Earlier today I returned home from a crazy week in San Mateo, where I was working on putting together the Make Your World tent at the Bay Area Maker Faire. This project was created as a collaboration between the LAB at Rockwell Group and the Intel Experience Research Lab (IXR). By all accounts our booth was a great success.
The Make Your World booth was designed to allow kids to create prototypes of interactive spaces at very basic level. The booth consisted of 4 spaces, a house, a forest, a city and a spaceship. Each space contained a collection of “outputs” such as lights, bubble blowers, bells, sounds, sirens and more. Booth visitors were invited to create their own “inputs” that could be connected across the 4 corners of the space to control “outputs”. These staged spaces with reconfigurable “inputs” and “outputs” were designed to inspire kids to imagine new ways to customize and interact with their environments, and to engage them in learning about technology as means to create this transformation.
Between Thursday and Sunday we had the opportunity to teach thousands of kids (of all ages) one of the most basic concepts of electronics – the switch. There were two main activities at our booth. Below I’ve included a slide show with the pictures from Sunday.
The technology infrastructure for this booth was comprised primarily of 4 mac minis running Processing sketches that controlled a bunch of Arduinos. The Arduinos were used to capture inputs and manage the physical outputs (e.g. motors, lights, etc). It was a great opportunity for me to be able to lead the prototyping effort for this project. It was the first time that I’ve used so many Arduinos in a single installation – there were over 20 of them. Definitely learned some good lessons for my future projects designing interactive spaces.
This project, which was in development for about two months, was one of the reasons why I have not had time to create new posts for my journal. So in the coming weeks I look forward to be able to revive my journal once again.