Analog pixel - Electromagnetic analog pixel (if not component already exists)

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 27, 2016
Hi Guys,

Firstly, I am not too experienced with electronics, but am very keen to learn more. I have come up with a small project that I would like to try create and have hit a dead end.

I have created a small prototype where I have a small array of light sensors (3 by 3), which directly affects a small array of LEDs (3 by 3). And the light sensors are covered, the LEDs dim. So the array of LEDs match the layout of the light sensors.

This is a very basic setup for what I would like to do.

I just want to mention something. I am doing this as analog as a challenge. I know there are more complex methods of controlling pixels and LEDs, which involves addresses. What I am trying to do is create is a mini panel of pixels which is affected by the sensors.

I got it working with LEDs, but now the next step is to create an analog pixel. I am not sure if there is perhaps an existing component that could somehow represent a pixel. Even an open/close effect or rotation or any kind of physical movement/change.

That is my first question, is there an existing electronic component that can do what I'm looking for?

If not, then this leads me to my next query. How to make an analog pixel?

My current idea is using electromagnetism to move a magnet, even just slightly. My idea was a coil with a magnet inside, but my concern is that it is not really that effective. I feel the pixel needs to be small, light and fast. I would just like to get a simple prototype working.

If you guys have any feedback it would really be appreciated.





Joined Jun 4, 2014
What's wrong with coil and bolt? It might need a spring down the tube before the bolt to return the bolt to the out position, so the bolt position would vary with the current applied to the coil (though it wouldn't be linear).
Or a radio control servo:
Tiny servo


Joined Jun 17, 2014

It's very hard to make something as small as a pixel without some sort of manufacturing process.
One idea would be to use fibre optics, where they are lit at one end with an LED and that's where those ends are spread out, then they all converge toward the front where they display the image.
Mechanically, wires that are pushed in and out of a set of sleeves that are close together at the screen end and spread apart at the driven end. If the end of each wire is a color, it will show up better when it is pushed out of the sleeve. Not easy to do though, and requires a lot of actuators.
Another idea is a rotating set of LEDs. As they rotate, you light them up at the correct time in order to display an image. The LED count is low.