Tutor: Jonathan Kearney
I discussed with Jonathan what I have been up to, a lot of reading and experiments with Arduino and Processing mostly.
I have been using the Blynk app to trigger Arduino events in the physical world, but Blynk is no longer free so may bin using it.
I have been generating visuals on the screen by getting Arduino to talk to the Processing app but the imagery is not what I envisaged. I want the aesthetic to be more 3D rendered/gaming look + feel, not sure I can achieve this via these methods.
Note to Self:
- The end results with the Arduino experiments are not producing the visuals I though they would, so I’m having a re-think about my approach and methods.
- I have been increasingly drawn to the world of 3D scanning, 360 films and VR.
I have revisited this Blynk gateway experiment from October.
Blynk is an app with a digital dashboard where you can build a graphic interface to control virtually the Arduino micro processor. I have set up a simple Arduino sketch, a simple LED light being triggered by a button. After setting up in this case a virtual button in Blynk, You get sent an authorisation token code via email that is pasted into the Arduino sketch, this then enables you to trigger the LED light simply by pressing the virtual button.
The problem was to get the app to talk physically to the Arduino board, I had to get either a wireless or an ethernet shield to act as an online gateway. It would have been better to do it via Wifi but the European Wifi boards were sold out and the ethernet boards were cheaper, so I opted for that instead.
As my studio is in a network in a building and therefore to route it I had to generate special IP addresses and do a lot of fiddling about with ethernet and CAT cables, but after reinstalling Arduino Blynk libraries I finally got it to work. The virtual button triggers the LED on the Arduino board via the web/app.
Note to Self:
- This is handy If I want to further develop some proper Mobile Locative Media installations.
- Get a Wifi shield and set it up use that instead.
- I had rigged up the Arduino board to talk to the Processing app in another experiment, which worked but it seems to mess up all the Ardunio ports and libraries.
It’s time to move any Arduino projects into the virtual realm, push on beyond the tinkering and start ‘making’ properly.
Blynk is a Platform I came across, it works with iOS and Android apps to control Arduino, Raspberry Pi and the like over the Internet. It’s a digital dashboard where you can build a graphic interface for your project by simply dragging and dropping widgets.
I have set up a bog standard Arduino test sketch, a simple LED light being triggered by a button. The idea is to move it online via Blynk so the button becomes virtual on the Blynk app and therefore the LED gets triggered now via the virtual button and not the physical. You set up a project on the app and get sent an authorisation token code via email that is pasted into the Arduino sketch, re-upload the sketch in Arduino and Bob’s your Mothers brother, it should work.
Of course getting the sketch to talk to the app isn’t as easy as it’s made out, and as is often the way with Arduino projects you need to get a new bit of kit and in this instance I need a ‘shield’ of some description to act as an interface between the mac and the app, the shield sits on top of the Arduino UNO board. After a bit of back and forth on their forums and reading some anguished posts from others being hit by similar problems (connection via USB seems to be problematic and it doesn’t help that theres a bug in the Blynk app for the recent iOS 9.02 update ) I decided to go with an Arduino Ethernet shield. I would prefer a WiFi shield but Arduino seem to have discontinued theirs! and the ethernet shield is half the price, it will do for now.
A world of visualised data and virtual control awaits.