May 25, 2011
Arduino Skill Share Class
Cost of beginners Arduino kit: €80.
Lessons from one of Ireland’s top robotics head: (graciously donated for) Free.
Brilliant workshop space on Georges St: (again graciously donated for) Free.
Our first skill share class: Priceless.
Our latest Brando interest is in Arduino. “Riiiiight”, you’re probably thinking to yourself. And what exactly is Arduino?
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
The word ‘interactive’ caught our attention here at Brando. Below is an older (but personal favorite) example of using Arduino with social media- Sony Ericsson’s #pumpt campaign.
Keep in mind that Arduino can be, and is, used in much more advanced projects than this, but this is simple, fun and effective.
When I mentioned I was interested in learning Arduino to a few people at the agency, other people said they were interested too. We had all been following, emailing, sharing or RT’ing projects that used Arduino and wanted to learn how to do it ourselves- this way we could design and build our own Arduino based projects.
So with heavy influence from brilliant organizations such as Brooklyn Brainery and Brooklyn Skill Share that organise classes for people who want to teach and people who want to learn, I thought it would be good to get a class together.
Brooklyn Brainery is accessible, community-driven, crowdsourced education. We host cheap classes on anything and everything. All course topics are dreamed up and suggested by you, and our teachers are a group of awesome people from around Brooklyn and the whole city. Anyone can teach–you just need a passion for the topic and a desire to share it with others.
An ask went out on Twitter to David McKeown, Founder of Irish Robotics Club and Post Doctoral Researcher in TRIL, UCD (also a great guy and pal from Science Gallery). He graciously agreed to teach a few of us from the agency. But a few people saw the tweet and we picked up even more interest. Our class grew.
Robots.ie had one dream hardwired into its circuits, to provide a place where the people of Ireland could share their robotic ideas, learn to build robots of their own and be blissfully happy.
Hilary O’ Shaughnessy, Joint Artistic Director of Playgroup and Artistic Director of Make and Do saw the tweet and offered a space for free.
All of a sudden we had a little class and a place to make arduino.
So when we got it all together, what did we do? We learned how to…
- make a light blink
- wire up a button and write code to turn button on and off
- install and program a dimmer switch
And all of a sudden, we were well on our way to making an at-home breathaliser. But this is just the beginning…
A very big thank you to David McKeown and Hilary O’ Shaughnessy for their time, knowledge and space donation!
I’m getting a similar group of skill sharing together here in Dublin for regular meet-ups. If you’re interested in sharing your skills to a small class please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a tweet to @BethKocher or @Brando_Digital.