Week 8 Homework and NYC’s 46th Annual Village Halloween Parade

For homework, please finish building your Halloween costumes. Don’t forget to take photos and video of the process. Post up some progress photos, your circuit diagram, and code for your homework blog post, due by 10/29 at 8pm.

In class on 10/30, we will get into costume and have a rehearsal for the parade including a small “last looks” critique, and take some photos. Hopefully any necessary last-minute adjustments can be identified during class and completed before the parade on 10/31.

In the evening on 10/31, let’s march in The Village Halloween Parade!

#nychalloween #nycostume #halloweenparade

Meet in the south classroom at 6pm. We’ll be departing PoD at 6:15pm on 10/31.

We will take the 1 train from 23rd st/ 7th ave to Canal Street.

If your costume doesn’t fit on the train (I think everyone’s will), take a large car service/taxi and meet us at Varick Street and Canal Street.

Once together as a group, we’ll proceed to the parade entrance at Canal Street and 6th Ave. We should expect to wait in a crowded holding area there for about an hour before being released into the parade.

The parade proceeds up 6th Ave and ends around 16th-18th street. At that point it’s easy to walk the rest of the way back to PoD or go on about your merry evening. We should be done walking by 8-9pm.

Becky’s Parade Rules:

  • STAY TOGETHER! Make sure you can see one of your Guiding Skeletons throughout the parade, until we reach 16th Street.
  • Put my cell phone number in your phone contacts
  • Get your picture taken: Smokey and I will both be snapping pics of you during the parade. Make sure we get pics of you with your amazing costume!
  • Let me know if you need to leave early: it’s pretty easy to get out of the parade if you absolutely need to (panic attack, etc.), but you can’t get back in.
  • If there’s a parade-wide emergency (meteor strike, terrorism), please meet back at PoD for a check-in.

Some tips for having the best time possible:

  • eat beforehand
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • prepare for cold weather with thick socks and an underlayer or other way to make your costume warm (gloves, scarf, hat)
  • bring a bag, utility belt, etc. for your belongings and carry some water and extra batteries for your costume.
  • practice your dance moves in-costume in front of a mirror
  • wave to the TV cameras around West 4th Street

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

Arduino Intro Class & Week 2 Homework

Today’s slide presentation

Don’t forget to install the SiLabs driver to go with your Metro! (mac tutorial/windows tutorial)!

Huge congratulations on your first toe dipped in the ocean of Arduino. Here’s a link to the Arduino Class we’re following, which you’ll need an Instructables account to access. For homework, please:

  • Complete and take short videos of the following Arduino exercises:
  • Upload your short videos (separately or together) to instagram, twitter, vimeo, or youtube, and embed them/it in a blog post here on the class blog, due Tuesday 9/24 8pm (use the Arduino Homework Exercises category and title “[my name]’s Arduino Homework 1”). Do not upload your videos directly to the blog media library.
Continue reading “Arduino Intro Class & Week 2 Homework”

Project 1: Teardown

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 1.11.41 PM

Your first assignment is to take apart an electronics object and document it. Some ideas of things and places to find them:

  • talking kids’ toys at the dollar store
  • an old CD player you have around
  • your old cell phone or digital camera
  • pick up something good at the Gowanus e-waste warehouse

Battery powered devices are best, as are ones that play sound, light up, and have buttons. Items that aren’t quite complicated enough for this project:

  • hair dryer
  • wired headphones
  • most kitchen appliances like toasters

Select something that’s easy to get NOW, do not order anything online for this project.

Do not select something that is dangerous to take apart, like a CRT monitor (ask Becky if you are unsure). Please be careful not to puncture or bend any lithium batteries that may be inside your object.

You will be evaluated based on the following guidelines:

  • Take lots of well-lit photos during the disassembly process
  • Consider taking video as well (optional but encouraged, consider timelapse)
  • Photograph all the parts spread out on a table in some kind of order (consider knolling your parts)
  • Identify the materials used for each component
  • Identify the manufacturing techniques/equipment used to make it
  • Look up part numbers on chips and find out what they do (searching the part number + “datasheet” helps)
  • Make a list of the tools and techniques you used to take it apart
  • Select two design elements that interest you and describe why you think the designer(s) made it that way

Your assignment will be turned in as a blog post here, with the following requirements:

  • Blog post title will follow format of Object Name + “Teardown”, for example “CD Player Teardown”
  • Blog post must be in the Teardown category
  • Due by 8pm Tuesday 9/17

For inspiration:

Here’s my first teardown from 2006, much simpler than the ones you’ll turn in but hopefully encouraging anyway!

Additional week 1 homework:

We won’t meet for class next week since I’m traveling, but the following week we will have two classes (regular time and a makeup class Thurs 9/19 2-5pm). To keep us on schedule, please complete the following for next class:

Final project requirements and presentation schedule

Please post up your final project to the blog by 5pm the night before your presentation date. Please include:

  • A link to your published Instructable
  • Your video embedded/linked
  • Some photos
  • A brief description of your project’s purpose, function, form, construction, and future projections

Presentations (~20mins each) should include a live demo of your project, a video screening, tour through your process and final images by presenting your published Instructable, an explanation of what you learned from the experience, and how you could see the idea grow/change if it were taken further. There will be time for feedback, so please ask a few questions of the audience to direct the discussion.

December 5
–10 min break–

December 12
Felix & Ted
Shin Young
–10 min break–

As a reminder, your final class dossiers are due on 12/19 (one week after our last class). They can be built around your Halloween costume or final project, it’s up to you. Don’t forget to email Alisha and me with the shareable (not private) dropbox link!