“Time Definition”- an Art Collection Powered by Grove Beginner Kit from Team Chaihuo x.factory

“Time is Too slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fear, Too long for those who grieve, Too short for those who rejoice, But for those who love, time is Eternity.”

–For Katrina’s Sun Dial by Henry Van Dyke


Chaihuo x.factory is a place where innovation, learning and creativity is constantly taking place. Working in such an environment, we thought, why not let us all actually make something too? Since many of us do not have the technical background, the Grove Beginner Kit (an Arduino starter kit) was the perfect place for us to start with.

Many of you reading this are familiar with the Grove system, but for those who don’t, here’s the gist of it. Grove is a modular prototyping system, consisting of a base microcontroller unit (MCU) and various modules. The system is built in such a way that allows users to assemble Grove units with building block approach, compared to the traditional way where using jumper wires and soldering is required. All in all, this makes it easy to assemble and disassemble, making it simple for beginners to learn, experiment, build and prototype.

The Journey…

And so, the journey for our individual projects began. With the theme of “Time”, we brainstormed, discussed and shared about our ideas for our project, all eager to make a masterpiece. There was also a deadline to complete our projects, and with Maker Faire preparations going on simultaneously, time was running out.

Time Definition @Maker Faire Shenzhen 2019

For the weeks leading up to Maker Faire Shenzhen 2019, we worked hard on various aspects, from the design thinking process to the actual coding and building of the hardware/mechanical aspects. Through this experience, we used 3D printing, laser cutting etc. to achieve the parts that we wanted, allowing us to gain first-hand experience of how being a maker was like.

For many of us, the hardest part was probably the software as many did not have prior programming knowledge or experience in using the Arduino system. For that, we had an Arduino training program to teach us basic coding skills to kickstart our journey.

Project Showcase

Life Check– Rain Ye

This project takes time as a horizontal axis, presenting the learning, emotions and philosophy throughout one’s life.

A Blooming Time– Samantha Song

A mechanical flower that will open when touched, it can tell you the day, date, time, temperature and humidity. A beautiful art installation, yet with a practical function, it is a blend of art and technology.
blooming mechanical flower

Time By Wind– Alison Yang

The sound of the bells would echo for a long time, with a tingling crisp sound, and this was what inspired me to make a wind chime clock.

Time Receipt– Eman Chen

The Time Receipt is a representation for the powerlessness that we have over time, reminding everyone to live in the moment and cherish it.

Anti-Gravity LED Matrix Hourglass– Alice Lau

One historical day, Newton derived the law of universal gravitation from Kepler’s law. In order to maintain this law …… and so the birth of this hourglass…

Mischievous Time– Jinhao Li

A mischievious clock that will stop showing the time when someone is in front of it, it is the embodiment of the elusiveness of “time”.

A Bunny Clock that Remembers Birthdays– Lily Li

A Clock that remembers birthdays, it will trigger a birthday reminder at a certain moment every day.

Time Trigger– CY

A clock that only works when someone is in front of it, you are the only one who can trigger the clock to display the current time.

And that’s it for our project showcase! They will be displayed at Chaihuo x.factory, so if you want to have a look or interact with them, do visit us at our maker space to check out the physical exhibition! You could also click each title to check out detailed tutorials and documentation of how we made these projects.

To all makers out there, keep calm and continue making!

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December 2019