“Wouldn’t it be great if I could create and make my own electronic gadgets.”
If the above thought has ever crossed your mind, visit Wai Him’s booth and experience for yourself how you can translate that dream into reality. It is easy to get the Arduino hardware, download and setup the necessary software on a computer and start tinkering. You could be the next great inventor. Take that ‘One small step’ and make your way to his booth. It might just turn out to be a ‘Giant leap’. (for better or worse…)
Wai Him is a hobbyist who has been interested in electronics since secondary school. In those days, he built his own electronic gadgets to give his class-mates harmless electric shocks or make simple blinking bulb circuits (flip-flop) out of curiosity.
His other hobbies include building and flying remote-control (RC) aircrafts as well as building and programming robots.
These hobbies involves electrical, electronics and mechanical parts. His work space at home resembles a mini-workshop with tools and parts and lots of drawers.
Coupled with an interest in these ‘technology hobbies’ and being the father of two sons, he looks for interesting way to share concepts of maths, science and technology with them so that they don’t merely see the topics as curriculum that are to be learned in school for passing examinations but as an integral part of daily lives.
He wishes to share, support and promote the Maker movement in the hope that more people will become interested in technology and in turn would be motivated to ‘Learn rather than to be Taught’.
His view on The Maker Movement
Advancement in electronics has lead to a reduction in the cost and size of electronic devices. The open source movement and the Maker movement coupled with the internet has resulted in ease, convenience and relative low-cost for the average person to create and make ‘stuff’ as a hobby.
Unfortunately information overload makes it difficult for the average person, especially those not familiar with electronics, to take the first step in building their own electronic gadget. Wai Him will be showing what is needed to start ‘playing’ with the Arduino platform from scratch and how to progress to make your own gadgets. He hopes that the presence of the physical items as well as someone to demonstrate and share right in front of your very own eyes would motivate you to start on your own journey of discovery.
A Glimpse of the Possibilities
The Arduino circuit board comes in various shapes and sizes to perform different functions. Some of the Arduino boards are as shown.
The Arduino can be used as the ‘brain’ of a simple robot like the one shown.
This robot is capable of detecting the presence or absence of a (Black) line and would follow or ‘track’ the line as it moves forward.
The robot consists of 2 motors for propulsion. It has an LED for emitting light and a light sensor to detect the amount of reflected light.
You could probably think of more tasks for your robot to execute.
This picture shows a 3 x 3 x 3 LED cube. The stand-alone unit when powered up provides many hours of mesmerising non-stop blinking.
You can see the electronic components at the base of the transparent casing. A small battery secured beneath the (black) base powers the unit.
Would this serve as an interesting birthday gift ?
Wai Him is currently working on a 4-digit 7-segment LED display.
This display can be used to show numeric information. It could serve as a clock to show the time or as a calendar to show the date. According to Wai Him, he will be using this as a counter to show the number of ‘Likes’ his booth gets. But please do not confuse this with the internet version that you are familiar with. In this version, you will have to be physically at the event to activate the ‘Like’.
The possibilities are endless. But would you be starting on this journey?
[Note: This write-up was contributed in full by Wai Him himself. Thank you, Wai Him. ]