Anuradha Reddy
(dr. - she/her)

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I’m Anu! I research, make, craft, code, and sometimes, I hack things.

I’m Anu! I research, make, craft, code, and sometimes, hack things.

Kolam Antenna Workshop

Workshop for the Open Hardware Summit 2023, New York City
Organizers: Christin Lundgren & Anu Reddy

Kolam is a folk heritage craft from South India, generating intricate, winding, symmetrical, and geometric patterns. In this workshop, we use these patterns to build-a-long Kolam antennas using copper wire through wire-wrapping. All participants took home a Kolam wire-wrapped antenna that they can use for WiFi/Bluetooth applications.

We began the workshop with an introduction to Kolam as a heritage artistic practice and describe its relevance to craftwork and computation. Christin then described how a monopole antenna works.

Following a brief demonstration of wire-wrapping, participants made their own antennas. We provided copper wire and 3D-printed jigs for wire-wrapping the antennas, as well as connectors to add to the antennas. We then incorporated a BlueMacro microcontroller to test the antenna by controlling an RGB LED using the Adafruit Bluefruit Connect App. Participants download the app to test their antenna. Finally, we open-sourced the BlueMacro RGB LED code and made it available to the participants if they wished to modify and use it on their own devices later.