In which Pete and Dia travel to Olin College to perform gruesome dissections and help bring to life an army of cyborg critters.
While we were visiting, Amon Millner was kind enough to invite us to see first-hand what his students were up to in Olin’s Principles of Engineering class. We packed up some components, he mustered a big pile of homeless plush creatures, and members of his class and community gathered to see what we could make in a few hours.
Susan of Teach 2 Learn, Learn 2 Teach with her motion-sensitive frog!
One of the most popular projects, for obvious reasons, was a unicorn with a light-up horn. In addition to being a much-needed upgrade to what we’re told was an unloved surplus unicorn** in the household, it also became the most meme-worthy footage of the day!
After the simpler projects were done, it was time to get down to business for the rest of the afternoon. A group of students from Amon’s Lifegraphs team showed us what they’ve been working on by hacking their animals further.
It’s going to be okay, little guy!
With the addition of a little more equipment, including an Arduino board and one of our WiFly modules, they were able to use the system they’ve written to get their animals connected to Facebook before the anesthetic even wore off!
When one group’s penguin hugged itself (such that the conductive fabric patches added to the flippers touched), it posted an alarming message to the user’s Facebook wall:
The ‘Notie Odie’ had an LED tongue piercing that lit up to alert the user that there were Facebook notifications to check.
What these students are doing is definitely going to make it ever-easier to connect your projects (e-textiles and otherwise!) to your social media accounts. Seeing them at work was amazing, and I’m really excited to delve further into their tutorials for my own projects. Thanks again to Amon and Olin University for having us out to play, and we hope to see everyone again next year!
*We got to crash at Kipp’s house! There was pizza!
**We should all have such problems, no?