Arduino (not just for adults you know!)

I was really pleased to get to take my own personal Arduino board (that I bought form Sparkfun) along for this weeks futuretech slot on The Cool Stuff Collective. Being able to get kids, or anyone for that matter, interested in the fact that electronics and programming has never been more accessible with so many open source projects was really dear to my heart.
We actually filmed a lot more for the piece but I think the version we have in the show gets the point across. My willing volunteer had not done any electronics of programming before.
I showed the simple LED on off circuit as that was the least fiddly to build in front of the cameras, and would happily work in a few takes. I then patched in a version on another breadboard that had 2 LEDs so we can show that you can make your own toys, in this case a fire engine.
Hotel room arduino building
The other pieces with servos, sounds etc would actually fill a much longer programme. You could see that the Arduino, along with raspberry PI could fill a gap in make and do software and engineering that could help lift our general tech education in the country and help people realise that open source is a force for good that anyone can contribute too.
I built the circuits in the hotel room the day before the shoot. It looks suspicious to have all these wires and pliers nowadays!
If you are in the UK (Not sure it will work outside) the ITV player has this show for the next week until we have some even more cooler stuff on next weeks show.
It was also good on this show I got to be Stunf Fish as The Blowfish said he couldn’t ride a bike for gadget heaven and hell and we had an electric A2B bike to review. That was a fun, and surprisingly fast electric bike. I think I need to get some sort of electric vehicle!
Oh, and there was a double custard piefest as 2 of the 3 toys were voted Pants not Chilly hot on the cool stuff wall of fame. (Rubs hands with glee as the vengeful Supergeek!)
You have got to love kids TV!

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