Designer records the voyage a package makes going through the mail


posted Friday, April 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM EDT

If you've ever wondered what happens to one of your packages when it gets shipped -- well, here's an inside view of the process. London designer Ruben van der Vleuten decided he wanted to record what a parcel went through when sent, so he rigged up an Arduino controlled system to do just that.

In the box you see below, van der Vleuten cut a tiny hole in the middle of the letter B, just 2mm in diameter, to put a small camera lens through. The camera was controlled via an Arduino timer circuit, and in his own words was set to:

"make a 3 sec video every minute and make longer videos while the box was movin: to not miss on the 'interesting' parts."

Detail of the package. The camera is hidden in the center of the letter B.

If you play the video, you can see him take the package to the post office himself, and then watch as it gets taken from there onto a truck, into a mammoth sorting warehouse, then back out for delivery.

It's a great little shot of what these packages go through -- which is doubtless something you've wondered if you've ever gotten a box in the mail that's obviously been pretty severely beaten up.

Still, it was good luck for the project that the package and lens were generally facing outwards. The video would have been a lot less fun if it had just been a wall of other boxes the entire time.



A package's eye view, as Ruben's delivery makes its way through the postal system.

(via PopSci, Flowing Data)