Our first day of Sketching with Hardware started with the principles of electrical engineering.

Hendrik and Sebastian, our advisors, taught us that current is actually quite similar to water. Resistance and voltage were explained, as well as some electrical components like transistors, resistors, potentiometers etc.

Now that we knew the bascis, the fun part of the couse was ready to start!

After the (somewhat embarassing) animalistic teamfinding process, six teams consisting of two students were formed.

Each team received a box, filled with wires, a breadboard, a solderstation, a multimeter an arduino and lots of fun stuff.

The teams explored the practical side of electrical engineering before the first assignment had to be fulfilled: Take a keyboard and create a new form of gamecontroller.

The keyboard was taken apart and the keyboard-controller was removed in order to use it for our purposes. First, each team had to find out which pins on the controller had to be connected for which key (e.g. Space or Arrows).

90 Minutes later (or maybe a little bit more..) six awesome came controllers were presented:

  1. This controller lets the gamecharacter jump by fliping the ball up. A button on the outside of the ball triggers a shoot in the game.
  2. The second team created a contro(w)ller..well, it is supposed to look like an owl and controlled an owl-game. 4 Ballswitches in the center tracked the movement of the ball and triggered the different arrow keys. Oh, and not to forget: The Owl had LED eyes!

  3. Team three had the idea of using the conductivity of water. They filled a ball with a small amount of water which connected two wires at a time.
  4. The fourth team designed a customized controller for „robot unicorn attack“. A Magic wand which fires wishes and a unicorn-tail that, once pulled, forces the unicorn to jump.
  5. Team five made a styropor-steering-wheel for a racing game. The controller worked with Ballswitches that triggered the arrow keys.
  6. Last but not least: The sixth team. Why not controll a car with..a car! The car-controller has four ball switches inside that trigger the arrow keys. A button which looks like a siren pushes the space-key.