Movies and TV are absorbing unmanned aerial vehicles (as they are properly called) as plot devices in The Bourne Legacy and Homeland, for example. But some fine artists are also trying to sway this national conversation. Adam Harvey designs burqas and hijabs that make the wearer invisible to drone cameras by altering the body’s heat signature; he calls his line of Stealth Wear the “armor” of the information age.
Filmmaker Alex Rivera and his collaborator Angel Nevarez were ahead of the curve; working on the US-Mexico border, they were aware of drones before most of us. Their LowDrone, from 2005, is a quadcopter tricked out to look like a flying Low Rider, with gold flake metallic paint. It doesn’t want to spy or kill — it just wants to have fun, hopping and dancing across the militarized, contested border.
And one group of professional dancers took an interest in drones. Pilobolus, a dance company in New York, approached MIT engineer Danny Soltero to choreograph a piece between dancers and machines. “We started out by saying ‘What do they do?’,” recalls Itamar Kubovy, who runs the dance company. “Could you land it on our head, could you land it on the floor, could you land it on our nose? Before too long, the choreographers were making engineering suggestions, and the engineers were making choreographic suggestions as to how to tell the story.” The show they made is called Seraph, about two species that discover each other: one metal, the other flesh.
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.