Blog - Sketching with Hardware

Practical Course on Physical Computing

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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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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Day 4 – Ideas Take Form

Published on: April 17, 2017 | Author: Fuad Soudah | Categories: 2017a, Daily Logs

Day 4

Introduction: It seems that every group stepped beyond the preliminary brainstorming process and went ahead with the upbringing of their ideas. Either that or continued deciding between the remaining alternatives. At this point the matter in question was whether we’ll have enough time, but some teams remained confident, with their minds already preset on a common idea. Therefore, making sure that it comes to life was an objective that was continuously being undertaken in a rather diligent manner, simultaneously by all. By the end of the day, despite the interviews of which outcome varied a notch, it seemed that everyone was on point. That was a good harbinger for our projects, as they were about to become sound quite soon!

Team 1 (BoomBox?): Having managed to agree on the preliminary idea on the second day, we pursued the initial concept and made subtle iterations to accommodate the physical constraints that we have ran into along the way. At early stages we browsed through the provided tools and tested the Arduino kit. Martin designed and laser-cut an ideal acrylic plate, which turned out to be perfect for mounting the capacitors onto. Afterwards, he prepared the wooden blocks to mount the motors on, which came with some struggle, considering the fragility of the material. I measured and mapped out the objects in Adobe Illustrator and then managed to adapt them accordingly onto the physical surface. I also tried running all five micro-controllers, but it seemed that they lacked power. We decided to address this issue tomorrow.


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Day 1 – let’s get the party started!

Published on: April 11, 2017 | Author: annabelle.bockwoldt | Categories: 2017a, Daily Logs, Lecture

The first day at this year’s Sketching with Hardware at the Media Informatics Lab of the LMU Munich.

The lucky students who happened to end up at the 2nd floor of the faculty’s building at Amalienstrasse had to overcome several obstacles first:

1st: Cruel darwinism took its toll. Unfortunately not everyone who applied got accepted (acceptance ratio of 1:3).

2nd: You have to pass the Chamber of Secrets while walking upstairs (there really is that mysterious door with exact that name tag on it) …


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Day 8

Published on: April 11, 2017 | Author: Matthias Geiger | Categories: 2017a, Daily Logs

Monday, 3rd of April was the last day before the final presentation of every instrument and nearly every team struggled to get everything done in time. A piece of good news: the MIDI ports, which were believed to be broken seemed to work fine in the end. All in all it was a successful day with a lot of progress for each team.

To get a general overview, all teams were asked for a quick status report and some stress level measurements on a scale from 1 to 10 (hard to observe) had been conducted, which show a rather decreasing trend throughout the day, but certainly there would been some exceptions and outliers.

overall stresslevel


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Day 6 | weekend session

Published on: April 11, 2017 | Author: Nina Maeva Nitzl | Categories: 2017a, Daily Logs


Day 6 (1st of April 2017)

Having organized a chat group for guaranteeing access to the working
space on the weekend, we could again follow the call of duty.


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Day 2 Introduction to Arduino & Project Topic

Published on: April 7, 2017 | Author: Andrea Ngao | Categories: 2017a, Daily Logs, Lecture, Projects

Arduino Introduction



Day 5 – Are we there yet?!

Published on: August 9, 2016 | Author: Huyen Linh Nguyen Vo | Categories: 2016b, Daily Logs

It’s finally half-time! Or more like already in some cases…and although stress filled the air, Friday morning remained rather relaxed and calm, kind of like before a storm. All teams stood ready relatively early to work on their respective projects and to meet their daily to-dos, some with the intention of leaving earlier to enjoy the weekend.

However, as the morning proceeded and the first practical problems, which led to more distinct time pressure, occurred, stress levels increased visibly: Throughout the groups, several teams had to face a few setbacks as their code just would not work the desired way and resulting from that the features they built would not respond. Lunch break today was more of a ‘whenever fits’ situation because many teams just opted to stay and work on their project tasks instead.

Evidently a lot of teams decided they would unfortunately have to come in during the weekend in order to finish things up on time. But that’s another story. For now, let’s recap what happened in the respective teams during this Friday:


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Monday – Day 6

Published on: August 9, 2016 | Author: Katrin Schauer | Categories: 2016b, Daily Logs

The last full day of work began actually really quiet and concentrated. At his point you could see at every table the projects grow and sometimes it was optically even finished. At a few tables you could detect a progress over the weekend so obviously some guys had been here during the last two days. Every team – if worked on the weekend or not – had a plan what to do and to finish on the last day before presentation day. Nearly everybody had the ambitious goal to be finished in the evening in order to have the last four hours of the next day for testing, last bug fixing and painting a poster. So the atmosphere was actually not panic at all rather concentrate and efficient.

Team 1: Floribus Rabidus Electronics

The aim was to finish the project and besides a bug with the shake-switch the main functionalities are implemented and already working. But until this point the cause for the bug could not be found. But nevertheless they seemed quite confident to get everything finished in time.



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