NoCoMicro Thingamajigs: A Hands-on Workshop with the Circuit Playground Express


Friday, March 15
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Add to Calendar 2019-03-15 10:30:00 2019-03-15 12:00:00 NoCoMicro Thingamajigs: A Hands-on Workshop with the Circuit Playground Express D. H. Hill Makerspace at the D. H. Hill Jr. Library


Workshop Description

No code?  No problem.  The Circuit Playground is a powerful microcontroller with built-in buttons, lights, sound, and the ability to detect nearby objects and sense up from down.  It can be powered with a battery and sewn into clothing or used as an alterative handheld game controller.  Is it a toy?  If you want it to be.  Is it a tool?  That, too, yes.  But you can do all of this without writing a single line of computer code.   Using the visual Microsoft MakeCode editor, you can turn the Circuit Playground Express into anything from an electronic pet to a data gathering tool for serious research.
In the first part of this hands-on workshop, we will get started with MakeCode and the Circuit Playground, working step-by-step through many of the basics:  flashing the colorful neopixel lights, using the buttons, and detecting right-side-up or upside-down.   We will use the visual editor to teach the Circuit Playground to respond to human interactions, make it wait patiently, and do a bit of math.
In the second part of the workshop, we will work on one complete project using the Circuit Playground, choosing from one of the following options:  Electronic Pet, Political Attitude Meter, Meditation Mentor or another idea suggested by attendees.
The workshop will be led by Elliot Inman, a maker who has led numerous workshops at State and other universities and makerfaires.  An NC State graduate, he has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and works for SAS as a manager of software development focusing on data visualization and SAS’ data-for-good efforts.  In addition to his work in data science, he is passionate about the development of alternative musical interfaces and ways of making music, some of which he occasionally blogs about at Musical Circuits.
This is a workshop for people who have never written a line of code and maybe never even been to an NC State Makerspace before (DH Hill Library, second floor, near the circulation desk, now you know…).  You can bring your own laptop or use one of ours.  Circuit Playground Express microcontrollers will be available for all.  Join us for 90 minutes of microcontroller mayhem.

Contact Information

Colin Nickels

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