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Physical Computing

Use microprocessors to build robotics for wide array of purposes

Introduction to Arduinos

Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, as well as an expanding user community that designs, manufactures microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world. These systems provide sets of digital and analog I/O pins that can be interfaced to various expansion boards ("shields") and other circuits. The first Arduino was introduced in 2005, with the goal to provide an inexpensive products for novices and professionals to create devices that interact with environment using sensors and actuators (motors).

Popular Sensors for Projects

Most sensors have a tutorial page filled with specifications for the product.

Photo cell (Cds photoresistor): light sensors

Analog Temperature Sensor (TMP36)

PIR Sensor (motion)


Why use Microcontrollers for Higher Education Projects?

Within Temple University's Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, there are technological tools that serve many purposes. These tools include physical computing devices such as Arduino, Rasberry Pi and other maker devices for students to play with. However, "play" is not the only use for these devices. They can be used for serious prototyping and digital research projects as well, particularly projects that fall within STEM curriculum. digital digs, a blogger, who writes about digital humanities posted a quote by David Gruber that lays a solid framework for where Arduinos fit into the digital scholarship methodology. Gruber puts it well in his chapter in Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities, where he observes:

"Digital tools can contribute to a practice-centered, activity-based digital humanities in the rhetoric of science, one that moves scholars away from a logic of representation and toward the logic informing "New Materialism" or the rejection of metaphysics in favor of ontologies made and remade from material processes, practices and organizations, human and non-human, visible and invisible, turning together all the time" (296-7).

To read more about Arduino Heuretics, the blog post written by digital digs click here.

Books // Links Related to Digital Scholarship and Arduinos

There are plenty of resources for learning how to use physical computing in your work.

Where to Buy Arduino & Other Maker Equiptment

There are lots of great websites to purchase DIY electronic equipment to build new inventions with. Some great websites include:




Arduino Products