The build continues with us making the structure more stable, painting the external rings with blackboard paint and running a motor test to see it moving one of the rings (as you can see on the video). There are still more work and tweaks to be done but we are getting close to finishing. Seeing the motor running the ring was a good end of a long day for both of us. At least we now know it works.
Reflecting on the project so far
Due to our conflicting schedule and the fact that Mike is currently studying a PhD and working full time at the same time, we have encountered many delays so progress might seems slow. However I really appreciate his hard work and willingness to continue this project.
Assisting in building the prototype made me notice even more the differences between our working practices. Planning and accuracy are important when it comes to what we are building, all the components have to fit perfectly together in order for the design to work and run smoothly. I am used to improvisation, spontaneity and the attitude of there are no mistakes. I also don’t consider myself to be particularly neat so I was a little anxious when I was helping, worrying that I might break something. In this working process, which seems very different to mine, I am also trying to learn as much as I can, learning names of tools and parts and what they do. Mike even got me to connect wires to a motor controller. Even though to some it might be very basic stuff but they were new to me and I am happy to learn and this is why I am really glad to have received this bursary to enable me to have a chance to see another field, a different working process and most importantly learn more.
We also had a quick look at the Arduino codes that run the motors. Having a background in programming, I am interested to look into this further and see whether we could program the motors to do interesting things. In the past, I was never too keen on programming, but somehow it seems a lot more interesting when the code affects the physical world. We shall see how that goes.
Whilst on the same subject, I noticed [SPACE] runs two dedicated spaces for creative technology and runs workshops on Arduinos and other interactive design technology there too. Codasign, who, I believe, runs some of these workshops at [SPACE], also has some interesting resources.