One of the general fears with digital fabrication and robotics is that they will wipe away human artistry. But that will never happen as long as people like Stefanie Pender exist. Pender, who has degrees from both RISD and Cornell, gained proficiency in glassmaking through traditional apprenticeships; she’s also well-versed in industrial robotics, programming and all things CNC. After becoming an Artist in Residence at the digital fabrication playground that is Autodesk’s Pier 9, she had the opportunity to combine her specialties in a novel way.
Here’s what happens when you have a curiosity-driven, manually-skilled, technical-minded, boundary-pushing artist that has been granted the resources to create her own digital tools:
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.