Meet our latest Inventive Technologist Mariah and be taught all about what introduced her right here to SparkFun!
Hey all! My identify is Mariah Kelly and I can be your Technical Documentation and Content material Help Specialist for this night. Now, should you’ll take a second to assessment the protection information situated within the seatback pocket in entrance of you – ah, simply messin’ with ya! I’ve labored at SparkFun for nearly two years and am so excited to now be on this crew, interacting with y’all and making cool issues collectively!
Now for the half the place I inform you just a little bit about myself, which I’ll attempt to maintain quick and candy as a result of I generally tend to inform lengthy tales: it began once I was born… simply kidding. It began once I went to varsity!
I went to high school at Berry Faculty in Rome, Georgia, the place I majored in Inventive Applied sciences (CRT) with a minor in Chemistry. One of the best ways to explain CRT is a form of “Jack-of-all-Trades” main. Whereas there I discovered 3D printing, laser chopping, vinyl chopping, Processing, Arduino, stitching, woodworking, metallic working, and even PCB design and fabrication, all on the on-campus makerspace, HackBerry Lab! There have been many different issues I picked up alongside the best way, however these are the primary ones.
And boy did I lean into that program as a lot as doable, after which some – I really began faculty double majoring in CRT and Chemistry, however dropped chemistry right down to a minor as a result of I had turn into so invested within the ardour I had discovered at HackBerry. After I took my first-class in this system, I used to be introduced on as a lab assistant. My job was to assist maintain the lab and all its gear up and working for everybody to have the ability to work on their initiatives and to assist assume by means of issues with college students, typically even educating them one-on-one throughout open lab hours!
Being a lab assistant is a few of the most rewarding work I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing, and I’m so excited to be coming into into this new position and getting again to serving to folks make what they wish to make.
Talking of creating issues: I’d like to share some initiatives of mine with you! The massive web of LEDs I’m sitting underneath within the photograph above is a cool place to start out: that challenge is named Occasion Horizon and is an interactive gentle set up consisting of 9,216 neopixels embedded into massive sheets of window screening and held up by a 20x20ft square-steel body. It ended up on show on the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Artwork in Demorest, GA for about six months!
Attending to be part of a challenge like this solely served to extend the eagerness I had for Inventive Tech and the entire prospects it opened my thoughts to. I began diving into the unknown and attempting to determine easy methods to do issues I’d by no means completed earlier than–and that’s once I found PCB (printed circuit board) design.
Now, along with discovering my ardour for PCB design, I additionally discovered that I’m extremely motivated by curiosity and enjoyable, which guides nearly each certainly one of my initiatives. So, I design boards that I believe will both be cool to play with, or will reply a query. Or each!
I’m solely gonna contact on two boards right here as a result of I’ll go on ceaselessly (I like to inform tales, bear in mind?), and the primary board I’ll speak about is the PacMan Ghost PCB; this was my first “PopArt” board and is certainly meant to be enjoyable (and a bit nostalgic). It has 51 Neopixels and three animations: the primary is a blue sparkle that simply quickly adjustments each different LED between white and cyan, the second is supposed to imitate PacMan making his means throughout the board gathering PacDots, and the ultimate is identical animation that’s displayed within the recreation to warn the participant that the ghost is about to renew its pursuit. It’s run off a single ATTiny85 chip and a 3.7v lipo; I’ve not examined how lengthy it may run off the battery because it’s fairly vibrant and I’m not attempting to recreate that scene from Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. the one.
This challenge actually challenged my notion of what circuit boards had been meant to be. I’m a reasonably artsy particular person and I spotted that this was only a new medium for me to create with. So, once I was accepted to take an Instructional Know-how Overseas course journey to Norway, I knew that I wished to make a circuit board that may be enjoyable for teenagers to discover an idea with. And thus, the RGB Pinwheel was born!
The concept behind this board is to show children (or anybody, actually!) concerning the main colours of sunshine. The board quickly flashes between pink, inexperienced, and blue so shortly that it’s imperceptible to the bare eye and seems as if the entire LEDs are white. However, using the impact brought on by persistence of imaginative and prescient, when the board is spun the breakdown could be seen! And the secondary colours could be seen as effectively by urgent the button: white, in fact, breaks down into pink, inexperienced, and blue; cyan breaks down into simply inexperienced and blue; magenta, pink and blue; and yellow, pink and inexperienced. Sadly, it’s very troublesome to seize this impact with a digicam, so the entire images prove with a rainbow gradient, but it surely’s nonetheless fairly cool wanting and exhibits that your entire seen spectrum of sunshine could be created with simply pink, inexperienced, and blue!
And I’m completely satisfied to say that these boards nonetheless have a house in a 4th grade classroom in Norway!
Bonus – should you’re ever feeling discouraged by the prototyping part, this hilarious mess is how this challenge began! (Not pictured – the horrible contraption I needed to make in an effort to get all of this to spin round, haha)
And that’s me! I’m so thrilled to be happening this journey with y’all and might’t wait to see the entire cool issues we’ll be taught alongside the best way! If there’s something specifically that you simply’re fascinated about, be at liberty to counsel a challenge or ask a query; let’s dive into the unknown collectively and see what we are able to create!