Embedded Arduino Paper Automata Projecty Journal
When working with this project I had a few issues that I stumbled over. At first, for a very long time my Arduino was acting up, it would never fully upload a sketch and kept saying that I was not connecting to “Leonardo” correctly, while I always had Arduino Micro chosen. This continued for hours, I uploaded maybe 60 times and once out of the 60 it would properly load, but then it would stop. I at first thought it had to be a problem with my connection or code, but after working through it I realized that everything I had was right, and it must be a bug in my Arduino because when I came back to it another day and continued to fiddle I realized that it would upload as long as in the middle of the upload I told it to check if the code was correct.
Before I started the project I new that I did not want to merely copy the example in the book but I wanted to adopt it and make something from it. So I kept looking at the motion trying to figure out what else it could be that would make sense with a range finder and thought that a horse or a dog that sped up when its competitors got close in a race made sense so that is what I decided to make. I knew that I didn’t want to just slap another figure on top of the motion from the structure, but wanted to integrate some sort of new movement into the structure, so I built hinges at the dogs knees so that they would bend as he ran. Building this dog actually took a lot of time because I had to start with different models and see if they worked and modify them until I made something that actually bent at the legs. It was also a bit of a challenge to figure out how to get the dogs legs to bend, and I still think that movement could be improved. The challenge I have is that I have to build the whole thing first to see what its movement is like, then take it apart and do it again which ruins aspects of the model in the process.
Overall however, I wouldn’t say the assignment was a very difficult one that really used all of my brainpower, but rather it was one that just took a lot time and experimentation to overcome the challenges that presented themselves. For instance, I could have never predicted the problems that arose with loading the sketch to my arduino, and I had to take apart the structure to make sure everything was wired properly, which took a tole on the structure when it was rebuilt. I do think that if we were given this assignment again I would instead of using the mechanisms from the book, try and translate the servo motion into other motion in my own way with my own materials.