So, I had finally settled on my idea and then began the time for intense research!
I began by researching what exactly an Arduino was to get some background into its capabilities and functions. A highly valuable website to check out is Arduino. It is a one stop destination for all things Arduino, ranging from being able to purchase one through them to learning the codes for particular actions. It details the foundations of the open-source prototyping platform and only confirmed it necessity for my work.
Another great page to visit it Spark Fun. This page defines what an Arduino is and how it functions in great detail and clearly explains the capabilities of different styled boards. This was extremely useful in determining which board is most compatible with the size of my work and the power required.
From these pages I was able to determine that the Arduino Mega would be most suited to my work as it can power up to 48 servo motors. My first thought was to use the Arduino Leonardo but its maximum capability was 12 servo motors and my work requires 16. A great introduction into the Arduino Mega can be found on Arduino.
I spent a lot of consultation time with my tutors, ascertaining the best approach to this project. They gave me direction in terms of:
- The architectural design: such as having slots in the grid pieces so they could just slot together in construction
- The most appropriate materials to use: 10mm MDF was be strong enough to hold everything together but also easy to drill into without causing splits in the wood unlike my original thought of ply wood
I also conversed with my peers and this helped develop my aesthetic decisions such as having the mirrored tiles flip randomly randomly rather than in linear lines as it creates more intrigue.
This research period was a laborious time as I knew nothing logistically about how it would work. I only had visions of how I wanted the finished product to be like and so I literally started from ground zero.