Tag Archives: programming

Final two hours for Mirobot!

Yes, yes, I know I’m a stuck record about this, but: you only have a couple of hours left to back Mirobot. The Kickstarter hit its last stretch goal last night, so the full package now includes the line-drawing robot, obstacle detection, line following and a speaker.

I’m delighted for Mirobot’s creator Ben Pirt, and looking forward to the production run later in the year.

Is Mirobot the droid we’ve been looking for?

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.

Frikkin’ robots.

Lots of robots.

Continue reading Is Mirobot the droid we’ve been looking for?

Arduino: first steps

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:

  1. [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