Free Writing

1-What did you find surprising difficult in the Embedded Arduino Paper Automata project?

Even though I’ve had some practice with building paper toys with the last two projects, this one in particular was very hard. The construction of the automata, the Weight of Bureaucracy, was very challenging. The pieces were very small and even though in the book everything is explained very well still there’s a lot of logic and attention that needs to be applied in order for the automata to work well in the end. Also, even though all the pieces one need to construct it are there in the book, I found helpful to be creative and change one or two pieces in order to make it function. All of this helps a lot for understanding the mechanics and system that goes behind it.

As for the technical part with the micro Arduino, servo motor, Ultrasonic range finder and the battery it took more time than before to make it all work. The reading of the micro Arduino was inconstant. My UBS port for some reason kept loosing it after a while. I had some technical issues with this and it took patience and trying repeatedly to make it work. It seemed to confuse it with Leonardo Arduino. It was frustrating and still is.

Also making the structure to present everything neatly and to hide the board, motors, cables, battery, etc was challenging too. The solution was to have a mini box underneath a platform where the model and a mini box with the servo hidden is next to it.

And last but not least the code was challenging too for me because it is somewhat new to me. Figuring out the values and how the paper automata responded to the movement of the servo was hard.

2-What did you find surprisingly easy?

The wiring, making the circuits since I am now familiar with these two the range finder and servo motor. Also getting the power from the battery.

3- Did you get inspired with any derivative work from doing this project?

Overall these last three projects have been very inspiring and instructive. A good practice in construction with paper. I’ve been thinking about how to make them with a collage of materials and embedding different electronics. I think also the knowledge and practice of understanding the mechanics behind these paper automatas is helpful for a lot of things in design in general. Production of artifacts and of course physical computing. And also makes you aware of the huge potential paper has.