Today, I completed the second and final day of the sewable circuits and accelerometer workshop at the High Low Tech Group at MIT. It was great. I got into programming in Java to make the movement of my decorated glove control the action of an object on my computer screen.
I also spent some time decorating the glove with felt strips. There were two major troubleshooting opportunities; these are where the biggest learning occurs. First, I had a very flaky reading from my glove that was finally diagnosed as a loose connection on the – pin on both the accelerometer and the LilyPad board. After sewing those both tighter with conductive thread, that problem was history.
The next problem arose when I started tweaking the base program given to us to control the object. Of course I wanted to make it my own, but I knew no syntax for Java. I have plenty of mathematical logic and some programming in Pascal and Basic, but I have not really played with Java, C, or any of the modern languages. This was a crash course in coding for me, but the tangible results and workshop atmosphere were perfect conditions for me to dive in.
Overall, this was an amazing experience. I met some very amazing people, I got to play with electronics and coding while also doing crafts, and I spent two days just focusing on learning and playing. It was a much needed mental refresher.