This is an animated LEGO toy which monitors twitter and celebrates each time it finds a new occurrence of the hashtag #BLOCKSHELL by sounding a bell, flashing a light, and sending a little minfigure activist dude up the superstructure of an Arctic oil rig.
(The minifig dude is celebrating because he agrees LEGO should be filling kids heads with inspiration and ingenuity rather than making oil companies that are wrecking the planet look good.)
At the heart of this toy was an idea that I wanted to:
1) Watch twitter for something
2) Make some noise and movement when that something happens
This probably could have been done with a single PHP or Python script rather than my hodge-podge of shell scripts and an Applescript, but as I tried to put it together fast, over a weekend, this is where the combination of reusing what I could find and the limits of my code skills ended up hacking together.
I have both an Arduino Uno and a Leonardo. I chose Leonardo for this project because it handles monitoring serial communications via the USB port, and the Uno doesn't. I've not yet splashed out for a WIFI Shield or an ehternet shield, so I needed something that would be able to interact with the internet via the laptop attached via USB. With onboard internet, you could make a more independent toy.
What you'll need:
Macbook Pro or other OSX based computer
Arduino Leonardo or similar (make sure it can handle Serial communications on the USB)
Electric Motor (one that will run on a 5 volt source)
100 Ohm resistor (Or thereabouts)
Optional: For the particular toy I made, I used the following kits:
Connex 125 Scientific Challenge Set