posts tagged with the keyword ‘arduino’


Arduino for Beginners

It seems like just a week ago I mentioned a book, and it was, but here’s my confession: being a contributing photographer to a book is pretty simple. At least it has been in my experience. Writing a book is a huge beast, and while I did not take on such a herculean task, John Baichtal did, and somehow he convinced me to serve as the Technical Editor, and the result is Arduino for Beginners: Essential Skills Every Maker Needs.

The project took nearly a year, and my part consisted of getting chapters from John and checking everything for technical accuracy, and then passing them on to Rick at Pearson. Reading a book is one thing, but reading a book and closely examining everything in it for anything that may not be technically correct is another. I was also instructed to ignore any grammatical errors, which was hard for me, as I was only supposed to edit technical information. (Yes, there were a few typos. Just a few. ;)

Arduino for Beginners

My name is in print. I know, we’re in the future now, and dead trees are dead and what not, but I still like the fact that there’s ink on paper in a book and it’s got my name in it. Did I mention the entire process took about a year?

If you think this book would be useful for you or someone you know who is getting into using Arduinos, grab a copy from Amazon.

(Oh, and shortly after the book came out I was contacted about another book project, this one involving me writing the book, which I sadly declined. There’s just no way I’d have the time to do it right, and I didn’t want to give a partial effort to such a large project.)


Make: Lego and Arduino Projects

Leave it to me to forget things! I forgot to mention that my Arc-O-Matic was mentioned in the book Make: Lego and Arduino Projects. Get to chapter 3 and you’ll see one of my photos.

I should mention that I have not actually read the whole book, I ended up loaning it to someone who is way more into LEGO and Arduino stuff than I am, but if you want more info on it, WIRED has a nice write-up, and you can buy it from Amazon or directly from O’Reilly.

John Baichtal (one of the authors) has another book in the works which I’ll have a hand in, but we’ll save that story for another time.



The Beaver Dam Area Arts Association invited me to take part in a show titled “Beyond Your Imagination” which opens January 6, 2013 and runs through February 10, 2013.

So, you know, between the holidays, work, traveling, and other projects, I had to scramble to get Friday Night Drawbot and the Arc-O-Matic up and running again, with new code, and new parts, and create some art… with the help of robots.

So, consider yourself invited to the Seippel Homestead and Center for the Arts, 1605 North Spring Street, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin to view the show. If all goes well I will be there Sunday, January 13, 2013 for a live demonstration of the art robots.

Friday Night Drawbot

tl;dr: See robot art I created. With robots.

Update! Here’s a video of the bots in action.

Update! Here’s a photo from the show opening, courtesy of Jason Gullickson.




Once again Gallery Night was a blast… This time myself and the Milwaukee Makerspace guys joined forces with Bucketworks and showed the art-lovers of Milwaukee what we do. (Make things!)

Since both Drawbots were busy at the Art Milwaukee Wedding event, I needed something new to show. (And yes, I did say “both” because there are now two rolling drawbots.)

Anyway, I saw this blog post over a year ago, and made a mental note to explore the idea more, and I did, and the result is the Arc-O-Matic: a robotic drawing arm that makes arcs. Well, that’s basically what it does at this point. See the Arc-O-Matic project page for all the details.

People seem to really like seeing machines that draw, which means I’ll probably keep on exploring the world of art robots.

File Under: FUN.

(Also, if anyone knows who I can talk to at Sharpie about a sponsorship, I’d appreciate it!)



The CheerLights folks posted about my build, but at the time I hadn’t been able to provide many details, so I wrote up some details

CheerLights is a fun little project that is powered by ThingSpeak, a service which makes it easy to use Twitter as a control mechanism for the Internet of Things.

CheerLight Innards

Originally I just tossed a few notes up on the Milwaukee Makerspace wiki, but now I’ve got some code on GitHub and a detailed project page for my CheerLight.


Here’s my CheerLight connected to my MacBook Pro, ready to change colors at your command.

(And yes, my project is called "CheerLight" mainly because it consists of just one light. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with.)

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