generative modeling for Rhino
The purpose behind Firefly is to basically eliminate the need for scripting. Basically, all you have to do is upload the Firefly Firmata sketch (included in the zip file) and it sets up all of the pins to be able to talk back and forth with Grasshopper. Then you can program with the Arduino using the Grasshopper interface. There are a lot of Grasshopper examples included in the zip file which shows you how to read/write data from the board and more. You can download Firefly at www.firefllyexperiments.com. There is also a manual (Firefly Primer) with more instructions.
I think you'll find that working with an Arduino is really pretty easy. The whole purpose behind the Arduino platform is to make it easy for people (regardless of profession) to get introduced into electronics... and because it's open source, there is a lot of information out there to get up and running in no time. If you're interested into a basic understanding of Arduino, I would certainly start by checking out the Arduino website... there are lots of example files and information at www.arduino.cc. I would definitely recommend trying to go through a few of the examples under the 'Learning' Tab on the arduino site. There's also a really good book for the fundamentals behind Arduino at (http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596155513/) I've found that getting started with electronics is kind of addictive and it's amazing what physical computing can offer. As far as I know (and I could be wrong) but I believe the authors of kinetic pavilion were pretty new to both arduino and grasshopper. Their work is great and just a testament to how powerful and flexible the arduino and grasshopper platforms have become. Let me know if you have any more questions.
alright you got me convinced..it has been a childhood dream of mine to play with electronic boards having a dad who is an electronics junkie that figured since I am an artist I wouldn't have much to do with it...anyways'what hardware do you reccomend to start off with? I think I will start with the firefly primer which if is anyhting like the grasshopper primer will be excellent for me. I saw some started kits on the web but I don't know which one to get.
There are a number of good starter kits on the market for you to choose from. Here's a pretty good one which has most of the basics to get up and running (http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=...). It's a little light on sensors, so you may want to look through the sensors page on the adafruit website and choose a few that look interesting to you. If you have a little more money, here are two other kits which have many more components that will help round out your electronics supply. Here is a good one for around $85 (http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=...). And here's another great one from SparkFun for around $95 (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10173). Of course, you can buy an Arduino Uno for around $29.99 and you can purchase each of these components separately and only choose the ones you need (and perhaps save some money)... but these are pretty good kits which include all the stuff you need to get started. Good luck.