pumps at minimum.

This is the tutorial I was referring to

In the comments someone suggested using a peristaltic pump instead of the pump in the video to pump vegetable glycerin, which would be closer to the viscosity of the paint I'm trying to pump.

Oh... also still not sure which arduino to use for something like this.... I'm thinking eventually of triggering the pump to pour the paint using a Kinect instead of a mobile signal like wifi or bluetooth.

Really appreciate all help!!