Our first week in the course. Here are some brief notes.
- Introduced the course by going through the course profile.
- Handed out the toolboxes with arduinos, breadboard, multimeters, servo motors, and some simple tools.
- Pulled apart some gadgets which everyone had brought in. Looked at the components inside and discussed what the functions might be.
- Tried to get the Arduinos hooked up and running, but we ran out of time, so I asked the students to do this before the next class.
- Started by checking that everyone’s arduino was working. There were some problems with the drivers for the serial port for a couple of people, but we managed to get that working. Also, need to check that Nano board is selected with Atmega168 rather than Atmega328.
- Described the pins on the nano board and showed how to attach a servo motor.
- Played around with the example servo sweep program, tried different values in the loops to make the servo move at different speeds.
- Went down to the e-lab and collected some components (potentiometers, hook-up wire, and resistors).
- Added a potentiometer and pull-down resistor to the circuit and used the example servo knob program so we could control the position of the servo by turning the knob.
- Used Serial.println commands to look at what values were being read from the potentiometer and adjust the program.
- Used character-movement tinkering cards to choose a movement and character to design for.
Task for next Tuesday:
With the character and movement cards your group chose, try to tinker a kinetic sculpture driven by the servo motor that moves in a way that expresses those qualities. For example, if your words were ‘fierce leaping’ you need to create a sculpture that somehow leaps in a fierce way.
See Ben Hopson’s kinetic work for lots of ideas for how to create interesting movements out of very simple materials.