I first heard about Arduino this winter while working for Ecotrust Canada where they are using Arduino to develop open source commercial fisheries monitoring devices.
I was told that tinkering with Arduino is a good way to learn about electronics and microcontrolers and that it is easy peasy for someone with programming experience to get started, so I went out and bought myself a Arduino Starter Kit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but after seven years of producing things that only exist virtually or on a flat piece of paper, there is something so satisfying about building and programming something tangible that I can hold and interact with in the physical world.
One of the lessons in the starter kit is on how to build a light theremin with photoresistors. This is basically a noise making instrument that changes tone when you wave your hand in front of it. Building it was pretty easy, and I added a couple of knobs to control the variables for note duration and the delay in between notes. You can check out the video below to see the not-terrible sounds it makes.
I highly recommend Arduino tinkering for anyone with geeky tendencies!