Saturday, August 1, 2015

Arduino Interactive Wall is close to complete

After a fun month of building, painting, attaching, coding, 3D printing, our Arduino Interactive Wall has all the components in place! Still some painting and touch up to do. I plan to document all the circuitry and code so we can make sure it is safe to move to a new location.

It was a BIG commitment of resources, time and treasure, but I felt it was worth it. One of the things I love about it is how we were able to collaborate with artist, Sally Dean, AND engineer, Kevin Osborn. They led us all in the concept and creation of it - adults and teens alike. It felt like we were taken on a creative journey together, following the lead of two seasoned experts.

Is this tinkering? Not on the grander scale, but it was certainly problem-solving and skill-building. Some of the teens learned C++ coding, we all perfected our skills with Tinkercad 3D design work, and the movable parts were somewhat dictated by the teens' interests. All in all, about 12 library patrons participated in this project. Many will benefit from seeing the end result, however, and hopefully, it will spur us on to try more micro-processing projects in the future.

A project like this appealed to girls as well as boys, adults as well as children. The interactivity will be a fun addition to walking through the library, we hope.


  1. Wow! I would love to learn more about the process. What kind of coding did the students do? (Activating LEDs, motors?) How much did this project cost? It's intriguing. =)

  2. The code for Arduino is C. The project was a big investment. Our Maker-in-Residence for the month of July cost = $1500, The sessions with the artist= $500, painting supplies = $100, we had the Sparkfun Arduino kits already, added electronics = $200, misc. costs = $200. It would be worth writing a grant for, though, because the "long tail" effect can be pretty transforming. People now see the library as a place where they can watch and experience high level art/electronics installations.

  3. I am so impressed Ellen! I love you take on these creative group projects that allow the younger generation an opportunity to explore and problem solve. It'll go a long way to encourage their "can do" confidence!


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