Digital Biocrafting Demonstrations and MiniWorkshop

Held first set of demonstrations of sensors and actors that can be brought into the field.

Over the weekend worked with Toni and Peter. Peter had arduino experience from my work with him last summer, so I started him on more advanced circuit making and the fickle problems of ATTinies. Toni on the other hand had never touched computer code in her life, and knew nothing about electronics. So i started her off with simple circuit building and LED blinking examples, but she was so delighted, and kept absorbing so much, within an hour we were onto building full moisture sensing to servo controlling mechanisms.


Over the next two days she kept independently going through her code to figure out all the parts, and at the beginining of the workshop on monday, triumphantly stormed in, showed off her contraption to everyone around, and then sat down with a ring of people to teach them all how to do the same! It was impressive. I’ve never seen this sort of enthusiasm for coding and electronics from any engineer.

I was flustered in my presentation and speaking rapidly about all sorts of different topics, but people seemed to just enjoy it all. It’s tough because there is so much i want to tell them about and show them, and it is hard to avoid driving a conversation over the cliffs of deep tangents. I could avoid this, install some safety rails by better preparing these presentations, but there is so little time for refinement here. Also, living in a place perpetually in flux, over-preparation can actually be a hindrance in many cases. I have to stay flexible and adapt to the shifting situations, but I also need to be prepared enough to take on what happens.

Plus I came in at 6am and worked straight through until starting at 4:05 (when the presentation needed to begin). I built a ton of things that I had only theoretically made before:

  • ATTINY Blow Laser (Thanks Paul O’Neil!)
  • Distance Sensor to Addressable RGB LED Strip
  • RFID Bug Identifier (with Processing)
  • Honeybee Census machine to Servo Indicator
  • (Peter Marting) PhotoSensitive Bristlebot
  • (Toni Hubancheva) Moisture Sensor to speed control of wiggling servo

I will have video of the presentations, and documentation for all these projects up later!