Welcome to BuffaloLabs!
In this age of technology it seems important that children are not only consumers of technology but also learn to be creative with technology. There is a growing movement around Open Source Hardware that enables kids and adults to learn how things work and how we can make cool stuff. A great platform to get started with is called Arduino, a popular micro-controller that can be programmed from a computer.
We are running classes at different locations, for groups of 3 to 6 kids, from 7 years old. We also do sessions at your house if you can get a group of kids together.
DSL Junior Makers
Since October 2015 we have been running workshops for a group of 8-10 year old kids at Dim Sum Labs in Sheung Wan on Saturday mornings. More info on the DSL website here and here. ONGOING – contact us if interested.
Mui Wo Makers
After a first trial series of 12 sessions in April-June 2015 in Mui Wo, Lantau, we have had several groups of kids in 2015-2016, ages from 7 to 12. Mondays and Tuesdays after school in Mui Wo. ONGOING – contact us if you’re interested to join.
Apart from the above locations, we are also have regular sessions at kids’ homes on Hong Kong island, weekly or monthly. Contact us if you can bring together a group of 3-6 kids.
Or contact us to discuss a customised workshop for your group.
Here is a collection of slides that shows the topics we cover and some example projects we build:
Below are examples of the first 12 sessions held in April-June 2015, and more recent projects of 2016 at the bottom.
Session 1: introduction to electronic components
gear: battery, breadboard, jumper wires, LED, resistor, 7-segment LED, piezo buzzer (single tone), button
project: connect LEDs on breadboard, use resistor, connect buzzer, use on/off button, connect 7-segment LED
Session 2: build a simple game ‘hit minus’ on a breadboard
gear: as above (except for a variable buzzer), plus ATmega328 chip programmed with game sketch
project: connect all the wires according to the schematics; the segments on the LED light up one by one, you can adjust the speed with the potentiometer, you have to hit the button when the middle segment is on
Session 3: use an OLED display with a temperature and humidity sensor, and to play ping pong
gear: as above, plus OLED display and DHT11 sensor
project: use an OLED display to show temperature and humidity, or play the ping pong game!
Session 5: potentiometers and simple synthesizer
gear: as above, plus speaker and second potentiometer
project: experiment with potentiometer and 2 LEDs, then build a simplified Auduino granular synthesizer
Session 6: LDR and servo
gear: as above, plus Light Dependent Resistor and servo motor
project: experiment with LDR and LED, and build a light sensor that activates a servo to open/close something e.g. Lego garbage bin
Session 7: ultrasonic distance on servo
gear: as above, plus ultrasonic range finder
project: a simple robot: a distance sensor mounted on a servo, moving 180 degrees, displaying distance to objects on OLED screen
Session 8: infrared remote TV-B-Gone
gear: infrared LED, NPN transitor, 16MHz crystal
project: build an infrared remote control that can switch of most TVs (ATmega328 version of the famous TV-B-Gone project)
Session 9: PIR alarm
gear: same as above, with PIR (passive infrared motion sensor)
project: build an alarm system which sounds when motion detected
Session 10: first soldering
gear: soldering set (soldering iron, soldering wire, 3rd hand)
project: learn how to solder: fixing a DIP socket on a perf board
Session 11: my first Arduino board
gear: Arduino style board (plus all components used before)
project: start from the standard ‘Blink’ sketch to experiment with DigitalWrite and delay, and add a potentiometer for analogRead.
Session 12: Arduino board projects
gear: all above
project: build your favourite project of the above using the Arduino board and upload the sketch over USB
Some of our projects of 2016:
2 servos making a walking insect
joystick to control motor speed and servo
variable motor speed on segment LED and motor spinning on its axis
fruit piano using capacitive sensors
battery voltage tester
wire loop game with timer, start and finish sensor
RGB LED colour mixer
binary numbers with 4 LED bits
Pong game (1 player)
Morse decoder to practice your Morse
simple phone with SIM800 – also available in a wooden box
arduino phone with OLED screen
digital FM radio with SIM800
remote control phone with SIM800 (DTMF)
wifi hotspot with web server to control RGB LED
arduino spectrum analyser and light organ
wire loop game on laser cutter engraved board
stereo speaker in wooden box – full details see here
Arduino Uno’s with breadboard on (recycled) floor board, ready for some tinkering!