We've moved from East London's Fab Lab London to West London's Create Space London, not only that we are learning about building orientation thruster hands on, we are also showcasing maker spaces while we are at it. We are definitely on a trip of exploration!
Create Space (to be precise, Wembly Point) has quite an entrance, we can easily imagine it being the entrance to some hi-tech organisation with eccentric scientist and engineers in the building. Get the lighting right, we could be in a sci-fi movie! That aside... It turns out, it's not an evil enterprise but the most multidisciplinary maker space we have seen so far. Everything ranging from printmaking, ceremics (with 4 kilns!), woodworking, lazer cutting, electronics to everything else including tenants making Robots, 3D printing lampshades...
We started off with Ray Bainbridge from Tranquility Aerospace giving us an overview of Devon one, a proposed single-stage reusable vertical take-off vertical landing vehicle with a kerosene/HTP engine and a 30-40kg payload and sharing some system diagram. Ray also cover wider topics on how he has started from a non-space background for additional inspiration.
This room might look small but this is one of the 10+ rooms in Create Space and it certainly had everything we need. We had a few Arduino Mega but everyone was great and many has brought along their own kit. There was no lack of Arduino Uno, Yun and Adafruit's Trinket look-alike-s on the table that emerged from their bags and boxes in the electronics workshop in Create Space. As the day went on, there was even a tank of pressurised gas when we needed it for air flow test. Carl has been extremely entrepreneurial and made great use of the lift for testing the pressure sensor code he was writing (we were at the 11th floor, we planned it, oh no we haven't)!
And here we are firing the solenoid valves, with a modified version of Arduino's blink script:
Just before you think everyone is Arduino pro, and worry that you won't fit into the next class... The point of co-learning is we help each other out, so Steph ran an Arduino 101 at the beginning to help those who have not been exposed to Arduino and Robert has been chipping in too! It's a really friendly atmosphere and everyone tries to contribute and share what they know and help making things work. We've got to thank Faraz, the Create Space Arduino pro for helping us out - you know what, we thought if you need extra Arduino after-class, check their open night out! I'm sure you'll meet Rich there too, he'd make a very good mechanical engineer, and a very helpful one!
Hats off to Lucaz who has been getting up at 4-ish in the morning making his way from Nottingham in a mildly snowy day! In the UK, this translates to a very adventurous travel arrangement for the train can easily fail at times like this... He definitely showed that it is possible to go from attending Arduino 101 to programming the GPS module and has even continued on after everyone has packed up! It has been an amazing effort and the code base has grown significantly in this one day! There's even a new repo on radio comms, thanks Robert. https://github.com/TranquilityAerospace
Finally, we owe Rory a lot for him generously giving us the space when we called out to the community for help. Go, community spirit!
Ah, did we forget to mention the breakfast Steph brought in and the Pizza sponsored by Tranquility Aerospace? Well, we were too focused on taking notes on the Orientation Thruster... well, next time we will try to remember taking photo of the energy sources too. Till then.