Design and development complete, the parts ordered, and now for assembly. We needed 50 units for summer camp. It did not make sense to outsource or automate this part. Ironic that here we are assembling by hand our LearningBot that will be used to inspire kids to invent and create intelligent systems.
In any case, the first day we laid out all the parts and came up with a game plan. We warmed up the soldering irons, got out tweezers, and arranged our workspace for efficiency and comfort knowing that we would be sitting here for the next 3-4 days.
Then, we got to work. Starting with soldering the Arduino and the LEDs to the board, we then connected it to the computer to run a test. This was the first time using this specific Arduino Nano. We were pleased to find that the first 10 had no issues and so we decided to go ahead and fully assemble.
The focus of these first bots was to make sure that the components were installed correctly. There was a lot of double and triple checking. We modified the order and who did what until we settled into a nice pace.
Once we found our rhythm, instead of accelerating, I found myself paying attention to the solder, the placement, the amount, and how it melts onto the connection with a slight puff of smoke.
There is something beautiful about witnessing these details of our physical world. The sights, the smells, the feel of the heat that even in an assembly line, can be a witness of art.
LearningBot is about bringing kids into a creative learning journey. For me it starts by seeing art in our everyday and enjoying the rhythm of the journey.