Week 6 Slides and Homework

For homework this week, start brainstorming ideas and gathering materials for your 3rd project, a Halloween costume or prop. Team up or work in a group if you like! Working in groups can facilitate problem solving while maximizing creative energy, and create more time for project presentations/discussion on October 30. Although groups are encouraged, each member must have a costume to participate in the parade Oct 31.

Gemma Setup

Continue reading “Week 6 Slides and Homework”

Week 5 Homework

Your homework this week is to finish Lesson 3 and Lesson 4 in the Arduino Class, and create a blog post featuring:

  • a short video of your motor circuit
  • a short video of your NeoPixel circuit
  • a link to your public Tinkercad Circuit running your custom NeoPixel code
  • due Tuesday 10/8 at 8pm.

Additionally, please start brainstorming and researching ideas for your Halloween costume, which should use a microcontroller in some way (simple interaction or animating LEDs, for example).

Week 4 Homework: Final Plush Nightlights Due & Arduino Homework 2

Your plush nightlight projects are due on the blog Tuesday 10/1 by 8pm. Include:

  • Your plush’s final photos in context
  • Your plush’s story (who’s it for/why does it exist/what problem does it solve) – at least two paragraphs, edited by your editing group (list at the bottom of this post)
  • Process photos and sketches
  • Circuit diagram
  • Title: “[Project Title] (Plush Night Light)” for example: “CuddleMonster 4000 (Plush Night Light)”
  • blog post category: Plush Night Light

In class next time, you will present your project from the screen (5-7 minutes each), and should also bring your plush to show the class (and pass around if you are comfortable doing so).

Additional homework this week (due on the blog 8pm Wednesday 10/1):

Complete the following exercises from the Input/Output lesson of the Arduino Class:

  1. Digital Input
  2. The Serial Monitor
  3. Analog Input
  4. Compose a circuit and Arduino sketch of your own, based on examples you’ve completed so far. Your original composition should print something useful to the serial monitor and solve one of the following:
    • two buttons control one LED (on and off)
    • pressing button changes fading animation speed
    • pressing button changes number of LEDs used in for loop iteration
    • three buttons control RGB LEDs to make a color mixer

Post these exercises in the “Arduino Homework Exercises” category on the blog (one post with all exercises titled “[your name]’s Arduino Homework 2).

Include your code in your post by using the html <pre> </pre> tags. Edit this post for an example.

int ledPin = 13; // choose the pin for the LED
int inputPin1 = 3; // button 1
int inputPin2 = 2; // button 2
void setup() {
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); // declare LED as output
  pinMode(inputPin1, INPUT_PULLUP); // make button 1 an input
  pinMode(inputPin2, INPUT_PULLUP); // make button 2 an input
void loop(){
  if (digitalRead(inputPin1) == LOW) {
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW); // turn LED OFF
  } else if (digitalRead(inputPin2) == LOW) {
    digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH); // turn LED ON
Continue reading “Week 4 Homework: Final Plush Nightlights Due & Arduino Homework 2”

Class 3 Homework: Plush Night Light Project Kickoff

plush campfire by Gustav Dyrhauge

The primary objective of this project (and most important evaluation criterion) is an exploration of light diffusion using LEDs and soft materials. All other elements are secondary (including interaction). Take lots of photos and video during your process of your material experiments, pattern design, and prototype construction.

get inspired with 13 ideas for diffusing LEDs (click for more info in the Instructable)

For homework this week you’ll create a blog post about your plush night light prototype . Be ready to present your idea and prototype at next week’s in progress critique.

For homework this week (due on the blog 8pm Tuesday 9/24), please:

  1. brainstorm and sketch three ideas for your next project: a plush nightlight! Your plush nightlight should:
    • have a story (who is it for? why does it light up like it does?)
    • be made from primarily fabric (sewing preferred but knit/crochet ok, some rigid elements ok)
    • diffuse LED light in an interesting way (no more than 8-10 LEDs)
    • contain a simple LED + battery circuit (no Arduino just yet)
  2. Practice your soldering skills! Wires, LEDs, switches, circuit boards– try them all! a good resource is the Adafruit Guide To Excellent Soldering.
  3. Make a circuit diagram for your plush toy. Phil B’s “Let’s Put LEDs in Things!” guide will come in handy and has additional soldering tips. You can draw it out by hand or use Tinkercad Circuits.
  4. Acquire materials for your Plush Nightlight project. For your project you’re going to need some LEDs, a switch, and a battery pack (or a battery pack with a switch already on it). Order early if you are having anything shipped, so you have time to work and play with your materials! Here are some recommended sources:
  5. Create the first prototype of your Plush Nightlight. Here are some resources:

Blog posts are due 8pm on Tuesday 9/24, and should include:

  1. Title: “[your name]’s Plush Night Light Proposal”
  2. Category: Works in Progress/Proposals
  3. photos of your prototype
  4. image(s) of your pattern
  5. your circuit diagram
  6. description of your night light’s story and target user
  7. description of the parts and materials you plan to use
  8. images of your three early brainstorm sketches