IFD:Toy Story

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Toy Story: Making things sense.
Basics of Physical Computing
Instructor: Jan Sieber
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Capacity: 10 students
Language: English
Location: Marienstraße 7b, Room 102
First Meeting: 18. Oktober 2019, 13:30 - 15:00, 15:15 - 16:45


Physical computing means building interactive physical systems by the use of software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analog world. This laboratory course offers all you need to start your journey in sensing and controlling the physical world with microelectronics.

Your basic objects of investigations will be what you find at home: neglected electronic toys and your roommate's favorite kitchen helper. Instructed knowledge of what you need to give these everyday things a new live will be

  • Basics of electricity and electronics
  • How to become friends with a microcontroller, how to deal with its inputs and outputs
  • Which Sensors and actuators you can use without having to study rocket science first
  • Using tools to build or modify an electronic device

We will be looking for connections between our world and the computer and electronics world - we will stop thinking about computers, just think about computing: Computing offers the opportunity to build complex relationships the way we want them to be, electronics is our most important tool.

In this class we will find out how we can, in an experimental way build our own interactive projects with very basic knowledge of electronics and programming.

Admission requirements

Open to graduate students with little or no physical computing knowledge.

Please send a letter of motivation to:


Final Project

Syllabus (subject to change)


Course Material

Cost for electronic components: 40€