March 07: Embedded Arduino Automata Free Writing

What did you find suprisingly difficult in this embedded Arduino paper automata project?
The most difficult part to this project was definitely the building of the paper gears and mechanisms. Since we have been doing this for a couple of weeks now, I have gauged that it takes at least 2-3 hours to build the paper automata well. The cutting is especially difficult because it needs to be very precise in order for everything to fit together. You would think that cutting, folding, and gluing does not matter much, but really the craft behind this really determines the success of the project. Another challenge is figuring out clever ways to embed all of the electronics so the automata looks presentable. It’s a struggle because I wanted everything to be enclosed, but needed the capabilities to take apart and trouble shoot for later.

For me, the coding is always a struggle because I am not familiar with it. I don’t code a lot, or have that background so it’s always a challenge to work out the bugs. Most of the time I am just happy that it works, even if it is not perfect.

What did you find surprisingly easy?
Although it is basically the same as the Uno, I actually thought the wiring to the mirco and running off of battery power would be complicated. I expected there to be more issues with the uploading of the code based on the problems we had in class last week, but when I did it at home it actually worked easily. This particular paper model (The Duck Pond) )was made in a way that it was easy to connect the servo to the handle. In the past, it’s taken more time to problem solve how to attach the servo, but since I have that experience from previous weeks, it is getting much more clear to figure out.

Did you get inspired with any derivative works from doing this project?
In doing this project I think I did start thinking a little more about how I can make these paper automatas my own. So far, I have strictly been working with what was given from the books. This week, I thought about how to hide and embed the electronics and also how these mechanisms can be used in other ways and other artistic pieces. I like the element of surprise and am wondering how using these elements can change or activate motion when viewing something like a photo on the wall or a sculpture. I was also thinking about how I would be able to use multiple gears to create multiple different movements at one time. I see room to explore the paper automata techniques to make beautiful conceptual pieces.