This is a beginner level workshop series and assumes no knowledge of programming but assumes participants can install software and purchase required materials.
July 16: Kit-Build featuring SparkFun's Danger Shield (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10570). Learn how to assemble/solder IC kits with the Danger Shield (for the Arduino), a collection of input and output devices on a board, useful for testing physical computing projects. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer (or share one with a friend). See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.
LAB: Learn to solder by assembling your Danger Shield (you’ll need it for the other workshops)
July 23: Programming the Arduino: A Primer This workshop will introduce the Arduino, the most popular microcontroller board and programming environment in use by hobbyists and artists today. You will learn how to program this versatile device and you’ll write a program that uses the Danger Shield’s sensors and controls the LEDs. This session will include an overview of the features this versatile platform offers to those interested in sensing the environment and making things move, sound and light-up. Learn how to work in the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) by writing Arduino sketches that blink and pulse an LED using the same programming techniques you might commonly use in your projects to turn switches and devices on and off, and to control the speed of electric motors. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer (or share one with a friend). See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.
LAB: Use the Danger Shield (DS) with the Arduino to add a physical interaction dimension to control the DS’s LEDs.
July 30: Introduction to Processing This workshop will introduce Processing, a software development platform created to teach artists how to write software (called “sketches”). Learn how to work in the IDE to create a sketch that generates animated particles and sound, and you’ll be introduced to how an Arduino can communicate with your processing sketch. You’ll also get an overview of what features Processing includes and gain an understanding of how to learn on your own by studying and tinkering with the many example sketches that come with it. Participants must bring a portable computer or share one with a friend who is also registered for the class. See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.
LAB: Write a sketch that generates a cloud of animated particles, make changes to your code to vary their number, color, speed and trajectories.
August 6: Processing + Arduino Together, featuring the Danger Shield After a quick review of what was learned in the preceding three sessions with a view toward imagining how you might use what you've learned for designing your own projects. Learn how a Processing sketch can control physical devices by using the Arduino's input and output pins, and how physical devices can similarly control your Processing sketch through the Arduino and your computer's USB port. You’ll learn how to control your Processing sketch with the Danger Shield’s sensors, sliders and buttons via your Arduino, and get introduced to controlling the DS’s output devices with your Processing sketch. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer or share one with a friend who is also registered for the class. See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.
LAB: Write a sketch that allows you to affect your webcam's video capture stream by using sensors and and other input devices on the Danger Shield.
The workshops will require a laptop and a webcam. Finally, it will require that all the software be pre-installed so we don't spin our wheels for too long during workshop time.
These workshops are beginner level and targeted at artists and hobbyists wishing to get their feet wet with physical computing by using these free and inexpensive tools and the vast, free resources available online.