#artofCS – hardware research

Having spent time researching what is available, possible and AFFORDABLE…..
We have chosen theses devices as the project is about education and sharing.
I now have selected my technology (But this will prbably change when something comes that would work in the project):  So lets see what we are going to use and why I have selected them.
Kinect: Why AWESOMENESS.  OK I am getting a bit over excited about using the kinect.  The reason being is not that I am an awesome developer. It is because of the community, such as OpenKinect, and the brilliant Greenfoot IDE that enables you to code in java which using the kinect OpenNI libraries. Greenfoot has been designed to make it easier to learn OOP, specially java. I had to modify the MAC version as it is based on 10.7.  I will upload the details on how I made it work in a few weeks. Greenfoot is opensource so if you have a passion for another language feel free to make a Python version.

This a screen recording of using Greenfoot and the Kinect. It is a low res version of the recording.
Raspberry Pi: Why Educational.  A lot of schools in the UK have a few Pi but not maybe a class set. I am going to be using them as dataloggers using an ultrasonic sensor, piface and few other bits of kits.  An adruino would be able to do realtime datalogging which I am using in the costumes. So before the barage of use something else hits, I am specifically choosing the Pi so that educators can use it is a different way other than as an alternative to a desktop.
Wearables: 2 reasons: collecting data from the dancers and controlling LEDs on their costumes.  Apart from the fact that is incredibly exciting to develop using wearables. NOW the important question what to choose? ALL of them… would be lovely but there is a cost involved with some of the professional kit.  Also I want people to be able to do it at home or school for example without the need for really expensive kit or extremely complex coding.  Some of the costumes will require some complex code but we will providing the code and data during the project (after thorough testing).
Adafruit and Lilypad: the two wearable champions: the devices that we are using are the Gemma, Flora, Lilypad Tiny, Lilypad mainboard. For example check out my jeans that I wore for #BETT2014. A very simple pregprogrammed board.  The twinkle/ firefly kit comes with Power, board and LEDS (I changed the colour of the LEDs as I had them already).  My 2 sons 8 and 4 helped me with some of the sewing and where to place the lights.  It took a little longer but it was fun. [wearable are for all]
Jeans with arduino powered LEDSlilypad Twinkle kit

KiwiWearables:  developer kit.  We are SO excited about this kit.  The ability to create our own visualisations with the use of their API…. awesome just doesn’t cover it.  We will be using this Kit throughout this project and also for the a week long project at The RoundHouse in London with Circus performancers.
TechnologyWillSaveUs: They have some amazing kits for all sorts of projects.  Back in September 2013 we used their prototype “Mover” kit, which I am hoping will come out soon.  This is a wearable arduino that using Processing to visualise the x,y,z and force from the user. It also had super bright LEDs for a bit of added light painting which mapped to the x,y,z data. See the Art of Computer Science page for a video of this prototype kit.