Recitation 4, Drawing Machine – Alice Kwok (Leon)


During step 1, I was trying to be really careful when I’m plugging in the wires on the breadboard. A thing that I noticed is that there are not enough coloured wires such as red and black, so I have to substitute white wires in the end when I’m trying to finish building the circuit. This makes identifying the wires a bit harder because I’m used to the notion that red wire means power and black wire means ground.

Step 2 is harder and trickier than step 1. The first small issue I ran into is inserting the potentiometer into the circuit to allow analog input because I’m confused which pins go with which wires. The second issue I ran into is using the function “map()” after asking for help, I finally understand how to use the map function.

Step 3 is pretty easy in terms of assembling all the parts to create a drawing machine. However, it is a bit hard to control the drawing machine, especially the direction it is going. A small thing that my partner and I run into is that the pen could not touch the paper. So, we end up putting something underneath the paper to elevate it.

Question 1

I would be interested to build a small machine with different sensors to help the user locate objects. This will be extremely useful for people who often lose their belongings. A problem I think I will run into is the size since it should be a smaller machine so that it will be easy for people to put it in the pocket to carry around. However, this means that all the different sensors will have to fit inside. I think this machine will not use much digital manipulation of art since it’s a machine that helps locate items, I think a simple change in colour (for example from red to green when the object is found) will be sufficient or a buzzer that will ‘beep’ when the object is found.

Question 2

I think the Fish, Plant, Rack project by Andy Gracie is very interesting, I think it’s fascinating how a robot can readjust the environment the fish is in. Future explored, there could be some machines or robots that can help talk care of fishes without needing any human’s help. However, in some ways, this could be a bit scary as it shows how easily a robot can control a creature’s whole surrounding. I think this project is pretty different from the drawing machine since the drawing machine still needs human help to control the motor in order to change the direction of where the pen is going, while in Fish, Plant, Rack project the robot is self-sufficient on its own without any external help.


 * MotorKnob
 * A stepper motor follows the turns of a potentiometer
 * (or other sensor) on analog input 0.
 * This example code is in the public domain.

#include <Stepper.h>

// change this to the number of steps on your motor
#define STEPS 200

// create an instance of the stepper class, specifying
// the number of steps of the motor and the pins it's
// attached to
Stepper stepper(STEPS, 8, 9, 10, 11);

// the previous reading from the analog input
int previous = 0;

void setup() {
  // set the speed of the motor to 30 RPMs

void loop() {
  // get the sensor value
  int val = analogRead(0);
  val = map(val,0,1023,0,200);

  // move a number of steps equal to the change in the
  // sensor reading
  stepper.step(val - previous);

  // remember the previous value of the sensor
  previous = val;

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