Well, almost– With a breath of new firmware, our Larson Scanner kit takes us on a trip to the late 1970’s.
In the old videos of electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk performing their classic The Robots, a prominent prop is the animated LED necktie worn by each member of the band. If you haven’t seen this, or it’s been a while, you can see it right here at YouTube. (Additional viewing, if you’re so inclined: Die Roboter, the German version.)
The Kraftwerk tie has nine red LEDs in a vertical row, and one lights up after the one above it in a simple descending pattern. And what does it say to the world? One thing only, loud and clear: “We are the robots.” Now, if you’re anything like us, the most important question going through your head at this point is something along the lines of “why am I not wearing a tie like that right now?”
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.
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Ah, this brings back memories, several, in fact.
First, I was a huge Krautrock fan back in the day, and I actually got to see those OG Krautrockers, Kraftwerk, themselves play live in NYC back in 1981 at the now-defunct CBGB. That was, to my recollection, the only time they toured the States (To promote their Computerworld album).
The other memory is that of an Old-Skool version of the LED necktie I built back in 1976 when I was still in HS. (Farmingdale, NY). It used a trio of three NE-2 neon bulbs, three resistors and three capacitors to build a sequential relaxation oscillator. (Neon lamps have a negative-resistance property, and can be made to blink with a simple RC circuit.) The best part, of course, was the portable power supply- consisting of ten 9-volt transistor batteries, snapped together in series. That lived in my back pants pocket, and the three bulbs went to my shirt buttons.
Everyone thought I was really weird.
They were right.
Hmm… come to think of it, I think Kraftwerk played the Beacon Theatre… I do know it was in 1981. They also played a few other times in the States.
Memory fades… sigh.