Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Arduino Tour con tappa a Verona: missione compiuta

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Arduino Tour Verona

Il weekend del 20 aprile scorso l’Arduino Tour si è fermato a Verona. Condividiamo con voi le foto dell’evento da cui traspare l’entusiasmo dei partecipanti  che, non solo hanno potuto sperimentare le potenzialità dello Starter Kit, ma hanno avuto  il supporto  del Treviso Arduino User Group, da tempo attivo nella divulgazione e promozione di Arduino nel territorio veneto.

I progetti prototipati durante la giornata di domenica sono stati tutti interessanti e in particolare vorremmo menzionare:

  • SunShift (aka “raggio della morte”), ovvero un sistema che con il concetto dell’inseguitore solare, muove uno specchio per riflettere il sole verso un punto specifico (ottimo per illuminare casa!)
  • Cercapersone con risposte pre-programmate: un sistema che visualizza su LCD i messaggi in arrivo, e tramite dei bottoni permette di inviare una risposta a scelta tra quelle preprogrammate

Il workshop era ospitato da TheFab, uno spazio per maker  in cui non ci sono solo eventi e workshop ma possiamo trovare anche delle macchine tipografiche Heidelberg attualmente usate da LinosType e proprio con queste macchine è stato realizzato il poster donato a Massimo Banzi in occasione della sua visita a Desio.

Nella  foto qui sotto appare la matrice del circuito utilizzata stampare   la locandina  e celebrare  la tappa del Tour Arduino (che vedete più sotto) a Verona:

 

thefab

 Arduino poster

Ci vediamo alla prossima tappa a Napoli, affrettatevi a prenotare perchè sono ancora disponibili solo alcuni posti!

Meet the Maker: Jody Culkin

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Jody Culkin

Imagine being an artist with an insane desire to learn the tools that would set your art apart, that would inspire you to create something closest to your imagination. Imagine a burning desire improve the lives of others with all the skills that you have. Imagine, being Jody Culkin.

Jody started her career with Technical Photography at the Medical Department of New York University, an art form that is long lost in today’s world of Instagram and digital photography. A course taken on Physical Computing in 1998 at the age of 45 at ITP, NYU to learn electronics and coding, pushed her to be the maker that she is today. She is currently teaching a course in a Community college in New York. She is also an avid sculptor, an artist, a comics maker, a welder and many more things that marks a true maker. An exclusive interview with her here would take you closer to the world of makers.

Priya: What is your oldest memory as a geek and a maker? Also what were the first experiments that got you started in electronics?

Jody: I remember my junior high school days when we were taught about computers yet never got to work on one. Me and my friend used to exchange notes in ASCII art with pencil on paper. Also I had been making small functional objects like a table and lamps.

The first circuits were really simple with a play of many switches. I loved to use switches for so many different things.

Priya: How was the transition from being an artist to an electronics maker? Which, according to you, is the better way to go?
Jody: I think ideas need to be more clearer than only electronics, for that you need to be a designer. Otherwise I see a lot of designers getting help for electronics in the art world.

Priya: I am a huge fan of the Arduino comic strip that you did years back for arduino. What inspired you to do that? Are you working on more such comics?

Jody: Back in 2009, during a summer camp at ITP, I wanted to express whatever I had understood very clearly. So I decided to document it using a comic strip for others too. What you might observe in the comic, is that there is a central character telling the story, it is not only electronics and wires, which is an essential part to make it appealing in any comic.

Yes, I did some work for a breadboard workshop organized by Make. I would also like to do some work on CSS and JavaScript.

Priya: Wait wait.. You code JavaScript?

Jody: Yes, I started with Code Academy, they have some really great lessons to get you started with.

Priya: Impressive! What are the tools, might you suggest to be the essentials for any designer aspiring to add electronics to the art?

Jody: The tools I would suggest are Arduino, Processing, JS, also I liked MAXmsp interface, other random stuff like Digital multimeter, screw driver, basic sensors etc.

Priya: As an artist what are your most commonly used sensors? Also do you have to use general purpose PCBs or get it custom made?

Jody: I use photocells a lot. I also like IR sensors and Force sensitive Resistors, as they are pretty easy to interface. Regarding PCBs, I have always used breadboards. For some reason, they have always held up pretty strong.

Priya: What drives you? And what advice do you have to make it big in the world of Interactive Designs?

Jody: Curiosity drives me. I love putting different stuff together and observing the final results. Like one of my installations is a self turning-pages book, an added functionality of turning the pages via web was interesting.

To be a designer, one should learn to express things in a simple way. A majority of time should be spent working. Apart from that, networking is a must. Try to hang out with the designers whose work you get inspired by. People like to see works of different designers under the same roof. So try to improve your work to get in the grove with them.

Priya: Very insightful. What are your latest works that you would like to talk about these days?

Jody: There was a show at Florida, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art – I had some displays on fashion there. Also had a presentation on the way comics can be used to explain technology. I was working on a Lasersaur build with Eric Hagan, which is an open source laser cutter project started by Nortd labs at ITP at NYU.

Priya: Lastly, how does it feel to be a woman in tech doing electronics and art together? How did it feel back at the university? What is your current passion?

Jody: It feels great and empowering. T, The strength in the university was 50-50 for men and women. However, I observed that the men were putting in more efforts to learn in Physical Computing, whereas the women were more into web development. I wished women participated more. Tom, really supported and guided me well.

Currently, my passion is to teach the diverse students attending the Community College. Yes, some are very well prepared, some are not, but then, that is where a teacher’s true test of creativity lies.

Thank you for your time Jody!

(All of her work has been documented here.)

The Call For Makers Is Open! Are you ready to show and tell?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Maker Faire Rome 2013

Post originally published on the Maker Faire Rome official Blog by Massimo Banzi

 

If you are a maker living in Europe and you’ve been looking at the Makerfaire events with enthusiasm and wishing to be there, this is the moment to spring into action because The Call for Makers for the 1st Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition, is NOW open (until 2nd June 2013)!

The Call is the opportunity you have to submit your great project to the Maker Faire Team and become one of the protagonists of this amazing Show (and Tell) taking place next October in Rome.

We are welcoming projects from all over Europe because we believe that the power of innovation should not be limited by local bounds. Makers from all over the continent  are invited to take part and share their projects to all the lovers of the “do it yourself” spirit, connect and feel the empowerment of sharing.

Even if the main focus of the event is about highlighting the process of making things together, we are  also looking for performers and presenters who want to share their ideas and projects from a stage. Read carefully the call to snatch all the details.

If you’d like a bit of inspiration, stay tuned to our blog as in the next weeks we’ll be featuring some of the makers who have exhibited at previous Maker Faires.

And keep in mind that the deadline for submissions is Sunday 2nd June 2013.
Looking forward to being amazed by your projects and seeing you there!

 

Showcase your project: ultimate cat litter box

Monday, February 25th, 2013


 

This project by Greg is about building a smart litter box for his cats:

We have three cats and the litter is difficult to control. So I had been thinking through a project to build an enclosure. Once I stumbled on Arduino the doors of opportunity were opened. I ordered the electronics and got started on my project right away. So far the Arduino is activating exhaust fans, lightng, and a Lysol spray dispenser. It tracks the number of times the fans are activated and uses a piezo buzzer to alert a filter cleaning. I plan to use it to trigger cleaning based on usage and track each cats potties so we can control their stink before its too late.

A nice video about this project can be found on YouTube.

Useful Arduino & ATMega microcontrollers pinout diagrams

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Pighixxx, from the Arduino forum, has created several pinout diagrams for the Arduino UNO and for several ATMega microcontrollers, such as the ATMega 328 and the ATMega 1284p.

These diagrams provide a clear picture about how to use each pin of the board and can be used as real “cheatsheets” for your own DIY projects. You can download them from here. Enjoy! :-)

#RepRap Workshop a Officine Arduino

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
What a Printer!

Picture from Josef Prusa’s Flickr Photostream

We are happy to announce the upcoming Josef Prusa’s and Alessandro Ranellucci’s workshop @ Officine Arduino / Fablab Torino, on February 16th and 17th. This two days workshop will cover the making & fine-tuning of the latest Prusa I3 with Prusa nozzle AND Ranellucci’s how-to slic3r lesson on Sunday.

If you ever want to jump on the reprap world, this may be the best opportunity. If you don’t feel like buying the printer but just want to follow the workshop taking notes & make questions, we do also offer a spectator admittance.

The workshop is part of the celebration of the first year of Officine Arduino and Fablab, soon more details about the complete program (stay tuned).

read the full description of the workshop on the [Arduino Store] or read the (italian) post on the fablabtorino website.

Learning Game Programming with Esplora at the Iron Yard

Friday, January 25th, 2013
Anne Mahaffey teaching with the Esplora - Photo: Chris Brank

Anne Mahaffey teaching with the Esplora – Photo: Chris Brank

 

Anne Mahaffey is an engineer with Analog Devices and was one of the beta testers for the Arduino Due. Anne’s been an ardent advocate for Arduino at Analog, and recently contacted us about a workshop she was planning with the Iron Yard, an accelerator in her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. The workshop was to introduce kids to programming in Scratch, and to let them build their own game controller with Arduino. She had plans to do it the way many Arduino workshops go: introduce the kids to a little electronics, then a little code, then get them building. She happened to reach us about the time we were putting the finishing touches on the new Esplora, and since we had a good reationship with her as a beta tester, we suggested that she try the Esplora instead. We had a good feeling about it, but no one had used it for a class yet. But Anne’s game for anything, so she said yes.

When she got the boards in hand, she was a bit skeptical:

“I won’t lie. The Esplora was not at all what I had in mind… what about the breadboard? The wires? The hookup diagrams? Isn’t that the fun part? Is it possible likely certain that my perceptions/opinions are being colored by my extremely specialized professional experience as an Analog/RF-centric Electrical Engineer?”

But she gave it a try. The results were promising:

“My first class was last night. I had 17 kids, mostly aged 10-12, if I had to guess. Each child (or sometimes, pair of siblings) had a parent. I had 5 or so volunteers, as I anticipated the first class would be the most challenging.

“It only took about 10 minutes to hand out Esploras, connect them, select correct board and port, and upload EsploraBlink. We had two Windows machines that we had to work with b/c they had many COM ports, so we needed to investigate which COM port was associated with the Esplora.””

“In an hour and a half, I was able to send everyone home with a known working Esplora, which had run EsploraBlink, EsploraAccelerometer, and EsploraMusic; knowledge of how to select board, port, open example, upload to board, and open serial port; my e-mail, and a link to my tumblr… with the ability to ask me questions via both…

“Everyone, including parents were very engaged. They were very attentive, and I think everyone had a really good time!”

 

The Iron Yard Arduino Class. Photo: Chris Brank

The Iron Yard Arduino Class. Photo: Chris Brank

 

We’re excited about this because it bears out what we’d hoped would happen with the Esplora: sometimes you want to learn about microcontrollers only a little bit, without a lot of time spent on the electronics. After her second class, Anne notes:

“It’s interesting now, to look at the differences in the approach that I’m able to take with the Esplora, vs. the approach I would have to take with [other boards and an electronics kit]… when working with breadboards, wires, etc, what’s you’re teaching is the hookup, and then you’re just loading an example, and hitting upload.  [you don't] really go into much detail on the program, and how it works.

Alternatively, I’m teaching the Esplora class with minimal focus on the “electronics,” and am able to focus on the programming.  I think this is going to work out well in the end… when we move on from the Esplora, the kids will have a much stronger understanding of all the programming aspects, and can focus on the electronics.”

We’re thankful that Anne was willing to take a risk with a brand new product, and we’re eager to hear more about her classes as they go along. We’re hoping this opens the doors for teachers who want to get students thinking about the relationship between software, physical interface, and hardware without having to run an electronics class. Keep an eye on Anne’s blog posts on the Iron Yard blog for further updates.

Prossimi eventi: Workshop Base e Maker Faire – The European Edition

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Al periodico appuntamento con l’elettronica amatoriale presso Modena Fiere, che oggi e domani (19-20 Gennaio) ospita Expo Elettronica, i makers e gli hobbysti emiliano-romagnoli non possono rimanere delusi per il calibro degli ospiti in programma. Officine Arduino, assieme ai ragazzi del FabLab di Reggio Emilia, offrono un’occasione unica per confrontarsi con il mondo dei makers e con la prototipazione DIY, grazie a numerose varianti di stampanti 3D esposte e funzionanti, assieme alla possibilità di provare e “toccare con mano” alcune delle novità più interessanti del mondo Arduino, come l’Arduino DUE.

 

Lo stand del FabLab di Reggio Emilia.

Alcune delle novità più interessanti riguardano i prossimi eventi in programma, fra cui troviamo l’importante “Makre Faire – The European Edition”, che verrà ospitata per la prima volta in Italia nei giorni 3-6 Ottobre 2013 a Roma e che vedrà coinvolta l’intera comunità di makers provenienti da tutta Europa. Fra gli eventi in programma vi saranno conferenze, workshop hands-on e numerosi speech, in aggiunta alla fiera “vera e propria” che si terrà nel week-end.

Per partecipare come espositori, a partire dal 18 Febbraio si aprirà una “Call for makers” alla quale chiunque sia interessato potrà inviare la propria candidatura e i propri progetti, che verranno accuratamente selezionati per costituire il programma delle numerose esposizioni previste. Stay tuned sull’home page della fiera per i prossimi aggiornamenti!

Costantino e Davide presentano la Maker Faire di Roma.

Fra gli imminenti eventi in calendario elenchiamo il prossimo Workshop Base di Arduino che si terrà i giorni 26-27 Gennaio a Reggio Emilia, presso il FabLab “Spazio Gerra”. Le iscrizioni sono ancora aperte, ma i posti ancora disponibili sono limitati! Accorrete numerosi! :-)

An Arduino-controlled RGB lamp

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

On his blog, Miguel presents one of his latest projects:

This project shows the operation of an RGB lamp using a digital LED strip. After activating the bluetooth connection, the user can open the GUI on the PC to control the lamp. The program shows a hue palette divided into 30 rods, one for each LED of the strip.
By clicking & dragging the mouse cursor it is possible to make your own patterns,. To remove a color, the user can simply click on a rod while pressing the spacebar, which switches off the selected LED.

Part list: wooden support, RGB digitally-addressable LED strip, microcontroller (Arduino Pro Mini, for example), Bluetooth or USB wire.

More information on this project can be found on Miguel’s blog, while a brief video about its operation can be found here; the code of the project can be found on Github. The project’s page on Thingiverse can be found here.

[Via: Miguel's blog]

 

Product feature: Arduino based loo-information service

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Ever had to wait outside your loo, in a long queue during office hours? Wished that you had not left your desk un-attended when your boss was on rounds? Avail the new feature from the Indian company Webchutney.

It’s an interactive loo service which removes the queue from the loo. The service allows anyone in our office (Webchutney-Delhi, India) to check the status of the loo, ring a bell if engaged and get notified when the loo gets vacant, all this remotely sitting at your desk.

Contact them for more details! ;)

Disclaimer: This project was submitted as a part of our community contribution feature. The correctness of the information is the sole resopnsibility of the contributor.