■ FIGURE 13. Author writing
about four hours till the Faire
was going to pre-open for the
press and I hadn’t written the
software that operated him yet.
■ FIGURE 12.
Ed and the
in the week before the show, but we
had never put all the pieces together
at full height and with the “skin” fitted.
We assembled the two stories of
scaffolding, then wrapped the frame
in the skin for the first time. We then
cut the hole for the video screen,
mounted the video projector, and
hoisted the gun assembly into place.
We mounted the smoke machines
and screwed the head down to the
cross bar, then ran the cables down to
the control board (Figure 12). We
added the lights and the lighting power
lines, as well as the closed circuit
video camera that would display a
Ponginator’s eye view of the crowd as
the ping pong balls rained down.
It took us hours to get the
Ponginator fully assembled, but when he
was finally up and ready to go, there was
really only one “little” problem. We had
The reason for the lack of
code was pretty simple. I had
not been able to write code for
a device that didn’t exist. Now
that I had the device fully
assembled, I could finally begin to
write and test the routines that would
control the gun firing solenoids, activate the lights, LED eyes, and police
lights, start and stop the music players,
rotate the gun turrets, and turn on and
off the smoke machines (Figure 13).
Luckily, I had used many of the
controllers before so I had some code
chunks from previous projects that I
could cut and paste together to talk to