Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Week 2 and Heliotropic Systems

A quick update on week 2-3. We've moved along with arduino learning how to program it using photocells and servo motors to follow a light source, which is quite cool actually, I'm still at the "gee-whiz! It moves!" stage of physical computing. I really think they should teach physical computing in Physics 240 (electromagnetic phyics and includes circuits) and Engin 101 (programing). Learning how to manipulate code to actually have a physical result is much more enganing than the same old compile, run, debug, compile, run, "hello world!'.

Anyway, all of this is leading into heliotropic systems (following the sun, like sunflowers).

Our light source tracker!

The bread board and all the wires inside the base.

We had two servo motors moving our contraption. One on the horizontal (x-axis) making it rotate and follow side to side and the other on the vertical (y-axis) following up and down.

For a quick video of it mostly working (too much ambient light, we set our light threshold a bit to high). Check out my group member, Damien's, flickr site here. Her blog can be found here.

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