Blog - Sketching with Hardware

Practical Course on Physical Computing

Component Review: TRIAC

Published on: April 20, 2016 | Author: Marinus Burger | Categories: 2016a, Tutorials

As some course members had to do some extra tasks, I did some research that you can see here on an active component, the Triode for Alternating Current. Because we were considering to use one in our project in order to handle serious current loads for the ventilator, I brought my holy TRIAC enclosure along with the washing machine motor to the course. As soon as we got told that working with 230 V wires was not exactly meant to be part of this project, we turned the idea down but still had some short fun with the untamed power of that beast. washing_machine_motor

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Day 5 – Is it half-time yet?

Published on: April 20, 2016 | Author: Patrizia Schmidt | Categories: 2016a, Daily Logs

Friday started out quite relaxing for the teams, as everyone knew what they had to do. So far, most of the teams seemed to adhere to their planned schedule and considered themselves on the safe side. Lunch break was running likewise, with only some teams deliberately working on their projects, whereas others took an extensive break. The later the afternoon, however, the stress level of the groups slightly increased. For the first time since the project ideas were made up, some of us found themselves confronted with practical problems: Here and there, people had to face with difficulties in their codes or they had to notice delays in their hardware-construction. At the end of the day, it became more and more apparent that many would have to stand in attention for their projects though the whole weekend. Let’s have once more a closer look at the state of each team during this Friday:

Team 1 – The CBG



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Team 4 – Meme Shooter

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Tim Kraus | Categories: 2016a, Projects

Hello, we are Tim and Patty and the project we created for this years Sketching with Hardware course is the ‘Meme Shooter‘!



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Final Day

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Miriam Mayer | Categories: 2016a, Daily Logs, Final Presentations

Final Day (Day 7) 

Day seven (or more precisely day nine) is the day of truth. A week of very hard work, has not passed without leaving a trace on the teams.

The most common signs on this day: Dark circles, burns from soldering and hallucinations due to the Fumes of the laser cutter. Nevertheless, the motivation is still very high. The last components are lasered, Code and hardware are getting perfected.

The nervousness is rising. At 12 o’clock the first external guests are expected to have a look at our work and presentations. They are in addition to normal spectators, also a kind of jury. By voting, they decide about the best project at the end oft our Workshop.



Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Miriam Mayer | Categories: 2016a, Best Projects, Projects




Team 2 – Twister with Hardware

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Linda Bandelow | Categories: 2016a, Projects

Twister with Hardware – What did Team 2 do?

-by Linda

After learning about electrical circuits and how to solder, we gained some basic knowledge of the Arduino components and its software. We then almost right away started with our projects. One of our first thoughts of a cool circuit game was going towards Twister, a game for children of all ages. We wanted to make the game more intelligent and make it work without an additional person, who is not able to play and has to work the game turntable. In our game the Arduino should be that referee, which tells the players the next move.


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“Polly …what?” Project Report – Team 5

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Carl Oechsner | Categories: 2016a, Best Projects, Projects

0. Project Advertisement


Confuseball – Team 6

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Sandro Gauß | Categories: 2016a, Best Projects, Projects

Since we’re both big foosball fans, it didn’t take us a lot of time to decide what to implement on this years topic „Circuit Board Games“: A foosball game 2.0

After doing some Brainstorming we decided that our foosball game needs to have two main features. The first and most important one, is the electronic goal counting. We solved the problem with a closed current circuit. When the ball hits the goal, the current circuit will be open for a short time. The Arduino recognizes this change of the circuit and sends a signal to the Android smartphone, which counts the goals. Furthermore the Arduino sends a signal to the green LEDs above the goals, which begin to flash for five times.



Team 6 – The interaction between Arduino and an Android smartphone

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Maximilian Frainzl | Categories: 2016a, Tutorials

Connecting your Arduino with an Android smartphone enriches your „Sketching with Hardware“ projects with a lot of additional features.

For our project „Confuseball“ we used it to receive a notification on the smartphone (and from there it was forwarded to a web application), whenever a player scores a goal. It also would’ve been possible to send back a message from the smartphone to the Arduino, e.g. for controlling some LEDs through the Android app.

In this tutorial I’m giving you an overview of three different possibilities on how to set up a connection between your Arduino and your Android smartphone and explain how you can set it up by yourself.

I. Android phone as a USB host

What you need:


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Day 6 – Final sprint

Published on: April 19, 2016 | Author: Mai-Anh Nguyen | Categories: 2016a, Daily Logs

Today was the day before our final presentation. Some teams seemed to be deeply relaxed and some teams…don’t. All things considered, the hardware and the most components in all teams were made. Now the main focus is to combine hardware and software. Bernhard and Thomas made their rounds to all groups to help them with their last big problems. During the day we also got some external visitors, who heard about this workshop and became interested to see those projects. It was also nice to see the development from Friday to this day.


External visitors


Hard working teams


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