January 17, 2015

Nodebots NYC {2015-001}

Earlier this week we had this year's first NodeBots NYC event! Andrew and Myself were happy to host. We need to thank About.com for giving us food, space and heat.


As you may know, we share our library of electronics with ScriptEd, a non-profit which teaches programming in under-resourced schools around the city. So we were quite overjoyed when the NYC conference, Empire Node, donated their Arduino kits from their conference this past Fall. These kits will make teaching a ton easier, both in high schools and at our events!

Our event last week had a nice mix of newbie and experienced roboticists. I took a bunch of notes on links that I wanted to send to attendees, so here it goes:

  • More than a few people wanted to buy an Arduino Starter Kit. I can wholeheartedly recommend the $64 Starter Pack for Arduino from Adafruit. It will have everything you need to get started. If you want a little more or less to play with, they also have a $50 and an $85 version.

  • A Johnny-Five Chat can be found on Gitter. It's a great place to ask questions about Johnny-Five and electronics in general.

  • We had a primer on how to blink a light (the "hello world" of robotics), and combined it with how to read values from buttons and potentiometers.

  • We learned about John Yeh's Edison Scope, which is an oscilloscope built on top of an Intel Edison, a MSO-28, and NodeJS. It's open source and amazing. John not only designed the software for this project, but also designed the MSO-28! He built them for his local highschool's FIRST robotics team and there are currently a few of them on the Internation Space Station!

    Oscilloscopes show changes in voltage over time, and are very useful for seeing what our robots' brains are outputing. Make has an interesting little video that explains the basics.

  • We talked about the Mesh Thing a bunch, I can't wait for it to come out.

A few people decided to start playing with LED strips for next month. Adafruit has a great guide to NeoPixels. They're a ton of fun and might just be the focus of next month's event.

Once we confirm a few things we'll be posting our next event, which will be Feb 10th 2015! Watch our Meetup page for more info!


Cover image by Matthew Bergman @ Robotsconf 2014

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