Gray Area Foundation – openFrameworks and Arduino Workshop

Instructors: Joshua Noble Author of “Programming Interactivity”

Dates: September 25 & 26, 2010

Time: 12 – 6pm on all dates

Select ticket:
Non-Member Registration $240.00 GAFFTA Member Registration $216.00 +Materials Non-Member Registration $290.00 +Materials GAFFTA Member Registration $266.00

Description: A workshop to learn how to create physically interactive applications using Arduino and openFrameworks. We’ll explore how openFrameworks and C++ work and how they can communicate with Arduino applications and devices. Students will learn some of the basics of how the Arduino and openFrameworks platforms work, learn to how to connect the two, and then get started working with two of them to start making applications that can react to physical input and the make physical feedback using buttons, knobs, servos, LEDs, and computer vision.

Awesome to see more Arduino workshops turning up. This one’s in the Bay Area, it’s 6 hours, and apparently pretty comprehensive. There’s a materials fee of $50 if you aren’t set up to do arduino projects just yet — pretty good deal for the Arduino Duemilenove, the USB cable (just those two would run you up to $50), a breadboard, and some components.

Magnetic Levitation with Arduino

Norbert Požár levitates stuff using an Arduino-controlled electromagnet.  I'm going to let the video speak for itself on the awesomeness of this project.  If you want all the details (including derivations of the equations behind it), check out his website.

Centipede Arduino Shield Now Available

Store link:…

Finally, we have these in production! Took a lot longer than expected, due to some other urgent projects with Tangible Interaction, and Maker Faire. Anyway they’re here and I think they look great.

The Centipede Shield adds 64 general purpose digital I/O to your Arduino. By “general purpose I/O” I mean that each pin can be individually configured as an input or an output, just like the normal digital pins on an Arduino. We’ve also cooked up a library that makes it easy to talk to the Centipede Shield; the syntax very similar to the normal Arduino digital pin commands.

Need 64 digital inputs and outputs? This aptly named Arduino shield does the needful.

Arduino GPS — not exactly pocket-sized, but cool!

This is a sketch to interface an Arduino, SparkFun GPS Shield and Nuelectronics LCD Keypad Shield together in a useful way, providing all the functionality of older commercial GPS receivers.

The sketch provides four modes of operation: current location, heading and speeddistance traveled, average and maximum speedbearing, distance and ETA to a way-point; and the date and time. All settings can be configured on the fly from a configuration menu, and the settings are saved in EEPROM so they are persistent between power cycles.

The sketch uses Mikal Hart's excellent TinyGPS library and includes code from the ArduPilot Projectfor navigation.


This is the power of Arduino shields — it's possible to integrate a few shields to add all the functionality you need for an Arduino-based navigation system.  It's also the power of open source: By getting started with open source Arduino code, you can build projects fast!

Wii Nunchuk Arduino Controlled Model Train

Wii Nunchuk Controlled Model Train

Using an Arduino microcontroller, an Adafruit motor shield, and a Wii Nunchuk, you can create a intuitive, programmable, model train controller to run your layout.  Amaze your friends.  Entertain your kids.  Not quite DC, not quite DCC.  You’re headed for the hacker lands of PWM (pulse-width modulation).

Why do this?
 – Pulse-width modulation allows smooth operation at slow speeds.
 – Set realistic rates of acceleration and braking.
 – Set maximum speed to avoid derailments.
 – Program operational responses to meet your operating style.
 – Control train based on sensors, auto reversing, whatever.
 – Because you can, and it is cool.

There seems to be a lot of interest from the model train community in arduino projects to control various aspects of the trains, lights, and other infrastructure. It’s pretty interesting. There’s a lot you could do using sensors of all kinds to logic your trains around. We’ll be posting a lot more model train arduino projects to be sure.

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