Arduino workshop

I was on an Arduino workshop for the last 3 days run by Toby of C6. We were split into pairs with me working with Bill Wroath a local artist. With the luck I had with the Simontron, I was really looking forward to picking up some tips. The first day was spent playing about with components such as buzzers and LEDs to get a feel for the board and the programming language. On the second day we got to make the board interact with a Processing program on our computers which was good fun. Unfortunately it was all one way and we didn’t get to make the computer “control” the board which is what I really wanted to do as on the final day we had to put our new found skills into practice and make a project. Bill and I decided to take a live video feed and turn it into sound so we rigged up a speaker to the Arduino board and used the brightness in the video to dictate the sounds played. We had a bit of a scare when near the show and tell time a load of the code went missing but that was only coz I mixed control-x up with control-c!! We decided to call it budgie coz by chucking a cloth over the camera it stopped chattering, a bit like shutting a budgie up at the end of the day. We’re looking to expand on it and have it use the the colours in the video feed instead of the level of light – if we had more time at the end we probably would have had a go at doing that.

There was some pretty cool projects done by the others in the group. Mario and Steve made a 3-d etch-a-sketch, Chelle and Jamie took a feed from Arch-OS and turned it into sound, Katina and her partner used LEDs to either smile or frown depending on the light levels, Hannah and Justin took toys apart and with a tilt sensor made some sort of crying-mutant-thing and Luke did a Flash thing that allowed you to control the board over the net which I think he’s hoping to develop further.

The workshop as a whole was brilliant and Arduino is a great board to work with. If you want to have a go at physical computing then you can’t really go wrong with £10 for the board considering the price of similar bits of kit on the market. Seeing as I’ve already got 2 Wiring boards I’m gonna stick with that for now but if I need more then I know what I’ll be ordering.

Arduino board

Arduino board

Video feed

Listen to the budgie

Arduino board in action

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