Blog - Sketching with Hardware

Practical Course on Physical Computing

Team 6 – A very early smartphone

Published on: September 19, 2017 | Author: Tatsiana Kocharava | Categories: 2017b, Best Projects, Projects

From the brainstorming to our great idea

For the implementation of the project, we decided to use a vintage telephone from the 1970s.



It should become the first minimalistic retro smartphone, which is to be extended by five features 😀. LED lamps are used to indicate the results of the pocket calculator and the mode you are currently using (for example, clock, radio, alarm or computer). They also illuminate together with the vibration alarm for the handset.


Unboxing the Bandit Box

Published on: September 19, 2017 | Author: Alexander Schmidt | Categories: 2017b, Projects

Greetings, dear reader! In the following paragraphs we will journey together through a summary of our idea, learnings and results, displaying our one week long progress of creating the infamous Bandit Box.


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Man in the Mirror – (Mind) bending Infinity Mirror

Published on: September 19, 2017 | Author: Daniel Seliger | Categories: 2017b, Best Projects, Projects

The Idea

After the topic was announced (“Something old, something new, …”) we tried to come up with old things. Since an old telephone had already been picked by another group we initially planned to modify an old typewriter. But the neatest idea we had was to make it type on its own, which, despite beeing a lot of work, would have been pretty obvious and has been done before. So we decided to build something simple. A mirror is old. An infinity mirror is old. A smart mirror is old. But we haven’t seen a (mind) bending smart infinity mirror before.

The Concept

The concept of an infinity mirror is rather old. One mirror in the back, a partly translucent mirror in the front, a LED stripe in between and voilà – infinity mirror illusion. When we tilt one mirror, the “infinity tunnel” bends. And finally, one thing I always wanted to know: “Is it possible to inject light from behind the rear mirror?” – It is!


Team 7 -Sketching with Hardware 2017b- DJHS (Disc Jockey Home System)

Published on: September 19, 2017 | Author: Dario Casadevall Tejedor | Categories: 2017b, Projects

Introduction and Idea

Thinking of old, unused objects and adding or creating new functionality proved as a topic with vast possibilities for creative outcome. The challenge rather lied within finding an appropriate path of suitable ideas for the given time frame.

Or less diplomatically phrased this was our first reaction:

„Cool topic…buuuuut I have no idea what we could do.“

„Neither do I.. WUAH!! Only 5 days left until presentation!“

„What to do? How do we come up with something?“

„As students we should know..hmm“



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Day 7

Published on: September 18, 2017 | Author: Maximilian Rettinger | Categories: 2017b, Daily Logs, Final Presentations

The final day

Tuesday, the 12th September was unfortunately the last day of the event and therefore also the day of the final presentation. This means that most teams were busy with their projects until late at night.

The following diagram provides information about the previous night.



Day 4 – Making progress vs lowering expectations

Published on: September 18, 2017 | Author: Felix Dietz | Categories: 2017b, Daily Logs

Yesterday was the last day of the official brainstorming so every team now has a rough idea what they want to do. While most groups even have already agreed on how exactly their final product should look like, a few are still juggling different ideas on how their implementation should look like. One subject everyone agreed is that every team should declare some key features of their product and then add low priority addons if there is still time left. That way our plans should be pretty manageable keeping in mind that we only got three scary but exciting days left.

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Team 2 – The Emotional Lamp

Published on: September 17, 2017 | Author: Leon Müller | Categories: 2017b, Best Projects, Projects, Terms


How we came up with the emotional lamp

We had a lot of ideas at first, but our goal was to take something old, give it new life and make it highly interactive. We we’re both mediainformatic students after all and just had Interaction Design in the last semester – so it just had to be very interactive.

Team 1 – Berni the Boombox – Technical Documentation

Published on: September 16, 2017 | Author: Patrick Suchostawski | Categories: 2017b, Projects

From old to new

At first we started gathering ideas for turning an old object into a fancy new device with as many functions as possible. After we decided to take an old CD-Player for this project to turn it into something special we met many restrictions at this point. First we wanted to create a CD-Player that plays different web-radio streams, but due to the Ethernet connection in our building, we accepted our fate that this won’t be possible. Many other features we thought of had also to be discarded due to time issues. At least we decided to create a CD-Player that plays several pieces of music, while the original speaker recess gets a new functionality: Showing an eye-like LED panel with several eyeforms fitting the music it plays.


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Sketching with Hardware 2017b Day 2

Published on: September 14, 2017 | Author: An Ngo Tien | Categories: 2017b, Daily Logs, Lecture

Day 2

After an interesting day with keyboard hacking and soldering basics the second day followed. We found us in this dusty and cramped space once again, where we tackled a new exciting topic. The almighty and blue Arduino Board! 


Bernhard, our awesome (but not blue) instructor showed us the power of this blue midget. All kinds of Arduinos were distributed among the students – ranging from Arduino Duemilanoves to Mega ADKs. To some beginners the (Mega) Arduino Boards might seem overwhelming with their huge number of pins at first. However, this misunderstanding was cleared quickly, after the difference between input and output pins, as well as, the difference between analog and digital signals were explained.


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Sketching with Hardware 2017b Day 3

Published on: September 14, 2017 | Author: Markus Posselt | Categories: 2017b, Daily Logs

Sketching with Hardware 2017b

Day 3

After getting a first introduction in electronics and hardware-hacking on the first day (which ended in controlling computergame-cars by tilting toy cars, using a head mounted control for Super Mario, making a digital unicorn jump by riding a broomstick and using other fancy game controlling devices) we got our hands on some Arduino unos, sensors and actuators on the second day to get a feeling for using them. After lots of exciting anticipation the topic of our work for the next few days was revealed:

Something Old,

Something New,

Something Powered,

Something Wo-Hoo!


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