The Next Big Thing In Higher Education: Art And Engineering


I’ve been working with the Arduino microcontroller, Xbee digital radios, Linux Netbooks, and small servers.  It’s neat because I can use off-the-shelf parts, a little bit of Open Source software, and come up with prototypes, very quickly.  Anywhere from a few minutes to just a couple of days, is common.

My latest project is a wireless residential compost temperature sensor.  It sends data to a matching radio that’s hooked up to a Linux notebook and displays temperatures using the kst plotting program.

It is a good little project and demonstrates how easy it is to DIY with some of the latest microcontroller and radio technology.  I picked up many of the parts through Sparkfun.

Did you know that the Arduinos were created so artists could add interactivity to their works? Then, the hobbyists and engineers started playing around with the things.

Well, universities are beginning to get the message and starting to set up programs where artists and engineers actually work together.  They seem to think that customer requirements for products and services are better handled by teams that have a toe in each world.

Here’s an article, titled “Framing Ingenuity”, that outlines the trend.

http://www.thefloridaengineer.eng.ufl.edu/issues/0909/arteng.php

Enjoy,

Doc

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About Rob Reilly

Rob is an independent consultant, writer, and speaker, specializing in Linux/Free software, hacking of just about everything, DIY and Maker Movement, and tech media. He has a BS in Mechanical Technology from Purdue University. Contact him at doc@drtorq.com.
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