Sept 28th 2011

Beginners guide to Arduino and Physical Computing

Beginners guide to Arduino and Physical Computing

Course Description

Background

Real World Examples

What you need to be familiar with

What we won’t cover

Software and costs

Equipment you’ll need

Suggested preparatory work

Morning

Lunch

Afternoon

Course Delivery

About the MadLab

Location

Aims

Course Description

Background

Physical Computing’ and Arduino devices have made physical interaction affordable and available to non-experts. Whether creating interactive installations, information systems, prototyping products, or making new interfaces, there is a whole world of DIY electronics, interaction design and rapid prototyping available through this platform.

Real World Examples

Here are some examples of our favorite Arduino powered objects.

Here are some of our favourite projects using the Arduino

Joe Saavedra's SOBEaR, the responsible robot bartender,

Sosolimited's HBO Snow Window,

& 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.

Some programming background is useful, but not essential; if you’ve ever written Javascript, Pascal, C, C++, Java or Actionscript, you’ll find the Arduino programming language very familiar. If you’ve written Macros in Excel or any desktop software, you’ll find this will help you understand what’s happening.

What we won’t cover

While we’ll look at some simple programmes, this course is not designed to teach you how to programme to any level of depth.

We won’t be looking at creating your own electronic components, soldering, or controlling mains voltage levels of power.

We won’t be looking at using tools, such as soldering irons, multimeters, or wireclippers.

You’ll be able to develop some of these skills at some of our other courses.

Software and costs

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

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/


Course Syllabus

Morning

10:00 − 10:30        The history of Physical Computing

                What the term means and some interesting work done with it

10:30 − 11:00        How to set up and use an Arduino (for Mac, Linux and Windows machines).

                Making sure they can see each other, and how to send code to it.

11:00 − 11:15        Break

11:15 − 12:15        Basic Components : The types of component and what they’re used for.

Lunch

12:15 − 13:15        A light buffet lunch will be served

Afternoon

13:15 − 13:45        How Electricity Behaves

                Circuits, capacitors, resistors, switches, diodes, capacitors, and breadboards

13:45 − 14:45        Input and Output – controlling LEDs, reading sensors

                Building our first circuit to flash lights using a potentiometer, and programming it

14:45 − 15:45        Talking to the computer – interacting with Processing through your Arduino

                Visualising the potentiometer feedback using Processing and serial communications

15:45 − 16:00        Break

16:00 − 17:00        Talking to the computer – building a simple synthesizer

                Expanding our circuit to make a simple synth using a photoresistor and                                 potentiometer

17:00 − 17:30        Arduino expansions – what can you do next for £50

                Other boards and what they allow, other types of arduino


Learning Outcomes


Course Delivery

18 Places are available on this course.

It will be lead in-person by the tutor. You are encouraged to confer with other participants on the day for support and to develop your learning. There is no coursework or assessment on this programme.


Price & Payment

£120 for the full day, payable in advance via PayPal only (note, we cannot provide VAT receipts)

Included in this price is a hot buffet lunch, with vegetarian options (please notify us if you have other dietary requirements)

You will receive an Arduino Uno, breadboard, holder, USB cable and parts bundle. Each parts bundle contains jumper wires, 2 pushbuttons, 2 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.

Dates & Times

        26th November 2011

        10am to 5:30pm, 1 hour lunch from 12:15 to 13:15


Tutor Biography

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, HyperIsland, FabLab and building giant etch-a-sketches.

About the MadLab

Location

The MadLab is on Edge Street, in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, a ten minute walk from Piccadilly or Victoria train stations.

It is easy to walk to from the main transport hub around Piccadilly Gardens, and there are plenty of independent coffee shops in the area for early birds.

Aims

Established in late 2008, the MadLab is a not-for-profit organisation providing space, infrastructure and and outlet for the region’s digital and creative communities. We bring in some of the most interesting people are projects from around the world, run workshops and themed technology and arts days, and host exhibitions with our partners. A “youth club for adults” where you can learn and share with likeminded individuals.

omniversity.madlab.org.uk

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