Project description

This is our rather interesting project revolving around the addition of LEDs to a Paignton Zoo Great Big Rhino.

The project is currently at a stage of publicly displaying the rhino that we’ve been working on, and this is what most of the information currently shown is about. However, this project has also served as way of developing custom LED arrays which can be used to show any kind of information you can think off! We currently have some plans to use the technology produced in the upcoming Graphical Web Conference.

White Rhino


As currently only the rhino has been produced, let’s start by introducing it! The lab was provided with the Rhino from Paignton Zoo as part of their Great Big Rhino Project. This project is a mass public art event spread across the English Riviera and Exeter city. Basically this means life-sized rhino sculptures have been placed around parts of Devon and you can go and see them for free!

The overall aim of this is to raise awareness of the critically endangered species of the Javan and Sumatran rhino. Our rhino, named #technorhino, occupies a special place within this project. #technorhino will be traveling to different locations with the aim of generating a large amount of public interest for the Great Big Rhino Project.

How to generate this interest

The team decided that adding LEDs to the rhino would be the best way to do this! This was to differentiate our rhino from the others which are usually painted. This idea came from the collaborative nature of the lab. It also acts to highlight the core principals of the lab: to show the intersection between design, technology and science.

LED rhino

Locations and future information

All the details of this project are specified in the The Story of An LED Rhino blog post at the bottom of this page. This gives you all the information needed to make your own LED array. The code required is also all publicly available on GitHub, yay!

Confirmed locations to see our shiny rhino are currently:
Paignton Zoo

Keep up to date by following the informatics lab on twitter, @informatics_lab, as well as the Great Big Rhino Project, @GreatBigRhinos.

Also check out the websites for more information:

Press releases

Paignton Zoo initial press release
Ramm Museum

Tweet #technorhino

Related blog posts

Sep 15, 2016 - technorhinos Impact On Social Media
Aug 16, 2016 - The Story of An LED Rhino