The inspiration goal for the Donation Robot is a project that provides an ability for individual makers to find a way to fund their projects. It also creates a learning/exploration path that is built on the knowledge of each previous individual who worked on the project. Each individual who works on the Donation Robot advances the project in their own way, and provides video/audio/written documentation so as to share what they have learned. This creates a starting point for the next person who may work on the Donation Robot project in their own way.
The big vision is a portable, growing display of Donation Robots by Makers who are seeking to fund their next projects. It is inspired by the Musee Mechanique on Pier 45 in San Francisco. That museum of coin operated machines tells a history all of its own. It incudes player pianos from the past, machines built with toothpick displays by prisoners, and for me, a very special machine, that shares the laugh of Sal, who adorned the tops of dark rides such as the Laff in the Dark ride at the Long Beach Pike. Sal had two companions, Sam and Barkie the dog. It is unclear whether there was any animatronic effect for Sam and Barkie, but I find no reference to this, so I believe not.
At the same time, we are working to develop a learning path for the Microbit microcontroller, which starts with the learning paths of Birdbrain’s Hummingbird Finch robot for elementary school aged students, and Hummingbird Bit electronics learning kit for middle school aged students. For those who have difficulty funding their classrooms, Birdbrain, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, provides access to Finch equipment.
Donation Robot V2 Instructions – by Thomas Messerschmidt, sponsored in part by the Arts Council for Long Beach.