For this project, you will create a series of prototypes with your Ardunio board.
See Course Schedule for due dates.

  1. Arduino LED Prototype
    • Learn to use your Arduino and set it up using your laptop or a lab computer.
    • Use a minimum of 6 LEDs on your Arduino Board Pins.
    • Program your LEDs to blink in the Arduino IDE (Arduino Software), creating a looping pattern with your LEDs.
    • You may add a button interface to this prototype if you choose.

  2. Arduino Analog Sensor Prototype
  3. Use one or more of the following sensors (or a different analog sensor component) to make an interesting circuit. For this demo, start to think more about context. Perhaps build a cardboard/fabric prototype to accompany your circuit:

    • Mini photo cell (light sensor).
    • Potentiometer.
    • Flex Sensor.
    • Ultrasonic Range Finder.

  4. Physical Computing Prototype
    • Use any combination of sensors, LED's, motors, and sculptural materials to create a physical computing prototype of your own design.
    • Use this as a chance to Play! Experiment! Have fun! And to see what you can do with Arduino.
    • You will have more time to explore these materials in a more 'serious' way in the final project, so this is your chance to see what comes out of research and experimentation.

* All of the above materials are available in our physical computing cabinet in Lab 201. You will need to sign out materials in class to use as part of your prototypes and then later return to the drawers. *

* Your first few projects are going to largely use code produced by other people that you can find online. This is okay to use open source code to learn what to do. Your ideas, however, for the final prototype, should reflect your own sensibility and personal expression and not copy another project verbatim. *


  • Pair Arduino with weather and climate-related sensors available in the class cabinet.
  • Bring sensory input into the computer and pair it with your favorite sofware:
    Processing and MAX/MSP/Jitter are both well-suited to respond to inputs from the Arduino.
  • Try out using servo motors to move a paper/cardboard sculpture or handmade gears.
  • Try out Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino.
  • Use fabrics/conductive thread to make a 'wearable'.

Arduino + Processing Demo/Tutorial:


Some Artists to Look At

Grading Criteria

  1. Meets the criteria in the Instructions section.
  2. Inventiveness, creativity.
  3. Use of materials.
  4. Coding.
  5. Consideration of interactive experience.
  6. Demonstrates an increased understanding of the techniques learned in this class.

Advanced Interactive Media: NM420