Robot Class!

September 17, 2014 Leave a comment
photo by: parallax.com

This little fella and six of his jerk friends made my life very hard yesterday.

I had my first robot class yesterday. It was a nerve wracking run up to the very end. I had to fight my way through panic and flop sweats when I realized 3 hours into prep that I was using the wrong damn robot! I was using the robot with the groovy Arduino Shield as my test when I should have been using the ActivityBot. Different Software, different interface different chassis UGH!

After skipping lunch and talking myself off the ledge, I realized that I was a damn fool for waiting so long. I’m glad the class wasn’t full because I didn’t get a chance to calibrate all the robots and some of them had motor issues. I also was not as familiar with all the handout material as I should have been. Many of the handouts were from the Parallax site and were very detailed and helpful, but a hair too in depth for my needs.

I want to make up some sheets that hit the Breadboard schematics for the LED, Piezo and servo configurations with big, brightly colored images. I then want to figure out a way that the robots can run still hooked into the computer. I need to compile the code sketches for each exercise into one folder and save that onto the shared drive (hear that, future self?). Tonight is the DJ workshop. I hope I’m better prepared for this one.

How to write a PSA script that doesn’t suck

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment

stopsuckingI was honored to share the stage with my Library Brethren yesterday in presenting a little ditty I like to call “Stop that!” I introduced the concept of Librarian Information Extension Syndrome, L.I.E.S.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a MLS, I too struggle with that little insistent voice in your head that whispers “if a little information is a good and helpful thing, isn’t just one more little fact or tidbit of information even better? DON’T Listen to this voice, this voice is the corrosive enemy of good PSA writing, If you listen to this voice you will be a victim of LIBRARIAN INFORMATION EXTENSION SYNDROME. I am susceptible to this, I understand your pain. I wrestle with this problem every day. I have posted the slides on Slideshare.

3D Printed Raspberry PI Case

April 25, 2014 Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to be loaned a Raspberry PI computer from another department. I have yet to download the OS onto a SD card, but the first order of business was to print a hard outer shell for the thing. A Raspberry PI ships as a circuit board with a couple of micro processors on it, some hard wired slots and some Input/Output and you’ve got something to cry about if you ever dropped it.

Went to Thingiverse and downloaded this, made by Daniel Amesberger and modded the cover to include a logo.

The next thing to do is actually plug the thing in and get programming!

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What is an Arduino?

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment

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It is like a super tiny computer that you can program to do things, and it interacts with the world through electronic sensors, lights, and motors. It was made to be easy to use and the language you use to tell it to do stuff is simple. Plants keep dying? Use a moisture sensor to tell the Arduino to tell the clamp on a water tube to open for 3 seconds. With these little devices and some pre-written codes you can dream up all kinds of applications to make life more fun for both you and your plants. Many tinkerers, artists and at-home engineers have been using the boards to build so called “smart” machines that can sense when an event happens and tell motors or servos to take action. This technology is at the heart of the interconnected Internet of Things (IoT)in which objects and data can be joined together into useful automation. Science fiction? Science fact? Learn more and decide for yourself.

The Next 3D Workshop is on the books!

March 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m planning an extra special 3D class in April. Helping me out will be Mr. Ray of computer center fame. We are teaming up to bring you the best class so far. The class covers (as always) the basics of 3D design software, Makerbot buttons and maintenance, and the tips for a perfect print. What is extra special is that we will be focussing on building a customized Lego block!Image

More news soon!

Categories: Teaching 3D Printing

PLA Pre-Conference in 3D design

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment

PLA Pre-Conference in 3D design

All these folks walked away from our workshop with their very own, self designed 3D object, printed on a Makerbot!

Free Book Mark Design

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment

A lady like to read, her cat likes to play!

Here is a little bookmark I made to share with all my book/coffee/cat lovin’ homies. I modeled the lady off my therapist, who is one smart mentor. Feel free to download and distribute as you wish. Here is a PDF suitable for printing.

Categories: Library Art
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