What is next?

Before I begin with the explanation of the exciting project that I am doing with my partner antoniojimenezmavillard.wordpress.com/ I want to recapitulate about what we have been doing in class. While we are working on the main project, we are also practicing with Programming in the Processing Language, Vector Representation and 3D Representation.

To program the Arduino, we write code(s) on our desktop in a language called Wiring, compile it, verify it and then upload it to the Arduino, usually via a USB connection. As long as the Arduino is getting power, it will execute the code over and over again. In the code below you can see the code for blinking a LED

void setup() {               
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  // Pin 13 has an LED connected on most Arduino boards:
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);    
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(13, HIGH);   // set the LED on
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);    // set the LED off
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second

The best known vector/based drawing programs are Adobe’s commercial softwares Illustrator and CorelDraw, which helps us create a distinctive vector/artwork for any project.  In class however, we have been using an open source program called Inkscape instead http://inkscape.org/.

Being able to express ourselves by making pictures with a drawing program is a very useful skill for making sketches, storyboards, presentations, exhibit mockups, and the like. In this case we are working with two dimensional images in vector format, after which, we started learning to create their dimensional representations. CAD Computer Aided Design is an important industrial art tool, extensively used in many applications, including automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace industries, industrial and architectural design, prosthetics and many more.

CAD is also widely used to produce computer animation for special effects in movies, advertisements and technical manuals. It is used to design curves and figures in two dimensional spaces, or curves, surfaces, and solids in three dimensional spaces. Now-a-days there are a wide range of programs for working with 3D, ranging from animation (Maya, Blender) to engineering (AutoCAD, Solid Works, Rhino). Most of these are very powerful, and require months or years to learn how to use them well.

In class we are using Google SketchUp, a free, available and easy to use tool for creating 3D representations. The most exciting thing about using SketchUp in our class is that we can print our models in plastic using the MarkerBot Thing O Matic 3D printer that our teacher, William Turkel, just built with other students. http://www.makerbot.com/.

Building our project.

While thinking about what we could create for our project in class, History 9832B Interactive Exhibit Design (Winter 2012), we came across a bunch of ideas. One of these ideas was that our final project for the H9832B could be a Screen Office. What does this mean? Imagine that you are a teacher and someday you have office hours, or simply have to be at the office, but for whatever reason you are late or you cannot make it to your office. The problem in this case, if you have students waiting for you at your office, is that they don’t know that you are not being able to come in today. Our screen Office could be the solution, because it would allow you to send a Tweet from your cell phone or any computer to the Screen Office. Using Arduino, Ethernet Shield http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoEthernetShield and Arduino Liquid Crystal Library LCD Interface http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/LCDLibrary.

If you are interested in the Arduino history, you can see an Arduino documentary here: http://redux.com/stream/item/1909904/Arduino-The-Documentary-2010-English-HD

You can also download it here: http://www.archive.org/details/Arduino.TheDocumentary.English

You can see the trailer here:

For various reasons we decided to shift from this idea to another. Our final project, which we called H9832B duck, is about creating a duck robot with Arduino Liquid Crystal LCD. We would also be using Arduino UNO, Micro Maestro  #1350, Battery, LCD and Electronic Brick chassis, 9 GR Servo…etc.

The other day, Antonio and I, went downtown looking for some doll or puppet that could give us any idea for our robot. After more than 4 hours, we ended up by buying a small and cute duck for $25. The duck robot that my partner Antonio liked so much, well, I came up with the idea of destroying it and re- building it as an Arduino machine.

We want to see how a robot could be from the inside; we are interested in the idea of “the beauty of the machine”, so we want to show the reality of things. It is like opening a cute Mac laptop and seeing what’s happening inside this machine. As the Arduino team David Cuartielles said “…that’s open source hardware for me: it means to once again be able to check what is it that is inside of stuff, but in a way that is allowed; that is also ethically right, legal and that allows us to improve the educative methods. All things considered what open hardware is for me, is a system that makes people able to learn about the way things work in this world we live in, where there are more computers than people.” From Arduino “The Documentary” (2010)

At the beginning, must admit, I felt badly for my partner Antonio because he liked the duck so much, but now he likes this idea of opening up and showing what is inside of it.


2 responses to “What is next?

  1. Pingback: This is the last post of; What is next? | mafana

  2. Pingback: This is the last post of; What is next? | How does technology impact architecture?

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