D-Shop Israel was launched only a half year ago and it is already bustling with interesting events and activities.

Last week we had a discovery day around the topic of Arduino. Two development groups gathered for a day-long exploration of the Arduino device/technology and were challenged to innovate using it.

We started with a nice breakfast to get some energy and then rushed to learn Arduino from scratch. We used a SparkFun Inventor’s kit that comes with 16 guided “experiments” that use different sensors and input devices.

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Teams of 4-5 members rushed through the exercises and were so engaged to play and learn that they didn’t notice how time flew by and lunch time quickly arrived. Personally, doing these exercises took me back in time to being a child, playing with Lego for hours. J

But we not only play hard, we also work hard! After lunch, we started the challenge. Each team had to innovate and create something cool using the Arduino kits based on the morning’s experimentation.

I can tell you that what was created was more than I imagined we’d see when we just conceived of this discovery day. We had 2 LED menorahs (as it is near the Hanukkah celebrations). One of them also played Hanukkah songs. We had a game of pressing buttons as fast as possible to win a race on the LCD display. We also had a device detecting a wet diaper and notifying about it, plus many more.

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Since this was also a friendly competition, we had a winning team. The team created a device to read a person’s finger movements and play music to match each finger’s motion, almost like playing an invisible piano.

In summary, the event was a lot of fun filled with learning all about Arduino and its capabilities. The event enabled us to dream and to think of what can be done with new technologies.

As said by George Bernard Shaw, You see things; you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?

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