Physical Computing I

Short Name
Physical Computing
Module Code
Module Coordinator
  • Prof. Dr. Ing. Diethelm Bienhaus
  • Prof. Dr. Ing. Diethelm Bienhaus
Short Description
The course introduces students in hardware platforms for the Physical Computing and equips them with a sound knowledge of the programming of such systems and the integration of sensors and actors. Furthermore, students obtain practical experiences with mobile robots.
Learning Objectives

Having actively participated in the module, students are able to design and implement applications for interactive physical systems consisting of hardware and software.

Such systems are often referred to as physical computing in the sense of building interactive physical systems based on software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analogue world.

Students have basic knowledge of the programming of single board computers and can integrate analogue and digital I/Os in their own applications.

Participants know different physical computing platforms and can decide for which type of tasks they are applicable.

Students have knowledge and understanding of various sensors for measuring physical quantities and are able to integrate them in own programs.

They are familiar with the controlling of servo or stepper motors.

Students can solve a more complex task from an application area like robotics in team work.

  • Physical Computing platforms Arduino and Raspberry Pi as well as various sensors and actors
  • Hard- and Software of the Arduino Boards and example applications:
  • control of LEDs and LC-Displays
  • control of servo and stepper motors
  • sensors like light dependent resistors and ultrasonic sensors
  • Introduction to the Raspberry Pi
  • Programming fundamentals of mobile robotics
  • After these introductory material project tasks such as the construction and programming of robotic systems are issued, which have to be solved in teamwork.
Duration in Semester
Instruction Language
Total Effort
6.0 CrP; an estimated 180 hours, of which approximately 60 are spent in class.
Weekly School Hours
Method of Instruction

Vorlesung 1 SWS, Praktikum 3 SWS

Requirements for the awarding of Credit Points

Formal examination: presentation and documentation of project results

Evaluation Standard
according to examination regulations (§ 9)
As Needed
  • Thomas Brühlmann, Th.: Arduino: Praxiseinstieg
  • Sommer, U.: Praxisbuch Arduino - Mikrocontroller-Programmierung mit Arduino und Freeduino
  • von Odendahl, Finn, Wenger: Arduino - Physical Computing für Bastler, Designer und Geeks
  • Banzi, M.: Getting Started with Arduino
  • Dombrowski, K.: Raspberry Pi – Das Handbuch
Prerequisite Modules
Prerequisite for Modules