Input to Respond to...

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Your MakerBit projects are controlled by a media list.


A media list is a list of URLs that point to YouTube or Google Drive videos, or any other Internet-based media.


The idea is simple: Use the "+" icon to add a new item to the list.  If you want the content displayed in the web view window to be a web-page or a YouTube video, choose "Website" or "YouTube" while that web-page or YouTube video is being displayed at that moment in the Chrome browser.  


For Google Drive videos, the video doesn't need to be visible at that moment; you will be offered a gallery display of the different Google Drive videos available, both of your own, and those shared with you.


Also, for videos, you will need to enter the start and stop times for the part of the video that you wish to play. If you want to pay all of it, just leave the Start and End values as they are originally displayed.


For Google Drive videos, you have the option to "Play Offline", which is to say that the first time you play the video, it will be cached locally on your computer. After that, if you play the video again, you won't even need an Internet connection, because the movie data will be retrieved from storage on your own computer.


This can also be useful in classroom situations, where you want to minimize the total load on bandwidth that can occur when many people are viewing Internet-based videos at the same time.


However, there are also some less desireable effects of storing locally, such as a slower response to inputs, and general slowness in the overall responsiveness of the app. Also, the file size (maximum play time) of the video is limited.

Typically, you will just click the check-box for a touch sensor. This tells the MakerBit Media Linker to open that particular webpage, or play that particular video when that touch sensor is touched.

Once you have added the URL for the video or web-page, click the blue triangle to open the configuration windows for touch sensing and turning on and off LEDs and other devices.

Typically, you will just click the check-box for a touch sensor.


This tells the MakerBit for Chrome software to open that particular webpage, or play that particular video when that touch sensor is touched.


However, you can also scroll down in the list of inputs, and use the Analog inputs as well.  The Analog values displays are a measure of the resistance across the two connections of the sockets if a rainbow cable is connected to the blue ANALOG box of the MakerBit shield.


For example, for a photocell, the values displayed will decrease when light shines on the photocell, because the presence of light decreases the resistance of the photocell to the flow of electricity.


When the photocell is darkened, the value displayed will increase, because with lower levels of light on a photocell, the resistance to the flow of electricity goes up.

If no photocells are attached to any of the analog connections, "virtual" values of either 1000 or 1001 will be displayed, as you can see above for analog input A4.  "1000" for A0, A1, A2 and A3 signify that T5, T6, T7 or T8 are not being touched, and 1001 will appear for A0-A3 when T5-T8 are being touched.


This is done to provide a way to use the MakerBit touch sensors with software like HyperStudio, Snap4Arduino, or any other software that would otherwise work with Standard Firmata on the Arduino.


The MakerBit will displays values of 1000, and then 1005 to 1016 in analog input A4, where 1002 through 1013 values correspond to touching T5-T16.


Finally, if you scroll down even further, you can see the digital pins used for the LEDs, pins 2-13.


Normally, these are set to output "high" or "low" to turn on LEDs, but they can also be used as digital inputs from other circuits and sensors.  For example, there are popular assortments of sensor modules that can be adjusted so that when the sensor reaches a certain threshold, it sets one of the digital pins 5-16 to "high", when that pin is set to input rather than output.

This is much more detailed information than you'll need for normal use of the MakerBit, but is provided here to demonstrate just how very versatile the MakerBit is in its ability to report back both touch sensing, digital input, and analog data measurements from the analog inputs.