Archive for the 'physical computing' Category

I connected two FSR sensors and a push-button switch to a breadboard and Arduino, for the purpose of seeing how to read and send multiple serial outputs. First, using the Arduino and pressing on just one of the FSR sensors, I wrote code that allowed me to view the changing analog values for that sensor […]

Pea Patch


I like community gardening spaces in urban environments, and I think it’s an interesting idea to mesh with technology. In particular, I love the notion of a community building something together, over time, that grows and changes on its own to a certain extent, but is ultimately shaped and manipulated by the gardeners themselves. A […]

I hooked up a force-sensing resistor to a breadboard and Arduino in analog pin 0. I programmed the Arduino to read the analog input data in bytes, which sends out the raw binary value of the byte in ASCII characters. This form of output looks like mumbo-jumbo gibberish in the microcontroller’s serial monitor, however when […]

I read the first few chapters of Donald Norman’s book, The Design of Everyday Things (1988). He writes about how good design doesn’t need words or labels or instructions for how to use the object. Well-designed objects are easy to interpret and simple to understand, and they usually contain visible clues as to their operation. […]

I love Old West Shoot ’em Up games, and I wanted to create a way for people to test their quick draw shooting skills with toy pistols, so I built an interactive game called “The Quick and The Dead — Fastest Draw in The West” using the Arduino and some Processing code. GAME There are […]

I hooked up a force-sensitive resistor with a 10k ohm resistor as my analog input, and a RC servo motor to a breadboard and Arduino microcontroller to see how analog input can control a servo motor. This was a really fun lab. The FSR sensor returned a range of values 0 to 800, but when […]

I hooked up two photocell sensors and a piezo speaker to my breadboard and arduino to test analog input and tone output. First, I needed to find the maximum and minimum sensor values in order to map the range to the speaker’s pitch range. To do this, I asked the microcontroller to read the values […]

In this lab, I explored the properties of electricity with a digital multimeter. CONTINUITY – Measuring Continuity I turned my multimeter dial to the continuity mark in order to measure the continuity between two points on a switch. When the switch is open, there is no continuity because there is no electricity flow. When the […]

If I could create a fantasy device that would change my life, and the lives of others, I would create a topical sensor that could measure a person’s level of hydration. Another way to say this might be to call it a “dehydration sensor” that sits on top of the skin. Dehydration is essentially an […]

In the previous labs, I used a switch (on or off) to make a digital circuit. In this lab, I am using two different kinds of variable resistors (potentiometer and force sensor resistor) to make analog inputs which reflect continuous changes in the circuit. First, I took my microcontroller and breadboard and wired a potentiometer […]