Introducing Arduino & Physical Computing

Introducing Arduino & Physical Computing

Introducing Arduino & Physical Computing

Title: Introducing Arduino & Physical Computing
Date: 10th May, 2014
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:00
Booking: This course has now sold out. Drop us an email at to hear about future courses.

Your robot army begins here. For functionality, for art, or just for making life more interesting, you’ll learn: to configure and program the Arduino, to prototype circuits, to interact with sensors and other common components, and to communicate with Processing software running on your computer. After completing the course, you’ll understand not just the limitless creative possibilities of the Arduino, but how to integrate them into larger projects. The course includes your first Arduino Uno, as well as all necessary cables and a stash of buttons, sensors and LEDS to get you hacking the real world (worth over £60).

Arduino: For functionality, for art… for making life more interesting.

Real World Examples

Here are some of our favourite projects using the Arduino:

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.

Software and costs

'Beginners Arduino & Physical Computing' Omniversity course components

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

All software is freely available and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day.

We will be using the Arduino IDE, which can be downloaded from for all platforms.

We will also be using the Processing IDE, which can be downloaded from 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. Make sure it’s got a USB port, which you’ll need in order to program the Arduino.

Suggested preparatory work

  • Install the Arduino IDE
  • Install the Processing IDE

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

Learning Outcomes

  • How to connect and configure an Arduino Uno, and upload programs to it.
  • How to use a breadboard to prototype circuits, and interact with components through software
  • What different kinds of components exist and how to use photoresistor, potentiometers, and LEDs
  • How to communicate with an Arduino using USB and Processing
  • How to expand your Arduino and where to find devices and support

Your tutor: James Medd

James Medd is an artist, musician, and maker who crams Arduino into every aspect of his life, whether it’s in robotic sculptures, interactive installations, email-checking lamps, or location-aware kettles.

He first picked up an Arduino in 2009 with the view to building his own music controllers and has continued to develop his physical computing skills through various self-led projects. In 2011 he used an Arduino to power a mask mirror (check it out) which was featured at MOSI’s Mini Maker Faire. He now runs an Arduino user group at MadLab which takes place on the last Tuesday of the month.

James has taught Arduino and all things digital art across Europe, and strives to bring ideas to life, whether they be practical, bizarre, or a bit of both. He is Technological and Retail Coordinator at MadLab and has recently run workshops for Blackburn is Open, a pop-up arts centre initiated by Wayne Hemingway and for Manchester City Council.


This course has now sold out. Contact us at to hear about future courses.

The class size for this course is smaller than usual, capped at 6 attendees. If you’re looking for a relaxed and intimate environment in which to learn, this is for you!

Image Credit: Snootlab