Intro to Physical Computing – Lab 1

September 9th, 2008 | BY JASON SAFIR

This is my first blog post at ITP! For the first assignment in my physical computing class, students were asked to build a simple switch application that toggles the output between two LED’s.

The materials used for this lab include electrical wires, breadboard, an Arduino board, two LEDs, resistors, a switch, usb cord, and my laptop.

The first step was to provide power to the board and then hook up wires into their appropriate pins on the Arduino board.

I soldered the wires onto the switch and then inserted them next to the wire that is connected to the input pin.

Uploading the syntax worked on the first attempt!

Now it was time to get creative by creating my own switch. I looked around in my apartment and came across my Calcium and Magnesium vitamins case and noticed that the cap was off! I thought it would be a fun idea to create a switch that would check to see if the vitamins cap was tightly sealed. This would determine whether or not the vitamins are being preserved.

The first step was to see if tin foil would work for this switch …

It worked! Following this successful test, I glued a small strip of tin foil at the end of the last curve inside the cap. This way the switch would only turn on if the cap is tightly sealed. I glued another piece of tin foil on the last ridge of the bottle. For this to work, both strips of tin foil were attached to the input wires on the board.

The vitamins are not being preserved because the red light is on and the cap is off!