We have started at 16:00 with over 15 people! Introduced first by Patricia, we gave a presentation about “Organic Cinema” with the overview of the project and most importantly about our focus of next 5 days – that is trying to eliminate a noise and get a clear signal from our Arduino based device.
We started with the introduction of World Wilder Lab, ourselves and the idea behind the “Organic Cinema” – stressing the importance of collecting action and potential variation data (as opposite to many plant based projects which mostly use conductive properties of surface of leaves or their electromagnetic field), explaining why it is important and finally listing our main challenge – that is tackling the issue of data noise.
We have explained our present circuit – made together with our adviser Adrian Godwin. The circuit collects data which is transmitted to it via electrodes in a form of tiny voltages, and amplifies them so that Arduino can see them and so that it can send values to the computer. Based on those values we can gather data, analyse it and then create visualisations.
In this circuit we used a AD 627 Chip, which is an instrumentation amplifier (variation of operational amp – which takes two different signal and check for the difference). INAMP (the short for instrumentation amplifier) is used for amplifying small voltages – CMRR (common-mode rejection ratio) and it eliminates these part of the input signals which are considered as a common noises, amplifying what is left.
We also used a voltage divider – that is two resistors at the same time.
Clearly we couldn’t expect a solution during the first day. Participants first need to understand the circuit, what it does and how to use it in order to be able to asses it. So the task for Monday for everybody was to repeat our circuit, connect it to the computer and start collecting data.
We received a mixed group of skills. Some people were quite experienced in working with electronics, some knew a little bit about Processing and codying, and also we received a group of enthusiasts who wanted to learn. We have divided everybody into three groups in such a way so that those with experience could help less experiences ones.
The tasks were completed, and although a lot of people still couldn’t make head or tails with whatever they were doing, we are positive that we injected in them a lot of curiosity.