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Massimo Banzi and Tom Igoe

interaction10 got underway today in Savannah, Georgia, and among the first workshops of the day was Arduino project co-founder Massimo Banzi’s Tangible Interface Prototyping (Massimo, left, is pictured above with fellow Arduino team member Tom Igoe). Massimo’s workshop featured the soon-to-be-released TinkerKit, a collection of pluggable sensor modules designed to work with the Arduino electronic prototyping platform.The TinkerKit consists of sensors and also a shield that stacks on top of the Arduino with several inputs and outputs. These can be connected to the sensors:

TinkerKit Components

You can then talk to the inputs and outputs from an Arduino sketch you write yourself, or just use the standard version of the Firmata library. Massimo demonstrated an early version of the TinkerKit Grapher, a Processing sketch that talks to (and listens to) the Firmata library, and shows you how it reacts to inputs from sensors:

TinkerKitGrapher.png

I caught up with one of the workshop participants, Joel Linderman (who is working on a Garduino-based project at school), and we played around with some of the TinkerKit sensors and the TinkerKit grapher. The TinkerKit was very easy to use, and the connections felt rugged. It’s not only a great way for beginners to get started, but it’s a good choice for semi-permanent creations.

The TinkerKit is expected to be available in Spring 2010. Pricing has not been set yet. TinkerKit: a physical computing toolkit for designers

In the Maker Shed:
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Getting Started with Arduino
Our Price: $12.99
This valuable little book offers a thorough introduction to the open source electronics prototyping platform that’s taking the design and hobbyist world by storm. Getting Started with Arduino gives you lots of ideas for projects and helps you get going on them right away. To use the introductory examples in this book, all you need is a USB Arduino, USB A-B cable, and an LED. By Massimo Banzi, co-founder of the Arduino Project.

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.


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