Saturday, May 07, 2016

LilyPad Arduino In the Classroom: Interactive Shirts

Last summer as a participant in the Constructing Modern Knowledge conference I had the opportunity to develop a project with the LilyPad Arduino (and meet Leah Buechley!). I worked with a wonderful group of educators to prototype a hat that lets you know with LEDs when you should apply sunscreen. I had only prototyped circuits with the LilyPad before, never actually sewing one into a project, so one big thing I learned during that project is that embedding the components into fabric involves as much problem solving and time as programming and prototyping the circuit.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Code a Photobooth Program with P5 and a MaKey MaKey Controller

Creative student controller design!
This turned out to be a really fun project that my students can do quickly. We're using P5 to code a Photobooth program that streams the webcam and applies different filters the students choose. Plus we're adding a MaKey MaKey as a controller to work a little with

Friday, March 25, 2016

Daisy Chained NeoPixel Ring Flower Garden

I've had this recessed frame kicking around for a long time and finally came across a good use for it. Inspired by the story of a student's flower garden Logo program in Teaching With Logo by Molly and Daniel Watt, I picked up some NeoPixel rings at my local go to hobby store, Tinkersphere, and set about learning how to daisy chain them into one circuit.
Lynn's flower garden

Sunday, March 13, 2016

More Generative Art with the Logo Turtle

My first idea for making generative art with Drawson, my Logo Turtle, was along these lines. Here are a couple more ideas I am playing with. These are a little harder to code than the earlier "exploded shapes." My fascination with these is split between finding the beauty in the shapes that come out of them and in the process by which the overall composition is built up over time out of small random decisions.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Add an LED to your Logo Turtle

Erin Riley has a great project using an LED throwy and taking a long exposure picture of her Logo Turtle in a dark box to make drawings with light. So we put our heads together and found a way to add an LED directly into the Logo Turtle's circuitry so you can add on and off commands for it in your drawing program. Here's how!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Logo Turtle: Get Mac OS Working with the Adafruit Metro Mini

Getting a Mac to run Logo Turtle on the Logo Floor Turtle robot can be challenging. Windows users can run the Logo Turtle assembler program on the Adafruit Metro Mini right out of the box. But it was discovered that the Metro ships with a pre-loaded sketch that wreaks havoc on a Mac computer if it is not first overwritten by a simple Arduino sketch like Blink. Something about how Mac handles USB serial communication. Note that once you replace the sketch it ships with and load the Logo Assembler on one computer, you should be able to skip the Assembler and run Logo Turtle on any other Mac. If you are setting up several Logo Turtles, say, for a classroom or workshop, you might want load Blink then the Logo Assembler on all your Metros from one Mac, then any other Macs people use should be able to go straight to opening Logo Turtle and getting down to coding.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rotating Squares in Phases with Gif Loop Coder

All of these sketches, made with Gif Loop Coder, are the same save for the phase frequency. From the first with a phase of 0.01*i to the last with a phase of i the squares create remarkable iterative designs.

function onGLC(glc) {
     glc.size(400, 400);
    glc.styles.backgroundColor = "black";

Monday, January 25, 2016

Generative Art with the LogoTurtle

The LogoTurtle is a programmable turtle that can draw. I like running simple programs with small aspects of randomness because the resulting drawings are always a surprise, and often beautiful. When randomness is part of a program the robot will draw a different composition every time, but it's also fun to look at several drawings resulting from the same program and see the similarities. The robot is enacting controlled chaos, and both the controlled parameters and the chaos within those limits can be seen after several runs. I also like how the robot is a kind of partner in creativity as it makes its own decisions within the framework it's been given.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Troubleshooting NeoPixel Problems

The NeoPixel packs a lot into a tiny package, millions of intense colors! As I developed the 24 NeoPixel ring Arduino shield I encountered a couple problems and had to learn more about the NeoPixel to solve them. I found the ring needs a very stable power supply and any jostling of the pins connecting it to the Arduino or the pins connecting to the ring were likely to reset the Arduino or cause the ring to do weird things, like become dim, flash suddenly, etc. So a couple modifications I

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gif Loop Coder Is An Animation Microworld

There's a new JavaScript programming tool called Gif Loop Coder that is providing me with endless fun. GLC provides a bunch of shape objects and an environment to play with their attributes and then run the resulting image as a tweened animation. Giving an object a single attribute, such as a fill color, will give it a static