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A continuation of the electronics curriculum design of programmable microcontroller systems for creating artworks that are able to respond to complex sets of input conditions, perform algorithmic and procedural processing and generate real time output.

Prerequisites: VIS 147A.


Spring 2009 - Vis 147B

Robert Twomey

My work:

I also work at the Experimental Game Lab (

Office Hours: Thursdays 4-5pm, electronics lab (VAF 106)

Chris Head

Office Hours: Email! Atkinson Hall 2503

Fk schematic2 L.jpg

datasheet (400+ pages)


Week 1 - Intro/Assembly

  • Introduction
  • Assemble your Freeduino:
  • Download and install Arduino 0015 software:
  • Assignment: Assembled, functioning Freeduino, communicating with computer, able to upload test sketches, before next class.
  • NOTE: We have a newer, beefier processor than the original Arduino. You need to tell the Arduino software this.
    • (if you had problems uploading, this may have been why)
    • In the Arduino software, under Tools->Board, select the Duemilanove w/ Atmega 328.

Week 2 - Digital input/output

Week 2 Lab

Week 3 - Analog Input/Output, PWM

  • lights, fading
  • sounds, tone generation
  • Basic motor control (DC motors) see week 5

Week 3 Lab

Week 4 - Interfacing

  • Serial Interface
  • Processing, MaxMSP, and many more.
  • Computer -> Arduino
  • Arduino -> Computer

Week 4 Lab

Week 5 - Catchup / Oscilloscope / Your own projects

  • Discuss homework.
  • The Oscilloscope (Ah-ha!)
  • Wikis (take it away Chris)
  • HOMEWORK: Look on-line to find an interesting project someone has made with an Arduino. Register for this Wiki (instructions below), and post a link to the project you found, along with a short paragraph describing your interest in the project. PLEASE WRITE A PARAGRAPH describing your interest in the project, what aspects are relevant to your own possible final project, etc.

Places to look for projects:

Week 6 - Advanced Motor Controll

  • Demos of high-voltage and advanced motor control
  • Discussion of pre-final project (your homework for the next two weeks)

Week 6 Lab

Week 7 - Designing your own PCBs

  • board layout

Week 8 - Etching your own PCBs

  • Print-n-peel
  • Radioshack brand copper board etchant.

Week X - Enclosures, Linkages, Framing

Week Y - Advanced Interfaces

Week Z - Multiplexed displays

Dot matrix LEDs.

Week Z



  • 35% Final Project
    • Proposal
    • Fabrication
    • Documentation
  • 25% Semi-Final Project
  • 10 % Attendance
  • 30 % Assignments (weekly)

Students Pages

How to create a project page

Chris's final project template

Micha's page

Mchoy's page

Braden's page

Stephanie's page

John's page

Jane's page

Shani's Page

Ben's Page

Ginge's Page

Cecily's Page

Cassandra Martell's page

Patrick's Page

Sirena's Page

fabiola's page

Sean's page

sukyeong's page

Seth's page



Main Board

Many different options. All share a common programming environment, common code, and a similar physical layout. The board we are using does not require an external USB adaptor, which means all we need to do to program (and power) it is to plug it into the computer with a USB cable.

Here are some of the variants: