Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bits to Atoms: Reversing Skewed Triangle

Python Turtle:


LogoTurtle:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finally Figured Out How to Write a Class for Python Turtles

This explanation/examples did it. Exercise 4.2. Here is what I ended up with.

Updating Firmware on the Gogo Board V4

I have a bunch of Gogo Boards I've used for 4 years to teach creative making with robotics. Problem is mine are version 4.x and the developer, Arnan (Roger) Sipitakiat, has fully moved on to version 5.x. But there is a version 4.x setup that keeps my older boards working with Arnan's awesome blocks coding website, tinker.learninginventions.org. I'm writing this post to keep track of the pretty serious yak shaving necessary to keep them functional, probably only useful for my future fixes as only a small (Trump sized) handful of people ever used these boards. The Gogo Widget doesn't work to update the firmware on these older boards on a Mac, so I have to remove the Microchip PICs to reprogram the firmware. I have a Cana Kit UK1300 PIC programmer. But the software for writing the hex file to the PIC, PICkit 2, is PC only, so this tool is needed to write to the PICs on Mac. However, part of the instructions, adding two files to the root bin folder,

Monday, August 01, 2016

Thinking Through Ideas With Python Turtle

I like that you can program a screen turtle very easily with a straightforward Python installation and no additional setup. I was playing with it on a plane ride and went through a progression of ideas that I figure might be nice for people to see, along with the code. Using the screen turtle is a good way to move from Logo environments like Turtle Art to more challenging text-based coding with Python.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Make Your Own Virtual Reality App for Google Cardboard on iOS

I thought Google Cardboard was neat when I first saw it but a couple days ago I started playing around with creating 3D content for it and I'm blown away with the possibilities. I want to give a survey of some ways 3D content can be experienced in a Cardboard VR app but I'm not going to go super in-depth with any of them because each one is its own endless rabbit hole. The biggest hurdle, especially for making an app for iOS (as opposed to Android) is getting your Unity and XCode environment set up. Once that's working the rest is pure fun and amazement.

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!