This week I received the last of the components for the piece. I began to try programming the Arduino Nanos but immediately ran into problems. I had decided to use Seeed studio grove sensors and output components because they are easy to assemble and use, I don’t have to figure out how to do everything via breadboard and can quickly assemble prototypes. The Grove kits use a shield which will be mounted to the Arduino and then all interfaces are plugged into the shield. I tried the Nano with the shield designed for it but couldn’t get it to work!
I still had an Arduino Uno from previous projects and the Grove shield for it so I thought I would try it instead. Hooked up each output I am using including a servo, vibration motor, LED bar and everything worked!
The reason I originally thought the Nano would be the right direction is its small form factor. Taking into account the breadboard, wiring etc that would be needed to make it work meant it would not be as compact as I thought at first. There was also the power requirement. The Nano would require a power bank for my particular application. By the time I have put all the elements together for the Nano version, it was no longer so Nano.
I decided I will use the Uno as its not that much bigger and when using a 9 volt battery to power it, its not a big difference between that setup and the Nano setup with a power bank. All the sensors and outputs I am using with the Nano setup will work with the Grove shield on the Uno version.
I am also hoping to go to New York for the end of the Summer session to present the piece so carrying power banks etc around on flights etc is minimized and 9 volt batteries are readily available everywhere. One of the things I would like this project to do is be easily deployable. So this direction helps that.
I started to figure out the layout and positions of the electronics. Next step will be to create some basic shells from foamcore that will house the parts to help define space envelopes in CAD.