This is a combination of 3 workshops offered over several hours. The workshops are about building, progamming, and using arduino microcontroller boards to do cool stuff. You do not need ANY previous experience to attend these workshops; all you need are the materials specified below and your own curiosity!
We will begin with a Freeduino workshop where students will learn to build a freeduino (an open-source arduino-compatible clone) and get it up and running with the arduino programming environment. The other workshops will teach students to use an arduino to control RGB LEDs with TLC5940 LED driver chips, and to control sensors and motors. These workshops will begin after the first freeduino workshop, and will be in a separate area of Bug Labs' excellent space, so anyone can buy and build a freeduino kit while the other workshops are happening. The entire time, people will be available to help get your freeduino kit built, get the arduino progamming environment set up, and get your freeduino blinking an LED (Hello, World).
Workshop 1: Freeduino Workshop (1:15 PM and again at 3:15 PM)
Learn basic soldering skills, build an arduino clone kit, get help setting it up on your laptop, and write a basic arduino program to blink an LED! Students will leave with a working arduino clone and the arduino environment and basic programming skills to control the arduino.
This workshop requires students to buy or bring their own freeduino kit(s), and requires a laptop to program the assembled board. This workshop will be offered twice, once at 1:15 PM and again at 3:15 PM.
Workshop 2: TLC5940 (Blinky LEDs!) Workshop (3 PM)
We will build an array of 16 full-color (RGB) LEDs under full software control using the TLC5940 controller chip (http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/tlc5940.html). RGB LEDs are LEDs with red, green, and blue elements, which allow you to mix colors to get any color, e.g. purple or orange. Students will learn to build and control the array and program their own visual effects.
Students are required to have the TLC5940+LED kit above, and an arduino and laptop, and will leave with a cool-looking blinky thing. This workshop will be offered once, at 3 PM.
Workshop 3: Motors and Sensors (5 PM)
Students will learn how to use a servo, stepper, and DC motor with an arduino. We will also cover reading sensor data and controlling motion based on the sensor inputs. Kit materials include everything you need (except the arduino and a laptop) to build your own little robot!
Students are required to have the motors and sensors kit above, and an arduino and laptop. This workshop will be offered once, at 5 PM.
Materials To Bring:
- Laptop - Any OS is fine. If you have time, download and install the latest arduino IDE, available here (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software), but we'll have it available if you don't.
- Arduino or Freeduino Clone - You can buy a freeduino kit above or bring your own kit.
- USB Cable, Type A to Mini-B Cable - The freeduino kits we are providing use this type of cable to connect the board to your computer. It is a very common cable for digital cameras and cell phones - see picture below. We will have some for use and/or sale if you don't have one, but you will eventually need one to program your arduino at home, and it'll be easier if you bring your own cable.
- Soldering Iron [Optional] - We will provide soldering irons and solder, but if you have one and can bring it, great.
USB Type A and mini-B connectors.
The freeduino workshops will involve soldering irons and other hand tools; attendees are required to handle these tools safely and responsibly. Well-behaved children over the age of 10 are allowed if supervised by a parent. Any profit from the workshops will go toward equipment and materials for future workshops and establishing a new hacker space in NYC.