July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Hacking smart electronics

Robert Gallup (XOBXOB)
1:30pm–5:00pm Monday, 07/20/2015
Design F151
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 7 ratings)
Slides:   1-ZIP    external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

A Linux/Mac/Windows laptop and general familiarity with using it are the only prerequisites. This workshop assumes no prior knowledge of programming or electronics.

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • Laptop (Linux/Mac/Windows)
  • All registered attendees for this tutorial, will receive their kits at the door.
  • Arduino development software downloaded from Adafruit for the Trinket
  • Course materials for download are available here
  • Here are setup instructions to be done prior to the tutorial
  • Description

    Prototyping is central to any design process, from study sketches for paintings, to architectural models, to thumbnails and design comps. Prototypes allow us to see, touch, feel, and refine an idea before committing to it. This is no less the case in the expanding world of the Internet of Things and smart devices.

    Starting from zero, using hands-on activities with a micro-controller and electronic components, this workshop explores the basics of digital prototyping. You’ll learn how to connect LEDs, buttons, and knobs, then program a micro-controller to define behavior. Through this you’ll better understand the tools and process of designing smart, connected products.

    Topics include:

    • Why prototype
    • Setting up
    • Your first prototype
    • Hacking your prototype
    • About electronic components
    • Connecting components
    • Using libraries to make it easier
    • Chips and circuits
    • Basic electronics
    • Buttons, knobs, and smart devices
    • Tying it all together
    Photo of Robert Gallup

    Robert Gallup


    See. Think. Make. Robert Gallup has spent his career doing these at the intersection of people, design, and technology. From leading the team that shipped Fury3, Microsoft’s first PC game for Windows 95 to physical prototyping for wearable smart products, he has tackled an eclectic mix of early stage projects from computer games, to automobile computers, online education platforms, and smart things.

    Robert is currently the founder/CEO at XOBXOB, which is focused on seeing, thinking, and making in the rapidly emerging world where everything is connected.

    Comments on this page are now closed.


    Picture of Robert Gallup
    Robert Gallup
    07/21/2015 4:52pm PDT

    Thanks to everyone who was able to attend this workshop. I hope you enjoyed hacking as much as I did presenting!

    So, I’ve posted updated courseware files to: http://robertgallup.github.io/get/OSCONCourseware.zip.

    The presentation was updated to replace the one diagram that had an incorrect LED placement. I also added information at the end of the deck about how you might “recover” your Trinket if it stops “breathing”.

    As for the libraries, some of you had difficulties loading the libraries using Arduino 1.6.5. I updated the NeoPixel and HackingSmartThings libraries so they both are compatible with Arduino 1.6.5. And, the BobaBlox library can now be installed through the Arduino Library Manager (Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries …) as well as adding it directly using the .ZIP file.

    That’s it. Happy hacking. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or cool projects you’d like to share.

    David Briccetti
    07/20/2015 6:42am PDT

    Somehow I missed that I needed to pay for hardware first, and I wasn’t able to do that in time.

    Picture of Robert Gallup
    Robert Gallup
    07/13/2015 2:58am PDT

    Hi. I’m the presenter for this workshop. Hard to believe we’re only a week away from OSCON, but I’m really looking forward to it!

    One note, If you’re attending the workshop, please make sure to follow the setup instructions (attached above) prior to arriving. The more people who have the primary software installed beforehand, the better. If you have any problems or questions, post here or feel free to contact me directly (contact info in the setup instruction).