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Practical Course on Physical Computing

Team 9 – Feline Cuisine

Published on: September 12, 2018 | Author: Sarah Muser | Categories: 2018b, Projects


Imagine you own two cats. One of them is rather thin, let’s call her Minnie. The other one, his name is Garfield, well obviously he’s pretty fat. You want to give Minnie special food so that she gains some weight. But Garfield always eats her food! To make sure that each cat only eats its own food you would have to stand next to them the whole time they are eating. So you think: “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cat food dispenser which makes sure that each cat gets his own special food?”

Great news! We built one!


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Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Lisa Andres | Categories: 2018b, Tutorials

For our project „Feline Cuisine“ we had the idea to create a cat feeding machine which gives personalized food to each cat. To realize that, we used RFID tags, which can be attached to a cats collar.


What is RFID?

RFID (“radio-frequency identification”) is a technology to identify and track RFID tags. The tags contain an identification code which can read by an RFID reader using radio waves. The tags can be attached to objects or be implanted under the skin and need to touch the reader or be nearby it, so the RFID reader can identify the RFID tag. The RFID tag is a transponder which can transfer data and gets charged with power with the RFID reader. Tags that contain an own battery can reach a higher distance to be tracked.


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The last day of Sketching with Hardware 2018B

Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Diana Irmscher | Categories: 2018b, Daily Logs, Final Presentations

Thursday, the 4. September in 2018, was our last day in the Sketching with Hardware Workshop. On this day, I was on turn to document the day progress. I started in the morning and asked each team questions about project status, stress level and how they thought the workshop after one week.


Team 8 – What’s the Story Morning Glory

Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Elena Rudolph | Categories: 2018b, Projects

Wake up to your perfect breakfast everyday using our innovative litte Naught-o-mate!


Naught-o-mation (eng.) describes a combination between “automation” and “naughtiness” and is often associated with home-automation-gadgets that seem to have evolved an evil characer.
Not compulsary, but indeed in a lot of cases this turns the helping functions of your home-automtion-tool into rather undesirable events.

What’s the Story Morning Glory is an extremely innovative tool that serves you your breakfast every morning with best intentions. After a dish is placed inside the automat, it will automatically be filled with cornflakes and milk. Also, a spoon will be provided. Last but not least, and especially usefull for all our food-bloggers out there, a picture of your dish will be taken.
Unluckily, the portioning can sometimes be a bit to generous…

This video will give you an small insight:


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How to build a smartphone camera trigger

Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Lea Gardner | Categories: 2018b, Tutorials


Making sure that everything trivial is safely documented in form of a picture is nowadays a commonly practiced procedure. A quick morning selfie (your face might look different today?), a foodpic or a picture of your last holiday taken by means of your selfie-stick – all these routines need good and flexible access to your smartphone camera. For our Arduino Project “What’s the story morning glory?” we built a breakfast box which serves you your cereals and milk and takes a picture of your finely prepared breakfast (take a look at the blog entry from Elena Rudolph).

#selfie #fornoreasonatall


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Stepper Motors

Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Sakina Mammadova | Categories: 2018b, Tutorials

In this blog post I will talk about stepper motors. 

First I am going to give you some information you need to know about these motors. Afterwards I will explain why we used stepper motors in our project (see blog post about Snack2Go). 

Are you ready? Let’s go!


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Team 1- An Episode of A Naughty Dirt Cleaner

Published on: September 11, 2018 | Author: Yanfei Hu Fleischhauer | Categories: 2018b, Projects

Previously in A Naughty Dirt Cleaner…ehhh…zero knowledge!


    It was at the end of the second day of this class, after we were introduced into the world of electronics, that we started to rack our brains to look for idea for this semester’s theme, Naught-O-mation. We came up with a bunch of ideas and one of them made us laugh – naughtily! It is about a machine that is supposed to clean all sorts of dirt on clothes. This machine fulfills its job in a very NEAT way: instead of washing the dirt away, it covers the dirty spot with color or, even more efficiently, cuts the dirty part off.


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Day 1 – Creating an unnerving home

Published on: September 10, 2018 | Author: Christopher Masurek | Categories: 2018b, Daily Logs

After two days of introduction, all participants were really hyped for the project topic and for creating their own revolution in the field of smart home assistance – while including some aspects the user would not except. The motivation across all groups was high, and the 30-minute brainstorming session birthed some promising ideas. Each team discussed their ideas in the group for exchanging or sharing some projects with the rest. Quickly, the first concrete ideas manifested and the teams started to draw, discuss and build their first prototypes. In the following, the group ideas, the planned features as well as their progress for the first day and their next steps will be documented.

Day 1: Humble beginnings


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Team 3- Dish Devil

Published on: September 10, 2018 | Author: Jonas Safranek | Categories: 2018b, Projects

The Dish Devil

After some introductory lessons and a lot of suspense the topic was finally revealed to us: home NAUGHT-omation. Our reaction? Awesome!

During our initial brainstorming phase we tried to go from room to room and find a good household-item to improve. Only brilliant ideas came to mind. Flamethrower toaster? Genius. Electrified door knob if you forgot your keys? Negative reinforcement for the whole family! A postbox that separates and ( immediately shredders) advertisement from real mail? Sounds great! Yep, but it will also destroy your mail if you don’t empty it frequently.

You can already see the direction this is taking. Punishing undesired behavior… Way to drastically…

But you know what’s even better? A nice place to store your dirty dishes. Keep them out of the way on a little platform at the side of your sink. Just place and forget! Well maybe Not… The device registers if there are dishes on the platform and starts an internal timer. After the timer runs out, the device will tilt the surface and vibrate until all your beloved china crashes in to the sink (ready to finally be cleaned)  


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HX711 – How to measure (in)correctly

Published on: September 10, 2018 | Author: Jan Kaiser | Categories: 2018b, Tutorials


The Naughty Weighn, known from Julia’s blog post, is a smart scale for human measurements. Built from a used scale purchased for exactly one purpose – experimenting – it was quickly taken apart and analyzed.

Image 1: The scale’s microcontroller and load-cell cables


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