Carol Kozak

Rube Goldberg Machine

I never posted my Rube Goldberg machine.  My machine wasn’t very exciting because I didn’t have much in the way of fun sensors.  I showed it in class.  I used the sensor that came with our start-up kit.  It was a the little silver pressure sensor that you slide your finger across to get different values.  When I got to the end of the sensor the LED turned on.

I would love to do this assignment again now that I have more components and more experience!

OF – addons and classes

I tried these addons: Flocking, and Exploding String but I finally settled on Circle Packer.

Good things: I understand the classes and file structure pretty well (I think) and this structure makes more sense to me than the class set up in Processing.

Bad things:  I think something happened to my empty example file because I kept getting super weird error messages – finally I just reopened my ball from last week and wrote over that sketch and the weird errors went away.  AddOns: It took me a super long time to even get access to the AddOns.  First, I was writing #include FOLDERNAME instead of #include .hFILENAME INSIDE THE FOLDER.  Circle Packer didn’t have an src folder inside of it so I finally realized that I needed to make one and drag the files into the src folder before dragging and dropping.  I also figured out how to change the path to be RELATIVE TO PROJECT rather late in the game.  I was never able to use the Flocking addon because the path couldn’t be followed – even after I figured out all of the above (not sure why), but Circle Packer was working after I figured out the src folder.

I tried a lot of variations but I only managed to get one circle from Circle Packer to draw :(   I think I am very close!

Video of what I have so far

Beginning Open Frameworks

Last Tuesday was my first time opening Xcode or OpenFrameworks.  I went through the examples and tutorials on the oF website and also googled oF tutorials.  I have a nice green-blue ball moving with the mouse but it doesn’t yet bounce on its own.  I followed the tutorials step by step to get here.

Maybe its the intimidating interface but oF feels pretty foreign right now (even though we’ve worked in Processing).  I need to improve my understanding of the language and where commands are placed.  I think with more time bouncing the ball will be fairly painless.  I am very interesting in learning more because of the programs potential.  It will be a great tool to know!

Video Here


Serial Communication

Over the break I f-i-n-ally got Processing and Arduino to communicate.  I think I have may have gone through every problem possible.

Liza mentioned this link below for troubleshooting Serial Communication.  Following these steps didn’t fix my problem and the potentiometer was still not changing the color of the screen.  So I just wanted to say that I would not recommend this link for this particular problem of troubleshooting the mismatch of rx/tx libraries.  I tried it a few times and couldn’t get it to work and I ended up having to uninstall both programs and reinstall.

Bad –

Later I also had problems with my USB drive reading at all and then once that was fixed, reading my port name.  After many different blog searches I finally found Jeremy Blum’s tutorials – super helpful!  He has a number of subjects too.

So if you need help with serial communication – especially troubleshooting – I may be able to help!  And if you are stuck on something Arduino related – try Jeremy Blum!  In the end it really felt good to finally get the serial communication working and I learned a lot in the process.

Here is my video of the Potentiometer changing the color in Processing!

LED cube

I found this a couple weeks ago and have been meaning to share.  Hurricane Sandy gives me a good opportunity to catch up!  I haven’t seen that many LED cubes but this one is pretty great.  It took him six months – scroll down for the video.

Animal – Kitties!

My cat always reacts to my Arduino projects so I figured that I would use her as my inspiration.  And when I started to light the LEDs I thought of kitties along a fence – thus my image.  I wanted to create scaredy cats who “hid” when they heard a noise but after the noise turned off they came back out.  Since we needed four LEDs I decided to have four cats with one being the bravest who always comes back out first.  I wanted to give them a sense of curiosity like they were peeping out from behind a fence after hearing the noise.

Making the enclosure was more difficult than I thought it would be.  I originally wanted to poke the LEDs through the top of the box and reattach them to the Ardunio but I couldn’t see what I was doing very well and as soon as a few things were connected something else would disconnect.  I think soldering in the future will help with this issue.

Scaredy Cat Code



parallel has three lights and series has two lights

I understand the equations involving voltage, current, and resistance:  V = I * R and I was powering my circuit with 6 volts and no resistors but I’m not sure how much resistance each LED takes and also how much the switch takes.  Also, I am not sure why I can’t get the series to light three LEDs.  It will only light 2.  Other than that, the pace and level of understanding for me is good.