More than one way to Arduino

Arduino does not just come in one form.  There are several you can choose on depending on what you want!

Here’s a few I’ve used:

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Arduino Uno- the classic, a great starter Arduino for tinkering 

 

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Arduino Mega- very similar to Uno but has more pins and capacties
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LilyPad- besides being prettier and smaller this Arduino is often used for wearable projects as the pins can be sewn to with conductive string
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Arduino Gemma is tiny and only about $10.  It still can do a lot of things and also draws very little power.  I’ve been using a small 350mAH rechargeable lithium ion battery! 

 

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Arduino Circuit Playground – NEW! an all-in-one board that has RGB LEDs and sensors (including a sound sensor, temperature sensor, light sensor and mini speakers built in! ) for only $20! 

~also there’s ‘off-brand’ Arduinos that are cheaper but of course are riskier in terms of quality.  I bought the Elegoo version of the Arduino Mega off of Amazon for about half the price and it’s working just fine for me!

 

 

 

LED Strips

LED strips are amazing!  They are lengthy, bright, affordable and easy to manipulate as they are flexible and can be cut in increments.

There are two main kinds – strips whose LEDs are individually addressable, and strips in which all LEDs are addressed at the same time.

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So you want to control an LED strip with Arduino…

What you need :

  1. LED strip – there are so many kinds and needs will vary!
    1. Today I am using Adafruit’s 30 RGB neopixel strip.  Neopixels are like LEDs 2.0, the controller chip is actually inside the LED itself, thus these are individually addressable LEDs!
    2. Adafruit’s Neopixel Guide!
  2. Arduino – need one with a fair amount of memory, I will be using the Uno
  3. Power Supply
    1. 5V DC Power supply 
    2. 3.7 Volt lithium-polymer battery – if you want it to be cordless for wearables etc. 
    3. don’t use higher than 6v you will fry the strip!
    4. if controlling more that 10 neopixels you cannot just power the strip directly off the 5V pin and your computer!! You need to hook up the 5V power supply
  4. capacitor (1000 µF, 6.3V or higher)
  5. resistor (probably 300-500 ohm)
  6. helpful videos
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaClIgAVuI8

Using LED strip – non individually addressable 

  1. need transistor any power NPN or N-Channel MOSFET – TO-220 Packages

 

Putting it together….. I still need a capacitor.. so to be continued …

 

LEDS+Sensors

So now’s the time for starting some real interactivity with lights and sensors!  Again my goal is to create sculptures with embedded lights and sensors that react according to the environment.

there’s a lot of cool sensors out there!

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such as: tilt sensor, vibration sensor, laser head sensor, sound sensor, temp sensor, motion sensor, soil moisture sensor, flame sensor, clock module, path

For a simple example of an idea I have is to build a box (either with a material that is illuminated or has holes in it) then program LED lights to interact with a sound sensor, put it all in side and wallah! I think a lot of bands would like this for some good ambient set design!

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I really love COZO’S shadow boxes and would love to make something similar but with an arduino with sensors and lights inside!

Something else I am working on involving lights and a motion sensor, so using the same design idea as above, I could have a box that gets brighter or changes color the closer someone walks to it.

I’ve gotten past the first step on this one with the help from here –>https://sites.google.com/site/summerfuelrobots/arduino-sensor-tutorials/ultrasonic-ranging-module-hc—sr04-rgb-led-module

Using technology and sculpture for performance of Social Concept

“This project,  HUSH. It’s a helmet with a panel in the front that people can tweet at to make close at any time. It’s a comment on how we talk to people online as opposed to face-to-face, and how easy is is to shut people off with even a small gesture.” Made using an Arduino and a stepper motor

 

I see this as a really important concept and I love how they brought it to life with this beautiful yet unsettling design.  I’ve never seen a motor incorporated into wearable electronics and i love it! I want to build a wearable wing with motors, sensors and LED lights.