This project began as a design challenge when my friend, J.R. Skok (a planetary geologist at the SETI Institute), provided me a bunch of basaltic fabrics to make something fashionable. These fabrics were made of volcanic lava, which were mined, melted, pulled into threads and woven into fabrics. Basalt is the most common rock on Mars but is also found throughout the Earth in places like Hawaii and Iceland and on the volcanoes of most continents. Designing with fabrics made from volcanoes on Earth is a fascinating connection to our planet and a critical step toward learning how to build on other worlds. J.R. has been working with these fabrics for their potential to be made wherever basalt is common, but other fabrics are rare. Maybe one day when humans visit Mars, we’ll be using items made of these rocks.
While I was trying to master constructions using these fabrics, I couldn’t help but thinking when and why we would ever want to visit Mars. Apart from our scientific curiosity and exploration, could it be caused by in-habitability of the Earth environment? Thus, I embedded an optical dust sensor from DFRobot and used the temperature sensor on Adafruit Circuit Playground Express in the hope to make us be more aware of air pollution and global warming.
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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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.