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Bend Arduio Group Event and News: Summary of this years events and Bend Bulletin Article

From: David R.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:22 PM
Below is the article in the Bend Bulletin Sunday July 6. regarding the Arduino Workshop series given at the branches of the Deschutes Public Library. The series is sponsored by the Bend Arduino Group, The Tech Alliance of Central Oregon, Strategic Realty, SmartWaiver, and Structus. It originally appeared on the front page of section C.

In this educational program, We have held 3-4 hour  workshops in LaPine, Bend and next week in Redmond. In addition, this year we have held two extended beginner courses at TechSpace and have an Intro to Raspberry PI workshop scheduled for August. We are planning another Deschutes Public Library tour in the fall.

In March, we introduced high school teachers to Arduino at a yearly teachers workshop. On March 29, the Bend Arduino Group held an Arduino Open-House at the downtown library with 200+ visitors attending, exhibiting exclusively locally designed Arduino devices.

In April, we presorted various Arduino devices at Hack Night, hosted by SmartWaiver.

Currently, the Bend Arduino Group has 100 members with twice monthly meetings. In 14 months, we have logged 35 official meeting and 20 Arduino Class meetings.

We now have 3 co-organizers managing the group activities: Steve Lagenderfer, Tom Stueve and James Otting. We also have new members such as Austin Meyers and others contributing greatly to the scope of the group activities.

We have bigger projects planned for the coming months and for next year to do a second annual Arduino celebration to be called Benduino!

David Robson
Organizer
Bend Arduino Group.


Following is the feature article appearing in the SundaySuly 7,  Bend Bulletin regarding the Bend Arduino Group.

Joe Kline / The Bulletin
David Robson, founder of the Bend Arduino Group, shows an Arduino circuit board at the Tech Space in Bend.

Making things Arduino

DPL hosts workshops teaching people how to use platform
By Mac McLean / The Bulletin / @agingbeat
Published Jul 6, 2014 at 12:49AM
If you go
What: Deschutes Public Library system’s Arduino Workshop
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Redmond Public Library, 827 SW Deschutes Ave., Redmond
Cost: Free
Contact: Visit www.deschutes libary.org or [masked] to reserve a spot or get more information about this class.
David Robson turned a knob and the red and yellow lights attached to a small circuit board started flashing in sequence.
His goal was to catch the lone yellow light when it was illuminated by pressing a button on his palm-sized device. It played a little tune if he managed to meet his goal. It buzzed loudly and started the process all over again if he failed.
“We build this in stages,” said Robson. It’s the game he teaches people how to make at a series of Arduino technology workshops he’s hosted for the Deschutes Public Library system over the past month. The last of these workshops will take place Saturday afternoon at the library’s Redmond branch (See “If you go.”)
Pioneered in 2004, Arduino is a rapid-prototype technology platform that combines a specialized microcontroller with interchangeable circuit boards or shields and an open-source programming language that resembles C++.
Robson, founder of the Bend Arduino Group, said that behind this technical-sounding jargon lies a system just about anybody can use to build an array of electronic devices regardless of their computer programming skills or soldering iron technique.
“This device takes a person with practice about 20 minutes to wire,” said Robson of the game circuit board he held in his hand. “For a newcomer it would take about two hours.”
In addition to building the game that tests a person’s reaction time, Robson has used the technology to build an intervalometer that lets his 10-year-old camera shoot time-lapsed photos. He said other group members have used Arduino to build a simple device that measures a plant’s moisture levels and sends the people a text message if it needs to be watered or one that tweets them if they left their garage doors open on the way into work.
Austin Meyers, who has years of programming experience but only started using Arduino 2½ months ago, built a wireless-enabled device that turns an LED on whenever he pushes a button on his laptop screen.
“With a few modifications you could run this off the Internet,” Meyers said, explaining that with a few more modifications, he could hook this device up to his home’s electrical system so that it would turn his lights on, preheat an oven or even record his favorite television shows while he’s at work (or any other place where he can use his laptop).
Robson said the possibilities behind Arduino are endless: A group of Trinity Lutheran High School students used the technology to control their solar-powered car’s acceleration while other people used it to fly their unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.
He said Arduino’s ability to give people the tools they need to invent something and perfect their inventions is one of the main reasons the technology has seen a huge boost in popularity with the rise of “the maker culture” or “the maker movement” — which is focused on building member-driven workshops full of advanced tools that work toward the same purpose.
“The library has had a simmering interest in the maker movement for a while,” said the library system’s community relations coordinator Liz Goodrich, who helped organize the this month’s Arduino workshops.
Though Goodrich said she didn’t understand the technology when she first announced the workshop series in May, she’s got a pretty good idea of how Arduino works now and what it’s capable of producing. She’s seen similar results among the few dozen people who have shown up for the four-hour workshops the library has held on Saturdays since June 7.
With some instruction help from Robson’s group and the Tech Alliance of Central Oregon, Goodrich said, everyone who has walked into these workshops has walked out at least knowing how the blinking lights game Robson demonstrated worked if they didn’t know how to build their own Arduino-powered device.
“It was amazing,” she said, hoping the library can organize another Arduino-themed workshop series this fall.
— Reporter: [masked], [address removed]

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