Sunday Update | January 17, 2016

This was my first full week back at work since the holidays, so I wasn't as productive as last time. Of course, the previous update was a collection of work from a couple weeks of vacation, so it's not exactly a fair comparison. That being said, I was working on something new in my free time. You may have heard of it. It's called...

Arduino!

Yes, that is a makeshift second desk, built out of cardboard boxes and foam.

Yes, that is a makeshift second desk, built out of cardboard boxes and foam.

I started messing around with an Arduino last weekend, and have been doing some of the tutorials after work throughout the week. It's a lot more fun than I had expected, and I love how much I'm learning already with coding and electronics. Pictured below are what look like the same thing, but are actually several very different projects using sensors and LEDs.

This all started because I decided I wanted to get into robotics and ordered an Arduino-based robot kit a couple of weeks ago (bottom right of the first picture), which in turn was started because I got a littleBits kit from Propelland for Christmas. It's an interest that I've had for some time, but not something I considered seriously until it wound up in my hands - quite literally! 

Anyways, most of the images you see are NOT of the robot kit because it took two weeks to get here, despite a supposed delivery time of a few days. Instead, I got impatient and borrowed the Arduino from work to play with in the mean time. In short, circuits are fun and not nearly as complicated as I had thought, and coding is a lot more fun that I remembered.

Believe it or not, this is actually the neatest it's been all week.

Believe it or not, this is actually the neatest it's been all week.

The robot did eventually arrive, but what seemed at the time like the perfect thing to get me started was now far too simple. It's not that I'm doing anything advanced yet - mostly just following tutorials and putting a little spin on them for a challenge - but I'm already getting used to wiring everything up by hand and writing the code. The robot kit is little more than an expensive toy made from really pretty anodized aluminum and frosted lasercut acrylic (I think I'll keep it just because of that). 

I'll hopefully add a bit more later, but in an attempt to keep a schedule I'll post this as is. Just in case I don't, I should add that I've started reading Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. I'd like to think it is merely coincidence, but it would seem I'm in a bit of a robot phase!