Official course description, subject to change:
Basic info last published 1/10-23

Physical Computing

Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
BSc in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Course manager
Associate Professor
Course semester
Forår 2024
29 January 2024
23 August 2024
The course will introduce and teach students to work with Physical Computing, including an exploration of input and output modalities in human-machine interactions beyond screens, keyboards and the mouse. The course will teach the students fundamental concepts of basic electronics and how to work with a microcontroller using for example the Arduino platform.

The course is important because in any design practice, knowledge about the materials used to do design is essential. In the larger context of digital design, students need to have a certain level of knowledge about digital materials also on a physical level, i.e. electronics. The course allow students to experiment with sensors and other input or output technologies as low-level building-block in technology design allowing them to apprehend knowledge of how everyday technologies are constructed and how to design interactive technologies and experiences from a technical, physical perspective.

After the course, it is expected that the student should be able to, for example, build interactive Physical Computing systems based around for example the Arduino-platform, read simple datasheets and circuit schematics, and design and construct simple interactive installations.

The course is rather hands-on, and includes much lab-work. The course teach the students fundamental concepts of basic electronics and how to connect and program a microcontroller. Students will get familiar with the properties and use of standard components such as resistors, diodes, transistors and capacitors but also more complex components and sensors. They will also learn how to construct circuits on a breadboard.

Formal prerequisites
This  course is a 2nd semester course on the BSc Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Apply, Name, and Describe basic electronic components, sensors, actuators and relevant formulas.
  • Construct interactive models, devices or systems utilizing microcontrollers that will be programmed by the students.
  • Prototype a working Physical Computing system.
  • Evaluate and reflect on the work from a technical, physical/digital and interaction paradigm perspective.
  • Analyse and relate your work to State-of-the-art (e.g. from research articles)
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
D1G: Submission for groups with following oral exam based on the submission. Shared responsibility for the report.