Our next Maker, Adrian Koh, is an engineer in the factory automation sector who recently discovered the joy of incorporating art into his electronic toys, despite his disdain for art during his school days.
At his Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 booth “Art and Kits”, Adrian will showcase interesting artistic projects made with electronic stuffs and off-the-shelf DIY kits.
How his passion grew
Adrian shared that he has always been fascinated by visual display using lights.
Through our interview, Adrian revealed that the growth of his passion for electronics could be traced to an electronic kit making class that he attended at the Science Centre Singapore in 1986. He was only in Primary 6.
Since then, electronics became both his hobby and his study discipline. During his Polytechnic Final Year Project, he created a 96 by 96 LED matrix board to display graphics via a self developed PC software.
Three years ago, his hobby moved to the next level when his cousin in the advertising line invited him to use his electronics knowledge to create some visual displays for his client.
The PIC micro-controller art piece shown in the picture above is Adrian’s pride. He shared that the PIC was used popularly by hobbyists before Arduino came along. The LED bars can be lighted up speedily column by column and the intensity can make it appear like a full screen displaying an animation. Adrian had plotted the animation graphics on an excel sheet which was subsequently converted to meaningful data for the PIC micro-controller, an activity which he strongly advocated for the training of both the left and right brain. To Adrian, there is a great sense of satisfaction doing this despite it being mind-boggling as well!
While he pursues this passion largely on his own, he has a friend who shared the same interest. That is the same friend who introduced Adrian to take part in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, so that they can promote the learning of electronics via DIY kits.
Fun with Arduino
Besides the PIC micro-controller, Adrian also plays with the Arduino. His first project was a 1-minute count-down device to allow his niece and nephew to monitor the time when playing games! Isn’t that cool?
It turns out that Adrian also try to cultivate the interest of his niece and nephew in electronics by getting their help with simple tasks such as placing of components and even simple soldering of some of the DIY kits he puts together. Adrian’s niece and nephew must be the envy of many. Not many Singaporean children have the chance to have customised toys, not to mention having the chance to make them!
According to Adrian, relearning art gave him a new perspective to things. Contrary to his early belief, he now feels that it is equally important to develop the left and right brain, to allow creative thinking to dream and create ideas and to develop logical thinking to plan and execute those ideas. With this, Adrian began to put together hobby kits to help people develop themselves in these two aspects.
Check out Adrian’s booth if you would like to find out more about his projects and his hobby kits.