Arduino Day selected Rome as the official italian event, that will be held on March 29th at the triumphal Tempio di Adriano. The program of the day, developed by Officine Arduino and DiScienza, will include: an area for makers and open-source startups, free workshops for kids and free talks and demos about Arduino (click here for the program).
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Leah Buechley, the creator of the LilyPad Arduino and my former advisor, recently published a great new book based on that platform, together with Kanjun Qiu and Sonja de Boer. Sew Electric is a collection of DIY e-textile projects that introduce electronics and programming through textile crafts. The projects include a sparkling bracelet, a singing monster, a light-up bookmark, and a fabric piano. Through these activities, readers are introduced to the fundamentals of electronics and programming as well as craft and design practices. The projects are beautifully illustrated and the instructions are clear and detailed. This is a wonderful resource for showing potential uses of electronics and the Arduino platform, specifically in ways that appeal to audiences not traditionally associated with these technologies.
I was privileged to work with Leah for a number of years and am always impressed with her dedication, ideals, and accomplishments. Zoe and I put together this interview to ask Leah about the new book and her thoughts on technology:
How was the idea of the book born and what’s its main aim?
We want the book to get people excited about electronics and programming. We hope it will help people play, tinker, hack, and learn.
There are very few engineering resources that are appealing to young women and girls. We wanted to create an electronics introduction that looks and feels different from anything else that’s out there.
In terms of the history, my student Kanjun Qiu built a series of lovely LilyPad projects & wrote DIY tutorials for them for her master’s thesis. In collaboration with NCWIT (the National Center for Women and Information Technology), we tested the tutorials with kids and teachers and got lots of positive feedback. We decided to publish the series as a book and website to make them more visible and accessible. We’d like to connect to as many people as possible.
UPDATE 22 feb 17.00 CET: All of Arduino web services are back up and running again. Thanks for your patience while we upgraded our system!
As you may have noticed we’ve been witnessing several problems with our website since last Sunday 3 a.m. CET. In the next hours we’re starting working on some major maintenance to the Arduino website: tomorrow Thursday 21st of February, around 3 p.m. CET until Friday 22nd of February 2013 same time .
We’ll then be on hand to resolve any issues that arise after we re-enable the site, but please be aware that further outages may occur as we fine-tune server features. After the site is back, please let us know if you encounter any problems using it.
During this process, we’ll be posting status updates on Twitter and remaining as responsive as possible.
We apologize for any inconvenience! Thanks for your patience.
We had to disable comments because the discussion was turning into a flame war.
Just a few clarifications: Arduino is not suing anybody. We never intended to do that in the slightest. We love Kickstarter and , as I said in the post, we think they are important to Makers. We are now in contact with Kickstarter to make sure that in the future the communication between us are more direct and clear. Our manufacturing partner in Italy has issues with some statements made in the Kickstarter campaign and they are getting in touch directly with the project creator to clear the situation.
—- original post —–
Kickstarter has undoubtedly changed the world by helping makers turn into an industry to be reckoned with.
As with every brilliant invention the first prototypes always have a few issues that get fixed over time by trial and error. Figuring out a way to respond to issues and criticism quickly and effectively is the essence of growth and Kickstarter definitiely had done a lot but there is still a number of issues that are hard to deal with.
I want to show you an example of something that is happening to us right now.
A few weeks ago somebody launched a kickstarter for a project called smARtDUINO (notice the choice of lowercase/uppercase letters) that is supposed to be a better Arduino and all the rest. There is one of them every week so nothing new there.
The first issue that struck me was that right in the project title they claim to be the “former ARDUINO’s manufacturer”
Since I’ve never heard of this person I’ve emailed immediately the factory asking if they knew him.
Nobody had ever heard of him, then a long search started that ended with the realisation that he hired two factory workers who used to work for one of the many suppliers that our manufacturing partner uses.
So according to them, if I hire two factory workers from Ford I can claim I used to manufacture Ford cars…
When we got an email from an important worldwide reseller asking us if our manufacturing partner was behind this kickstarter, we really got worried that the confusion was going to create serious damages to us and decided to act.
We asked our lawyer in Italy to get in touch with this person to have some statements rectified while I got in touch with Kickstarter to see if they could act as a mediator in the dispute.
Based on the current available information, it seems that the company that owns the domain (Aldi Technology) doesn’t exist and the person who launched the kickstarter, who claims to be living in Italy (Mr. Dimitri Albino), actually moved to china years ago.
Italian speakers will find some old forum messages linking this person to some dubious activity.
Every week there is a kicstarter where, in a a way or another, somebody claims to be us… Either they call their project “Arduino” straight away or they ride the Arduino name in more clever ways. We usually email them but not all respond etc etc.
I wrote to kickstarter throught their public feedback form and emailed directly to somebody in marketing I had contact with in the past.
My point was that Kickstarter have to provide some kind of assistance when there are trademark violations or when somebody makes false statements.
Like many important websites have a clear and direct way to raise issues of trademark violations, Kickstarter should also make it easy to raise issues with them.
I got no reply from the marketing person and the next day I get this :
Thanks for writing in and bringing this to our attention. This is a matter that must be taken up directly with the project creator. You can contact them by clicking “Contact me” on the project page.
Well I don’t think Kickstarter can remove themselves from the picture, they are not a charity, they make money out of what they do. They should protect their users by better vetting who wants to be funded and by making it easier to raise issues about individual kicstarters.
What does the community think?
Is a web server page that show the Arduino’s analog and digital input pin status, the status of the pin is transmitted with json, the page detect connection problems with the Arduino device and alert the user.
Invention of a new Open Source mechanical musical instrument
Following the « DYI » trend, here comes a musical automaton created by [EricDuino]. This Arduino based autonomous robot is named « Line Follower Organ », « Orgue Suiveur de Ligne » in its maiden language.
What’s new with this instrument is that it moves along its partition in order to play it.
It’s still at a very early stage and it cannot play a full symphony or house music yet. Hopefully the Open Source community will soon make it play Electro Hop.
It’s a power stip driven remotely through an Ethernet network using telnet protocol.
The password and tcp parameters are saved in eeprom.
The user can give names to the six power out, that are also stored in eeprom.
Visit the page of [bigjohnson] on his site.
Rebuilt my lucky cat: whenever a page of my website is loaded, the cat will be waving its arm. There’s a light sensor so when its dark, the cats RGB-LED is changing the color instead of waving the arm. Changing the color of the LED is also possible with one of the buttons on the cats ears. The other one is the reset button. Used an arduino ethernet, a servo, two buttons, an RGB LED and two small yellow LEDs. The seven segment display is one that I harvested from an old stereo. It’s driven by the arduino and two shift registers. unfortunately I’ve soldered that one together for an older project, so that it doesn’t fit into the cat too. It shows the number of pageviews of the website.
[srejbi] shares a new, programming-free, API-based way to programming Arduino: the APDuino project (minimum hw requirements: Arduino Mega 2560 + W5100 EtherShield). The Apduino relates to a peculiar approach towards Arduino that I noticed in the last years: using Arduino and making things without coding. This is a good thing for people that can’t code, but has to be simpler than learning code itself.
The APDuino Project provides a turn-key software solution for building custom monitoring and automation systems with custom rulesets (featuring expression evaluator with access to sensor and control arrays), cron-like scheduler, remote access and management via HTTP, SD and online logging and more…
All *without* programming (if using supported hardware components) … allowing DIY’ers to build their own automation systems much quicker and easier.
— The image collage attached is showing parts of 1 realization I built (I have 4 completely different systems running, all using the same software :)) — This one pictures an aquaponics monitoring system with 16 physical sensors (lots of 1-wire DS18B20’s chained, DHT-11, photoresistors, HY-SRF05 with mechanically inverted reading surface providing tank level monitoring, radio-controlled sockets allow pump and fan controls).
Other systems feature components such as vibration detector, pH probe, BMP085,DS1307 RTC.
Anche quest’anno Arduino partecipa a Robotica – mentre non partecipa Makersitaly! – e ha scelto il mezzo della stampante termica in controtendenza con i mille volantini, flyer, cataloghi, allegati, biglietti da visita e tutta la montagna di carta che avrete nelle tasche alla fine dei tre giorni – giovedì venerdì e sabato – della manifestazione.
Siamo ad Impatto Zero, quindi non esageriamo neppure con la carta!