Robotic Arts Intro Fall 2018 (IA277.01)

12/7: final work session

Project 2 : Workday!

Today is a final work session. Use the time you have today to problem solve, refine, and think about potential problems. If you have a new technical material and still havent gotten around to work with, today is the time to do some reality check.
Here is today's plan:

Reminder for the schedule

Craft -- Organizing towards Finished project


  1. How to merge or combine code
    • Copy one sketch to another sketch or create new sketch
    • Resolve any duplicating functions or global variables
      • (Functions: void loop(), void setup()
      • Variables: int, float)
    • Resolve any duplicating pin use
    • Delete any duplicate part that is doing the same thing
  2. Comment your code!
  3. Write out what you want your code to do
  4. State Change Detection
  5. SwitchCase
  6. Random_behavior


  1. Wiring: Use connectors, terminals, headers to make your project easily assemble, disassemble or repair
  2. Enclose or not!: Make or get enclusure if you need them to securely cover electronics. Consider visual language in your project. Body of electronics has an aesthetic and it contributes to experience of your work
    Adachi Tomomi
    Peter Blasser
    Benjamin Gaulon
    useless machines

  3. Get extra parts: You never know when your project breaks! Always have back up parts

  4. Circuit boards: Replace your breadboard circuit with more substantial perforated boards or PCB boards

  5. Powering Arduino --- extensive article here
    • Power Adapter: you can use cellphone chargers or computer chargers between 9V and 12V DC and rated for more than 250mA (2.1mm plug, center pin positive)
    • Battery: battery pack with 2.1mm plug can be found in the MICA store. You can use 9V battery to power arduino with 2.1mm plug or Vin pin
    • Rechargeable Batteries: here or here

Arduino Review

Remember these?

PCB milling

We can make our own circuit board and not have to carve it ourselves!
In the IA department, we have this Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine

Using Fritzing

Example fritzing file for making Arduino Shield

When you are making file, consider:

  1. engraving is going to be top or bottom of the board
  2. size of parts and properties
  3. Make sure all traces are not touching or overlapping
  4. All traces must be on the same side of the board
If you are ready to export Gerber file, let me know and we can take a look at it before we mill the board.

3D printing and modeling

3D printers

We have three 3D printers in house! Let me know if you have a file you want to print during the class. I can print them and go over how to use the printers.

3D modeling software

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Documentary link

Fred Turner on Cyberculture and The Democratic Surround

What Machines Can't Do

So..what's wrong with this?

Any child can say, “I’m a dog” and pretend to be a dog. Computers struggle to come up with the essence of “I” and the essence of “dog,” and they really struggle with coming up with what parts of “I-ness” and “dog-ness” should be usefully blended if you want to pretend to be a dog.
This is an important skill because creativity can be described as the ability to grasp the essence of one thing, and then the essence of some very different thing, and smash them together to create some entirely new thing.
Exerpt from an article What Machines Can't do by David Brooks

WEAPONS OF LOVE by Hazuki Katagai

[The Analytical Engine] might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine...Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.

Ada Lovelace

Self Aware robot by Hod Lipson

GreenScreenRefrigerator Part I by Mark Lecky


Work on Project 2!

  • 12/14 Project due / presentation
  • 12/19 Documentation due