Shrinking the Arduino: Introduction to Attiny

7 - 14 May 2014

  • Workshop #1: 7 May 2014, 18:00 - 21:00
  • Workshop #2: 14 May 2014, 18:00 - 21:00


Level: Intermediate
*Kits are provided. 

This workshop will focus on the design, construction, and applications of miniature, deployable, interactive systems based on the Atmel ATtiny84 microcontroller. It will be divided into two main components: project construction/tutorial, and discussion. We will build a smart RGB LED throwie with extended battery life and vibration trigger. The workshop will be divided into 2 sessions with a mix of tutorial and discussion in each session. 


Installing and preparing arduino-tiny core (compare to high-low tech); how to program (Uno as ISP); overview of ATtiny capabilities/specifications; write code (step by step); breadboard project; program chip, build. 

LED throwie; key points: RGB LED, ultra-low-power sleep mode, interrupt-based wakeup, magnetic, vibration-sensitive, extremely small (approx. 1”x1”x1”), re-programmable, modifiable. This is an overly complex version to demonstrate capabilities and incite critical thinking. 


Topics: Fundamentals of interaction; how can interaction affect/be used in art; Arduino review; applications of programmable microcontrollers (MCU); implications of tiny, long-life, embedded systems; contextual modification via packaging (ex. put it in a balloon, now it flies; put it in plastic, now it’s waterproof); price vs. quantity (i.e. you can afford to make 500 of something – how does this change the work?). 


Use a different trigger input such as reed switch, button, proximity, IR remote, photocell (light sensor), microphone, water sensor, pressure sensor, alcohol or other gas sensor, temperature/humidity, motion (PIR), conductive materials, piezo, soil hydrometer, tilt, etc. Other modifications could include waterproof, floating (air or water), USB power, wearable, 3D printed diffusion, solar power, wireless communication (ex. Bluetooth, wifi, 433MHz), etc. Or any others that come up in discussions. How can any of these small modifications change the meaning or application of the work? 


Ideally, part of this discussion will happen in the first of two workshops so any extra supplies could be gathered before the second, such as addressable LEDs. During the second workshop, we could build using some of the modifications and then test, compare, and analyze them. Testing will depend on the results of our conversations but could be as simple as going out into the street or filling a bucket with water.

Regular 40.00$
Reduced 34.00$

7 - 14 May 2014

  • Workshop #1: 7 May 2014, 18:00 - 21:00
  • Workshop #2: 14 May 2014, 18:00 - 21:00