As part of their event series :digital brainstorming, Migros Kulturprozent has invited me to give a couple of short afternoon and evening workshops in Basel and Zürich.
Giving short workshops is always difficult for me. On the one hand, I want that the participants can be more creative than if they would just assemble a prepared kit. On the other hand, understanding and building takes time and patience. And building something from scratch when you’ve never worked with electronics before will barely produce exciting results in such a short time.
In the workshop, the participants have built little “Surprise Machines”, based on the “Surprise Controller”. This was a preprogrammed microcontroller with a vast variety of possible behaviours. Depending on which peripherals are connected to which pins of the chip, it always behaved a little bit different.
By preparing the chip in advance, I made it rather easy for the participants to build individual machines rather quick. So they could be creative in designing their device and still, everyone has built a little gadget rather fast. Depending on their individual skills, the little machines are different in their level of elaboration.
I hope your screen is large enough for the following short video where Moriz explaines his machine. If not, hit the fullscreen button of the player.
Here are some pictures:
Kids working hard
Soldering little things
Lurking what others do
Raphael Rogenmoser is thinking
Raphael Rogenmoser is surprised
Gunar’s finished machine
Moriz’ finished machine
You can also download the workshop pdf (in German) to see how simple the different parts were connected. And many thanks go to the nice people of the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society which borrowed us all the solder equipment.