POV, or persistence of vision, displays function in such a way that when a series of lights move over a certain area, they flash quickly in sequence so as to trick your eyes into thinking it’s one combined image. Many times these come in the form of a spinning wheel, or even a flat surface that can be swiped in front of one’s vision. Hacker “Gelstronic,” however, decided to take things to, literally, another level, creating a POV display that shows images in three dimensions.
Instead of one line of LEDs attached to a spinning surface, Gelstronic decided to stack 12 LED-enabled circuit boards on top of each other in a helix pattern. This assembly is spun at a high speed to make an amazing 3D POV effect, controlled using a Parallax Propeller board that spins along with the helix. You can see it in action below, creating a 3D box, as well as “snakes” streaking across different levels of the sphere.
The base of the unit is also an interesting build in itself. The brushless motor that spins the contraption is controlled using an Arduino Micro, along with an ESC (electronic speed control). Power is transferred to the top spinning portion using a set of wireless charging modules that would normally be seen used used with mobile phones.[h/t: Hacked Gadgets]