Introduction to Physical Computing

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The objectif of the course and the pratical sessions is to offer to students an theoritical and pratical overview of Physical Computing domain. By Physical Computing we means the building of little systems, usually interactive, composed of sensors (like button), actutor (like led, motors) linked to microcontroller and eventually connected to computer.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of reports written during pratical sessions. The reports must describe your realisations and experiments. You can adapt and modify circuits and codes to show your creativity or possible enhancements. When a circuit is operational give a demonstration to teacher. In our report, for each built circuit present the schematic and code (you can omit some part if you give appropriate indication) with explanation. Always in report, indicate your modification, circuit and code enhancements and your sources information if any.

Pratical materials

Circuits will be built with Arduino board as main component. Arduino IDE will be used to edit, compile program, this program is also used to put the compiled and program on Arduino board (also referred as flashing the board.

Level 1 : Basics

The minimal circuits to realize are Blinking on board LED, Blinking external LED, Play Note, Push Button, Potentiometer. For report you can adapt Multiple LEDs

  1. Blinking on board LED: use Files/Examples/Basics/Blink in Arduino IDE
  2. Blinking external LED: explanations, code and Schematic
  3. Push Button: explanations, code and Schematic. Code is also in Arduino IDE (Files/Examples/Digital/Button)
  4. Multiple LEDs: explanations, code and Schematic
  5. Potentiometer (variable resistor): explanations, code and Schematic

Level 2 : Medium

to be completed

  1. Servormotor
  2. Servermotor controlled by Wii Nunchuk
  3. Nokia LCD
  4. Bidirectional Communication with PC
  5. Matrice Keyboard
  6. Introduction to Processing environment

Level 3 : Advanced

to be completed

  1. Wireless Communication: Bluetooth or Zigbee
  2. Use of interruption

Level 4 : Misc.

to be completed

  1. Create our own project
  2. Simon game with your personal modification
  3. Pong Game with arduino + 2 potentiometers + processing


Translated wiki pages praticals with arduino