Meet our latest Inventive Technologist Mariah and study 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 Assist Specialist for this night. Now, if you happen to’ll take a second to assessment the protection information positioned 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 group, interacting with y’all and making cool issues collectively!
Now for the half the place I let you know a little bit bit about myself, which I’ll attempt to hold quick and candy as a result of I generally tend to inform lengthy tales: it began after I was born… simply kidding. It began after I went to varsity!
I went to highschool 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 kind of “Jack-of-all-Trades” main. Whereas there I realized 3D printing, laser reducing, vinyl reducing, 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 way in which, however these are the principle ones.
And boy did I lean into that program as a lot as potential, after which some – I truly began faculty double majoring in CRT and Chemistry, however dropped chemistry right down to a minor as a result of I had change 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 hold the lab and all its tools up and working for everybody to have the ability to work on their tasks and to assist suppose via issues with college students, typically even educating them one-on-one throughout open lab hours!
Being a lab assistant is a number of the most rewarding work I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing, and I’m so excited to be getting into into this new function and getting again to serving to folks make what they need to make.
Talking of creating issues: I’d like to share some tasks of mine with you! The large internet of LEDs I’m sitting below within the picture above is a cool place to start out: that challenge known as Occasion Horizon and is an interactive mild 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 fervour I had for Inventive Tech and the entire potentialities it opened my thoughts to. I began diving into the unknown and making an attempt to determine learn how to do issues I’d by no means executed earlier than–and that’s after I found PCB (printed circuit board) design.
Now, along with discovering my ardour for PCB design, I additionally realized that I’m extremely motivated by curiosity and enjoyable, which guides just about each considered one of my tasks. So, I design boards that I feel 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 without end (I really like to inform tales, keep in mind?), and the primary board I’ll speak about is the PacMan Ghost PCB; this was my first “PopArt” board and is unquestionably meant to be enjoyable (and a bit nostalgic). It has 51 Neopixels and three animations: the primary is a blue sparkle that simply quickly modifications each different LED between white and cyan, the second is supposed to imitate PacMan making his approach throughout the board amassing 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 could run off the battery because it’s fairly vibrant and I’m not making an attempt to recreate that scene from Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. You realize the one.
This challenge actually challenged my notion of what circuit boards have been meant to be. I’m a reasonably artsy individual and I spotted that this was only a new medium for me to create with. So, after I was accepted to take an Academic Know-how Overseas course journey to Norway, I knew that I wished to make a circuit board that will be enjoyable for youths to discover an idea with. And thus, the RGB Pinwheel was born!
The thought behind this board is to show youngsters (or anybody, actually!) concerning the main colours of sunshine. The board quickly flashes between pink, inexperienced, and blue so rapidly 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 might be seen! And the secondary colours might be seen as effectively by urgent the button: white, after all, 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 digital camera, so the entire images end up with a rainbow gradient, but it surely’s nonetheless fairly cool trying and exhibits that your complete seen spectrum of sunshine might be created with simply pink, inexperienced, and blue!
And I’m blissful to say that these boards nonetheless have a house in a 4th grade classroom in Norway!
Bonus – if you happen to’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 as a way to get all of this to spin round, haha)
And that’s me! I’m so thrilled to be occurring this journey with y’all and may’t wait to see the entire cool issues we’ll study alongside the way in which! If there’s something particularly that you just’re enthusiastic about, be at liberty to counsel a challenge or ask a query; let’s dive into the unknown collectively and see what we will create!