Physical Computing

I run the Electronics Clinic at the Bartlett University College London. Here we explore interactive environments in the widest sense. We are currently using the open source Arduino system for most of our projects. The notes here are in the process of being improved and updated. Photos will follow soon. I will be encouraging my students to document their projects and put them online here.

Workshop Notes (word file)

Arduino code examples - sometimes including Processing code (text files):

Button Push
Button Counter
Analog In
Analog In Analog Out
Motor Speed Control from Variable Resistor
Processing to Analog Out
Virtual Etch A Sketch


Motor Control

We are using a TIP 120 transitor to turn on the DC motor from one of the PWM pins - pin9 in this case. In this piece of code we are pulsing the motor at set time intervals.

int motorpin = 9; // select the pin for the motor

void setup() {
pinMode(motorpin, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
analogWrite(motorpin, 100); //50% speed
delay(100); //100 milliseconds
analogWrite(motorpin, 255); //100% speed
delay(50); //50 milliseconds
analogWrite(motorpin, 0); // off
delay(150); //150 milliseconds


Fred Guttfield's "Second Order Bird Table" tipped by an Arduino driven fan.

Christian Nold


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All the work on the Softhook website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.5 License unless otherwise stated on the page or in the image ALT tag. The CSS is adapted from Intensive Station

Last Updated 3/3/2011

It has been an enourmous long time since I last updated this! I have never been a blog person, and felt irritated by the way new media culture pushes us to be constantly visible to the world. Recently though I kept getting email from people wondering what I was up to. So today is my birthday and I have finally given in :) . So a quick update I am excited about what Rob van Kranenburg and I are calling the Internet of People - which will be a book coming out in the next few months. I am also exstatic about trying to build and map alternative currencies. Take a look at the Bijlmer Euro project. In the last year I have also been building a unique mapping software called Sensory Journeys and the Town Toolkits for which I will build a proper site. On Saturday I am off to Helsinki for the Pixeache festival where I am preseting some work but more importantly working on and island toolkit for the next year. More info soon...