…I worked on the Tide Tank project at Rocking the Boat, an awesome nonprofit organization in the South Bronx that teaches kids how to build wooden boats from scratch.
Here’s a quick overview movie about the project; many more project details as well as source code and schematics below the fold if you’re interested.
Combining elements of electrical work, microprocessor trickiness, mechanical design, and a touch of plumbing, this was a multifaceted project and I really enjoyed working with the great students at Rocking the Boat to bring it to completion.
As usual, there were a series of challenges/difficulties that came about, including:
Trickily leaky plumbing
Surprise electrical difficulties (do you know how much voltage drop there is over a 50 foot length of telephone wire?)
1.5″ diameter PVC ball valves which were remarkably difficult to operate by hand
A mysteriously burned out servomotor, dying just a few weeks into service
An ethernet connection problem that took a full day to solve
And many others!
But through the grace of lots of troubleshooting hours (including a moment when I printed out the entirety of the Arduino code and laid it on a table so I could try to understand what was going wrong) the water level in the tank is actually consistently modulating as it’s supposed to….
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.