Media Technology MSc

Hardware & Physical Computing

Objective To understand processors, sensors, and actuators. Having hands-on experience with building a small computer, programming an Arduino, interfacing physical devices, and using this in a physical installation.
Teacher(s) Paul Jansen Klomp, additional class by Maarten Lamers
Course Level 400
ECTS Credits 3
Number of Classes 8
Examination Final project

This course is about connecting computers to the physical world. We are all used to connecting ourselves to computers, for example via keyboard, mouse, monitor, and touch screen. However, many creative computing applications require a computer to connect to the physical world via other sensors (buttons, dials, thermometers, distance sensors, gps, pressure sensors, accelerometers, light sensors, …) and actuators (motors, steppermotors, servo’s, leds, lcd’s, electrical appliances, …). Typical application domains where computers sense and act in the physical world are robotics, tactile interaction, home automation, interactive installations, and experimental research equipment.

This course introduces physical computing and interfacing via the Arduino open-source hardware platform. Arduino’s are inexpensive and popular micro-controller boards. Students learn to build their own Arduino board, to connect sensors and actuators, to program the Arduino, and must then apply it in a creative computing project — they must build an interactive installation or robot.

View the "This is Arduino" page that is used in this course.