As of day four, the time has come for the six teams to rack their brains about fiddling around with the prototypes using the ideas gathered through the brainstorming sessions the week before. The sun, still pounding its seemingly endless heat into our lab, was only partly repressed by installing and building our own fans (why not use our newly gained know-how?) :-)
However, the heat couldn’t impede our evolving progress on the prototypes:
Team 1: Mastering the Solderings
Working on their digital audio workstation and music sheet reader, a lot of soldering for the light sensors had to be done.
Throughout the day, this task has been accomplished with great satisfaction. Also, after some smaller obstacles with a magnetic fixture for the toaster handle, there have been great results with the light sensors and cable spaghetti management.
Sarcastic yet humorous comments from our team lead like “You like to switch the negative and positive pole, don’t you?”, “Some electrical shock could be a good lesson” didn’t spoil the moods. :-)
Team 2: Mutilate that Teddy Bear!
For a cyborg teddy to be born, it first had to be sliced into pieces.
While it seemed that today’s birthday girl had lots of fun chopping off that teddy’s head and pinching out its eyes in order to fill it with electronics, some problems also emerged. Hacking an old mp3-player’s buttons turned out to be easier said than done: finding the right current and producing good sound proved to be quite strenuous. Towards the end of the day, however, starting and stopping the mp3-player via pressure sensors was already possible.
Team 3: Microengineering
Team “Walkman remote” now rustled up some sickly looking vintage Walkman. After disassembly, there has been a lot of struggling trying to fit all necessary components and cables into its relatively tiny case. Furthermore, translating the Walkman’s buttons and switches to address Arduino’s logic showed to be kind of a hassle.
Team 4: Refunctioning an Oscillograph
In order for their old oscillograph to reveal its great, gear filled look inside the case, team 4 decided to design and laser cut some acrylic glass to a new, now transparent part of the chassis. Requiring 4 attempts to do so, this design task turned out to be the main focus point of the day. After all the trouble, it showed to be worth the effort. Furthermore, it is now possible to control the newly attached servomotors through the connected joystick.
Team 5: Raspberry vs Windows; Python vs. Team 5!
Bright prospects in the morning: Authentification and uploading files on dropbox through a Python script works!
Since Arduino Uno is not quite capable of handling all the data coming from a scanner, its competition “Raspberry Pi” was to take its place. After quite a while of installing Raspbian, this slim Debian derivate disappointed by lacking support for the scanner. Therefore, good ol’ Windows XP on an Eee-PC had to do the job.
Afterwards, the wrestle with necessary Python modules, their different required Python versions and promising though non functioning “Easy-Easy Installers” from the depths of the WWW took the rest of the day until 7:30 pm.
Team 6: Fully Charged Capacitor + Curious Adrenalin Junkie = Sensational Short
Capacitor 1 : 0 Student.
This big capacitor definitely won one curious student’s respect today. While experimenting with this at first seemingly harmless piece of electronic in order to get the flashgun to work, the capacitor impressed by creating its own noisy flash when shorted. :-)
Besides making this involuntary experience with electrical shorts, a lava lamp has been boiled and disassembled, and an accelerometer and an EMG-chip have successfully been soldered and addressed for the arm muscle tension-measuring wristband.