Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

Theatrical electronics hero: Ben Peoples

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Ben Working

Ever wondered about the extent of diversity in electronics? Been to a theatre and wondered at the sophistication of the live stage set? Welcome to the world of theatrical electronics. An exclusive inteview with this engineer in Arts – Ben Peoples

Priya: What is theatrical electronics? I always thought that theatres bought standard stuff off the shelves.
Ben: Theatrical electonics is a field of science where we try to rapid prototype electronic items on the stage to make things appear more real. Of course, it is a huge field. With 25 different theatres around the place where I live, my plates are generally full!

P: Interesting! How long have you been associated with electronics to capture such prototyping skills? What are the general tools that you use?
B: I have been prototyping electronics for over 20 years. I have been an ardent user of Arduino for the past 6. I loved the community so much that I even teach it to other people.

P: Oh teach too? Like classes for theatre prototyping? I would like more details on that.

B: (Smiles) Well not much, they are just getting started on how to rapidly put things together and program it using an Arduino to give it an “appearence” of more complex stuff like Time machine on stage.

P: Sounds fun. What are the theatre-specific whacky things that you teach them to build in the workshop? What are the general tools needed to attend your class?
B: I teach them to build Reed-candles, an elevator, wireless fireplace, wireless-dimmer, using Xbee radios for the lighting console and more things like that. I typically teach them inside a theatre wherein they need to bring their own laptops and software. They are seated inside a rehersal space so that they get the exact feel of designing things for a theatre. Other than that, its the usual arduino boards, gear motors, LEDs and of course, loads and loads of scotch tape! (Laughs)

P: Woah! How long does it take for you to teach them these?
B: 2-3 hours to teach math and the basics, 5 hours to explain the basic expriments and seeing them prototype their first objects. So yes, in total, 8 hours.

P: What according to you, is the advantage to pick electronic skill in the field of theatre?
B: There is theatre in colleges, the person could rise up to be a technical director, there is huge demand for lighting design, scenery design and of course in this age of television and movies, every drama theatre wants to stand out and do something extra. I see a huge future for it!

P: Okay one question that intrigues me after all this conversation is how different is theatre electronics from electronic arts?

B: Interesting question! For starters, Electronic Arts is very finished and polished. Theatrical electronics is well.. more raw and duct-taped at the back. They are two entirely different industries.

P: What are the things that interest you other than prototyping and what would be your ideal birthday present?

B: I love Ariel photography. Ideal birthday present is anything photography related. For work, I have to shoot digital, but for art I shoot 100% film, and just love it.

P: Any advice for youngsters?
B: Don’t be afraid to try anything new. Ship early, ship often.

(Ben can be contacted from his blog here. Also he is the author of a very cool book speaking on the same topic and yes, I contacted him via reddit. :P )

Exceptionally Hard and Soft meeting at Berlin 28-30 December 2012 (Part2)

Sunday, January 20th, 2013
Arduino at EHSM 2012

Arduino at EHSM 2012

We mentioned earlier about the very special geek way of entering new year 2013. So here is a first hand, un-altered account of Tricia Blickfeldt who participated in the Arduino workshop for kids held there. We now are richer by one more arduino user! Yay! :)

“Before I tell you about the conference, I have to say that I work in Special Education at an elementary school. I am surrounded by children all day every day. Many of them with disabilities. I am not an engineer. I am not a hacker. My gifts do not include technical things. I came to the conference as a friend of one of the presenters. Many of the presentations were foreign to me. I felt very welcomed though and learned a lot. The staff were all very helpful and kind.

I was excited and nervous to participate in the arduino workshop. My friend told me that the class was created for kids with no experience. This was comforting. Kid things are right up my alley. And I certainly had no experience. There had been some last minute changes in teachers for the class, but I was very impressed with the guys who presented the workshop. It was clear that they knew and were very experienced in what they were teaching. When we arrived and there were no kids and, much to my dismay, they changed up what/how they were going to teach. I was soon put at ease though as they began at the beginning and explained what arduino is, what it does, and why it is so amazing and useful. They adjusted to their audience without making it more complicated.

I got really anxious again as they started handing out several little parts for us to build on the arduino board. The directions however were clear and precise. Illustrations were shown and questions were welcomed and answered. I set up an LED light and programmed it to go! The programming was not difficult because we just had to look up the codes for the task we wanted and apply them to what built. To do this we had to name the light in the program so it knew where to apply the command.

Then we added a button and programmed that to make the light go when we pushed it! We had to make some modifications to the code to add the button. I was so excited. We had some time to add more lights and see what we could make them do. I lined them up and programmed them to flash in a row and then back! This was a little trickier to program because we had to name each light individually and tell it to go in sequence. Who knew that I was capable of that?

Finally, we added a knob to control the speed of the blinking. This was definitely the hardest for me to understand. We had to set a delay that corresponded to the position of the knob. I was so excited that I took pictures and videos to prove that I really did it and that it really worked!

I was very impressed at how professional the presentation was. It was given in a way that created meaning and understanding without being overwhelming. It allowed me to create things that I hadn’t ever imagined myself doing. I am motivated now to find a project to work on using what I learned in the arduino workshop.

The entire conference seemed to be a lot like the workshop. It was very pleasant and friendly to all who were there regardless of background or expertise. It was professional and the presenters were all very knowledgeable. I learned a lot and enjoyed my time at the conference.”

PS: Many many thanks Tomek and his friend, for filling in the last minute!

Interview of Massimo Banzi by Wired

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Watch Massimo Banzi, co-founder Arduino, talk about the Arduino platform and their new product, Arduino-Due.

Arduino a Codemotion 2012 Venezia

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Arduino Set For Workshops

Ci aspetta un week end intenso: mentre Davide e Pitusso tengono il workshop base di Arduino a Matera,  a Venezia (presso H-farm ) si tiene il secondo codemotion di quest’anno, che vedrà il nostro Cristian Maglie raccontare l’Arduino Due e il cammino che abbiamo intrapreso per realizzarla.
Arduino sponsorizza anche l’Hackaton sulle emergenze, offrendo 10 Arduino e breadboard ad ogni gruppo e i premi (Wifi shield e due Arduino Due).
Happy hacking e che vinca il migliore!
[codemotion]
[talk ArduinoDUE]
[hackathon]
[UPDATE]
L’ Hackathon è stato un successo. Ecco la [wiki] con tutti i progetti sviluppati e la [galleria] con le foto dell’evento.

Ci vediamo a Matera! #arduinotour

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Manca un giorno ormai a partire per Matera. Domani sera alle 19:00 presso l’incubatore nei sassi (molto vicino a qui) faremo una breve presentazione di Arduino che possa introdurre alla scheda e al movimento dell’hardware open source. La presentazione é rivolta a chi partecipa al workshop, ma anche e soprattutto a chi é interessato a conoscere Arduino e vedere alcuni progetti realizzati in giro per il mondo.

Prima e dopo la presentazione sarà possibile iscriversi al workshop, qualora non siate riusciti a farlo online (sia la scorsa settimana che questa abbiamo avuto qualche problema tecnico con lo store.

a domani.

Save The Date! Arduino Workshop a Matera #arduinoTour

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Come sapete stiamo portando un workshop di Arduino in giro per l’Italia. Siamo stati a Roma un po’ di tempo fa e ora é il turno di Matera. Sviluppo Basilicata, oltre ad avere sistemato parte dei Sassi trasformandoli in un incubatore di impresa, si é spesa per rendere il workshop possibile (avete capito bene, il workshop si terrà nei mitici Sassi di Matera!).

Se vuoi darci una mano a promuovere il workshop nella tua città scarica il volantino cartaceo! Vi invitiamo tutti quanti a partecipare alla presentazione del workshop e di Arduino il venerdì 16 Novembre [Iscriviti all'Evento Facebook]

Il Workshop é in vendita sullo store di Arduino.

Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012 and Arduino Due preview

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012, which took place last week and involved about 200 visitors and more than 20 exhibitors, has been a fantastic opportunity to meet and share experience regarding several topics, such as 3D printing, hacking, retro gaming and so on. At the Attraktor Makerspace, several projects have been presented and demonstrated by their inventors, among which we highlight a very nice Arduino-based floppy drive organ that has been employed to play the Tetris game theme.

Moreover, among the others events planned for the meeting, a special sneak-preview session allowed all the interested people to get some insights on the new Arduino Due board, released a couple of days ago.

A video of the event can be found here, while here you may find more pictures.

More information can be found on the homepage of the meeting.

[Via: Hamburg Maker Meeting website]

Arduino Starter Kit is here to Rock

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

We are eager to announce the launch of the official Arduino Starter Kit! We have been working hard together in developing a complete selection of 15 projects that will let you become a true arduino tinkerer!

But that’s more:

The new starter kit has been developed together with a series of ten video tutorials hosted by Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi, which can be viewed at www.rs-components.com/arduino. Ideally used in conjunction with the videos, the kit provides an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It contains all of the essential components required to start programming with the Arduino Uno board, and a guidebook featuring 15 different projects, which are designed to evolve the user from beginner to professional level. Comprising a motor, servomotor and driver, the kit also offers particular benefits to users wishing to apply mechatronics to their designs.

read through for the whole components and projects list

(more…)

Workshop Roma, il Report [#arduinotour]

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

E’ terminato da qualche giorno il primo capitolo dell’#arduinotour, a Roma. E’ stata una esperienza molto interessante che ci ha fatto capire cosa funziona nel nostro metodo di insegnamento , ma che ci ha permesso di aggiustare il tiro su alcune mancanze comunicative dettate dell’accumularsi di eventi (e.g. abbiamo informato gli utenti iscritti alla presentazione del venerdì in ritardo, e ce ne scusiamo).

Un grazie particolare a Paolo De Gasperis, Marta Serpietri e Leonardo De Cosmo di Discienza per il supporto organizzativo e a Cattid per la location.

Detto questo, ci siamo sforzati di restituire quanto più possibile del materiale prodotto al workshop a tutti i nostri lettori. I progetti emersi sono stati tre (vedi video sopra / guarda il set sul flickr), e devo ammettere che il livello é molto alto per un workshop base. Tutti i codici dei progetti sono online sul nostro github. Non abbiamo usato particolari periferiche fatta eccezione dell’Arduino Wifi Shield, dell’Ethernet Shield,di un paio di Sensori di Alcohol di Parallax e di cinque FSR oltre ovviamente ad un roverino facilmente reperibile online.

I prossimi workshop dell’#arduinotour sono a Cava De’ Tirreni il prossimo 20-21 ottobre, a Matera il 17-18 Novembre e saranno tenuti da Mirco Piccin e da me: ci divertiremo!

Chi fa un salto?

Presentazione di Arduino al Cinema Palazzo [#arduinotour]

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Siete tutti invitati domani sera (28 Settembre 2012) alle ore 18:00 a Roma presso il Nuovo Cinema Palazzo per un incontro / presentazione sulle tematiche dell’autoproduzione, digital fabrication e Arduino.

A seguire, durante l’aperitivo, riprenderà vita l’installazione San Lorenzo Virtual Bike, un’installazione interattiva che permette pedalando di immergersi virtualmente fra le strade del quartiere, e proietteremo in sala il documentario Arduino: The Documentary.

L’evento di domani é l’inaugurazione dell’#arduinotour che vedrà workshop di Arduino organizzati qua e là in giro per l’Italia. Il prossimo sarà a Cava de’ Tirreni, ma stiamo per lanciare quello di Matera a metà novembre. Se per qualunque motivo vorreste farci sapere dove potremmo venire riempite questo form.