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Topic: Some really basic questions about using Arduino for interactive art (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

freedda

I'm looking at ways to add some movement, lighting, and/or sounds to my art pieces; for example, to have lights turn on or off for certain areas of a piece; or to have a screen come up or down, hiding or revealing parts of a piece; or to have a part of a piece turn or have movement; or having sounds or a video start/stop.

I know nothing about microcontrollers or programing.

So:
Where would you suggest I start?

Are the software and products easy enough to learn and use so that someone like me (very un-tech savvy) can make use of them?

Any good kits or 'parts' that would be of use?

Would I be able to work with one of my existing computers for the 'programing' part: either a windows 7 laptop, windows 10 Acer 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, or my Asus Android tablet?

Best, David.

pert

Where would you suggest I start?
The examples that come with the Arduino IDE under File > Examples, especially the ones under "Built-in examples", and the tutorials that go with the examples:
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage
You should make sure you actually understand each example (not just "cool the LED blinks") before moving on to the next one. To make sure your understanding is complete, make some modifications to the code and then verify it does what you expect. You don't need to do every example. You should definitely do the ones under 01.Basics and 02.Digital but then after that you can skip over any that are clearly not applicable to your projects.

Are the software and products easy enough to learn and use so that someone like me (very un-tech savvy) can make use of them?
The whole idea behind Arduino is to remove as many unnecessary complications as possible while still providing a very powerful platform. There are some complicated things that just can't be avoided. So you're going to need to have some perseverance but there is a ton of information available to answer any question you might have and the people here on the forum are happy to help everyone who is making a genuine effort.

Any good kits or 'parts' that would be of use?
I'm not sure about a specific kits. I've always preferred to just buy the things I need individually. There are definitely some nice kits available if you want to go that route.

As far as parts, to get started this would be my recommendations:
  • Arduino Nano (two if you can afford it so that you don't get derailed in case you break one)
  • USB mini cable if you don't already own one
  • 830 point solderless breadboard
  • Male to male jumper wires
  • Male to female jumper wires
  • LEDs (leaded so you can use them with the breadboard)
  • RGB LEDs (leaded so you can use them with the breadboard)
  • 200 ohm resistors for the LEDs (leaded so you can use them with the breadboard)
  • Tactile switch (leaded so you can use them with the breadboard)

You can have a lot of fun and learn a lot without spending much money just with those minimal components. Then you can start adding on other parts that are interesting to you (e.g. a Servo and a PIR motion sensor).

Would I be able to work with one of my existing computers for the 'programing' part: either a windows 7 laptop, windows 10 Acer 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, or my Asus Android tablet?
The first two definitely. The Android tablet, not so much. There is some 3rd party "Andruino" thing but since you have real computers I'd go with those instead.

slipstick

All the things you mention can be done with Arduinos and assorted other components (you can't do a lot with video but can switch a player on or off).

Your computers are fine for the programming. I use a Win7 laptop and/or a Win10 laptop.

There are quite a few different Arduino Starter Kits available. They usually contain an Arduino board(the UNO is a good one to start with) and a lot of other components including LEDs (lights), a motor and a servo (for making things move) and things like ultrasonic sensor (measure distance to something), PIR sensor (sense people moving about) etc. They will normally also have instructions for a number of projects to get you started. I'd get one of them and work through a few projects that catch your eye.

I'm not ideally placed to say how easy this stuff is to learn because I've been playing with electronics and computers of all sorts for about 50 years so I found microcontrollers easy to pick up. It mainly needs a logical mind and some attention to detail. Computers of all sorts are very literal, a misplaced dot or a capital letter instead of a lower case one can stop everything from working.

Steve

nielyay

Actually you need to start learning arduino from basic.

There are many arduino kits available on any store.

Quote
I'm looking at ways to add some movement, lighting, and/or sounds to my art pieces; for example, to have lights turn on or off for certain areas of a piece; or to have a screen come up or down, hiding or revealing parts of a piece; or to have a part of a piece turn or have movement; or having sounds or a video start/stop.
Thats all is available on arduino kits.

and for program examples you can search on it.

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