Using the provided schematic, assemble as many nodes as you want to have. If you don't have the handy keychain lights, you'll have to come up with an enclosure and power source, though I'm working on designing a more accesable version.
Assemble a monitoring hub. Use the usb version if you want to keep your computer on the whole time running software to handle incoming data. Use the SD version otherwise.
Use Arduino to program all of the microcontrollers. Don't forget to assign each one a unique ID.
Tell the monitoring hub to send the start signals.
Attach each of the nodes to an inanimate object around the room. They might need to be in line of sight with each other for the IR communication.
Go make a sandwich or go to work or take a one week vacation while the society develops on its own.