Title: Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing
Description: This course tells you everything you need to know about working with the Arduino platform, from software development and simple circuit building, to prototyping new controllers and building robotics.
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:30
Booking: sign up here
Arduino devices open up the exciting new world of physical computing, making real-world applications available even for non-experts to explore. The possible uses of these micro-controllers are limitless – all you need to add is your imagination.
This course tells you everything you need to know about working with the Arduino platform, from software development and simple circuit building, to prototyping new controllers and building robotics.
You’ll learn not only what you can achieve with Arduino boards, but also strategies for integrating them into larger projects, from installations to sensor networks.
And how could you use it? For functionality, for art… for making life more interesting.
Imagine a clock, with hands not telling the time, but where members of your family are by automatically sending back information about their movements. Imagine a bakery that can instantly send a tweet to its followers to tell them when their yummy baked goods are fresh out of the oven. Imagine a beautiful water-based display that spells out letters and numbers with bubbles.
Now imagine what YOU could do with it!
Real World Examples
Here are some of our favourite projects using the Arduino:
- Joe Saavedra‘s SOBEaR, the responsible robot bartender
- Sosolimited’s HBO Snow Window
- And last but not least the MadLab/HACman collaboration: Project-A-Sketch
What you need to be familiar with
You’ll need to know how to use your computer, edit files, and save them.
Software and costs
You will also receive an Arduino Uno, breadboard, holder, USB cable and parts bundle. Each parts bundle contains jumper wires, two pushbuttons, two potentiometers, resistors, 10 LEDs, and a photoresistor.
Additionally, you will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes we write on a USB stick.
All software is freely available and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day.
We will be using the Arduino IDE, version 0021, which can be downloaded from http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software for all platforms.
We will also be using the Processing IDE, version 1.2.1, which can be downloaded from http://processing.org/download/ for all platforms.
Equipment you’ll need
You will need to bring a computer, ideally a laptop, with a recent version of Linux, Windows or OSX installed. You will need a USB interface on this computer.
Suggested preparatory work
- Install the Arduino IDE
- Install the Processing IDE
Make sure both applications start and run properly on your computer – on some Linux distributions, you need to install extra software.
Familiarise yourself with the introduction to the Processing IDE (the Arduino IDE is based on it) at http://processing.org/learning/gettingstarted/
- How to connect and configure Arduino Uno devices to a computer, and download programmes to it
- How to use a breadboard to prototype circuits, and interact with components through software
- What different kinds of components exist and how to use photoresistor, potentiometers, and LEDs
- How to communicate with an Arduino using USB and Processing
- How to expand your Arduino and where to find devices and support
About the course tutor
Dave Mee is one of the founders of the MadLab and a long-time interactive designer, exhibiting work at UK and international festivals including Ars Electronica in Austria to The Big Chill in the UK. His recent work has involved teaching Physical Computing on the Masters’ programme at MMU and building giant etch-a-sketches.