On 27-29 May we had a quite important event here in Gdańsk (@ the City Culture Institute) – we had our own DIY workshop founded on the idea of FabLabs run by the personae of Maciek Wojnicki (A.K.A. Mananasoko), who:
Produces interactive installations and apps based on open source software and hardware. Working at the intersection of design, technology and DIY (…) creates its own projects, runs workshops and maintains both technical background and know-how for the projects of friends. (http://www.o.bzzz.net/en/)
The idea of the event was to test the concept of a FabLab in our environment via a series of workshops in scope of:
- Basics of analog electronics
- Creating Arduino based electronic devices
- Programming multimedia applications based on Processing language
- Creating Android applications
- Arduino-PC communication
- PC reading and visualisation of Arduino output data
- Launching simple self-made applications on an Android mobile phone
- Android–PC–Arduino comunnication
Seems a lot for a 3-day, 12 hour in total workshop – that’s what I thought before the event :) The facts are: we really did every single one of those topics. With more or less help from Maciek, we experienced the blissful feeling of creating a responding piece of open source technology in good company :)
First of all – the workshop was totally free of charge and all the materials (including an Arduino per capita) were rounded up and available on the spot also free of any charge – cool. We started with very basic electronics:
-Would you like to make a mechanism that turns a little light on and off?
- Let’s do it!
And so on the following days:
- Would you like to do a mechanism that turns a servomotor to the direction where there is more light?
- So we have written our pong game (Processing ladies and gentlemen, Processing… :)), now it’s time to make an Arduino-potentiometer controller for the puck.
Who are “we” in this plot? We were a highly mixed group of people with different:
- Expectations: to make instruments, to make use in architecture, to make use in permaculture, to see how these workshops work, , to make use in design, to get basic training, to get higher training, etc. (it’s a shame I didn’t write them all down; you would really be amazed)
- Hobbies and interests: music, physics, tinkering, cohabitats, permaculture
- Occupation: architects, designers, wanderers, project managers, musicians, inspectors of marine waters (I believe that’s the proper translation :))
- Practical experience with electronics and Arduino: none, some, hobby, professional
But attended the workshop to achieve the same goal, and that is learn the Arduino and meet new interesting people with new interesting ideas.
If you ever come across an invitation to these gatherings, don’t miss out. You won’t get this kind of action on youtube DIY videos but also don’t expect a certificate at the end of the day, if you know what I mean :)
A good start for the workshops. What’s next for the “Zrób to sam 2.0″? Well, there will be several more workshops, as Maciek assumes, in the next cycles the participants will learn how to build an open desing 3d printer (propably a RepRap Prusa) and a CNC and the last cycle should be dedicated to executing a project (be it for example a musical instrument) chosen by the group. Eventually, Maciek hopes (so do I) to push this convention further and establish a model fablab environment and hopefully animate a proper fablab community.
Next coverage – workshop on constructing a RepRap Prusa during ZTS 2.0, second cycle.
And here’s a little treat for all you Fablab enthusiasts :)