Friday, December 10, 2010

Modkit Visits Bloomington!

Modkit uses a Scratch like interface
Modkit is a web-based graphical programing environment for the LilyPad Arduino that allows you to drag and drop blocks of code to create programs for physical devices without worrying about making syntax errors. It uses an interface which was heavily inspired by Scratch and built using HTML5 web standards. Since the programming environment is internet based, all your work will be saved online, and available from any computer.  The Modkit was designed to not only use the new simple LilyPad Arduino (for youth), but other arduino boards as well.

The immediate feedback was a huge hit!

Two days were used to plan and train a team from IU's Creativity Lab, who then started a 4 day workshop on October 25th at the Boys and Girls Club on the Modkit in the the club's computer lab.  Each daily session lasted 2 hours and covered basic LilyPad programming like hooking up the LilyPad with alligator clips and programming blinking lights,  musical notes in a speaker and the RGB sensor.

After playing with the Modkit for several days, the youth planned out the designs for their LilyPad projects. Projects included a series of LEDs in a hat that would light in a rotating manner, a backpack that would light and play music when the backpack was worn, a purse with blinking & solid lit LEDs, another purse with rotating LEDs on a flower design and another purse that used the temperature sensor to change the lights behavior.

Solid and Flashing LEDs!
Lit circuits always bring smiles but lit LilyPads seem to bring even bigger smiles! This recently finished black purse was our first LilyPad project to be completed with the Modkit.  It contained three LEDs, two were programmed to be solid and one flashed a programmed pattern.  The battery pack was purposefully hidden on the inside of the bag so only the LilyPad and LEDs were displayed on the outside. 

Warm = Flashing LEDs

Cold = Solid LEDs
The peace sign jean purse took a different approach.  The designer decided to display the battery holder yet hide the conductive thread stitches on the inside of the purse.  The light behavior is designed to be a visual thermostat, controlled by an analog temperature sensor sewn to the LilyPad. The LilyPad was then programmed to flash the two LEDs when in warm conditions while the two LEDs will stay lit under cold temperatures. 

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