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Troubleshooting an audio error with the Optron Mini

Upon receiving my Optron Mini, I went to the My Optron YouTube channel. There, I was able to find videos of the Optron Mini in use to follow along with. The “Optron Mini App, Getting Started” video helped me set up the instrument, and following along with the “Optron Mini DPAK Session #1” video helped me realize what to do to begin making sounds.

Next, I clicked the “Make Sounds” button under the “Optron Basic Tutorials” menu. In this window, I was able to make my first sound.

I encountered a challenge when I tried to make sounds under any other of the tutorials. Every time I went to click the volume button under one of the tutorials, I would get this error:

I was able to solve this by going into the audio status window under the options tab. There were no input or output locations present, so I selected the ones on my computer.

Afterward, I was able to go on to explore and make sounds with the other tutorials.

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Dr. Chet Udell and The Optron

Dr. Chet Udell is an assistant professor at Oregon State University. Udell involves himself in the college of Biological and Ecological engineering. After getting his Ph.D. in musical composition and electrical engineering at the University of Florida, he went on to teach at the University of Oregon and then Oregon State University. Currently, he directs the Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab (OPEnS) at Oregon State University. The purpose of the lab is to develop environmental sensing projects and conduct research.

Dr. Chet Udell was also involved with the SpiderHarp, an experimental instrument designed to replicate an orb spider’s web on a large scale. More recently Udell created the Optron, a light-based electronic music controller and visualizer. The Optron lies between art and science, and between a lightsaber and a guitar. By being able to be controlled by light, position, and color, it can be a great tool for use in STEAM education. A tool like this allows users to think creatively while gaining an interest in science and technology. The Optron won Udell an award for best performance at the 2017 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.

So far, I have received an Optron Mini and downloaded the Max software required to use it. I had a few issues with connecting the Optron mini to my computer when updating the Max software. I’m really looking forward to learning how to use the Optron and using the tool for STEAM education.

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An introduction to the Tello drone

According to Ryze Robotics, the Tello drone is an easy-to-use lightweight drone that can perform eight different flips, fly up and down, and record short videos. You can control the Tello drone using the Tello app or with a supported Bluetooth device. I found it interesting how you can even use a virtual reality headset with the drone while flying it. 

Tello drones are also a great tool for education. There is an ability to practice programming the drone and its accessories through Scratch. Scratch is a block-based programming language developed by MIT. Its main purpose is to serve as an educational tool to teach users how to build fundamental logic skills that are essential for coding. This is done by teaching users how to think creatively and work collaboratively. However, the Tello drone is not only for beginner coders. There is also an option for advanced users to develop software applications for the Tello. You can buy the Tello drone on the DJI store website.

I think that the Tello drone is a great tool for STEAM education. It adds a real-life addition to practicing programming. By having a physical object that you can affect by coding, the experience is much more memorable and impactful.

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Welcome

My name is Audrey Darus, I am a first-year bioengineering student at Oregon State University. Growing up, my parents always exposed me to the arts and encouraged me to be creative. As a result, thinking outside of the box and learning new things has become very important to me. I enjoy making videos, doing stand-up comedy, drawing, crocheting, and playing instruments. I grew up enjoying art, science, and creating things. This made it very clear to me that engineering is the field for me. In the future, I plan on having a career that involves creating products that make life easier.

I am looking forward to working with various forms of art throughout my URSA experience. I want my outreach project to show youth that there are many career options in STEAM that they would enjoy and succeed in. The idea of STEAM is very interesting to me. Many people don’t realize that the art forms they know and love go hand in hand with STEM topics. By the end of this project, I hope to gain multidisciplinary skills that will help me in my professional career.