For reasons which I suspect have more to do with wrangling Provinces than anything else, the Tour de France traditionally starts in another country entirely. This year: Yorkshire (which is a country, yes. Obviously).
To kick off the celebrations marking the event, this weekend saw a mad spectacle of an arts performance, Ghost Peloton. 36 illuminated riders choreographed to a backdrop of music and a film featuring more cyclists and dancers. It was glorious. You missed it, sorry.
Continue reading Ghost Peloton
In the previous post I wrote about the challenge of catching and holding peoples’ attention with electronics and programming activities – if you’ve seen DEMO: The Movie you’ll know I’m quite big on attention.
The Arduino microcontroller platform is a terrific tool, but it’s hard to present a project which is both immediately appealing and instructive. Projects tend to be fun but complex, or useful-but-dry tutorials. As with many fields of life, I suspect the answer is: robots.
Lots of robots.
Continue reading Is Mirobot the droid we’ve been looking for?
Pick a random stall at Maker Faire UK and there’s a fair chance it’ll have flashing LEDs. And where there’s a flashing LED, there’s usually a little blue circuitboard driving it. The blue board is the famous Arduino, a family of open-source microcontrollers designed to allow easy interaction between code you write and real-world sensors and actuators.
There’s a complex and ever-expanding ecosystem of Arduino-compatible boards and interface units, and to a novice it’s all a bit overwhelming. I am that novice. Indeed, the list of Arduino projects I’ve completed looks like this:
- [insert list of future projects here]
However, awareness of what’s possible expands one’s set of available tools, and Arduino feels like the sort of thing I might, at some point, find useful. So every now and then I tinker a little. My tentative, toe-in-the-water approach to Arduino goes like this:
Continue reading Arduino: first steps
Alom and I are filming again this week so things are likely to be a bit slow here, but the above caught my eye. I have to stare at the circuit diagram for longer than I’d care to admit to
remember work out what’s going on in a rectifier, but this is a neat visualisation and sanity check.
Spotted on the ever-lovely PTNC mailing list, from Will Hall.