010 – Adv. Sensors, RFID etc. + 2nd Assignment Planning

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Advanced Input

So far we have been basically only using variable resistors as our input sensors, but you can of course go with something much more complicated. I’m listing a few different things here that might be useful and interesting.

Resources for sensors. Check these out to see what is available:

  • The ITP Sensor Report – Students from ITP report their findings about various sensors
  • The SensorWiki – A very good resource for finding about different sensors
  • Online stores – Often it’s just useful to browse store websites like Sparkfun, Adafruit, Robotshop etc. for finding out what is possible.


Accelerometers are used for measuring acceleration (surprisingly), but very often they are used more as tilt sensors. Many sensors will give you the data through i2c or some other digital protocol. The problem is that the Standard Firmata does not support i2c. So try to use sensors that have analog output.

This is the accelerometer I showed you http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-analog-accelerometer-breakouts. Works very nicely with the Arduino.

CApacitive sensing


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) are technologies that enable object identification and communication between objects and devices. Essentially, you just place a tag inside any object and you can detect it with an RFID reader.

  • Nearfield – A research project in RFID and NFC. Some interesting design projects there.
  • Äänimuseo – A sound installation that is being used in the Koukkuniemi House for the Elderly.
  • The Beat Blender – A performance instrument that uses RFID
  • Darkroom – An interactive installation at the Rupriikki Media Museum. A photograph developing tray that will detect which paper is placed into it.

2nd Assignment Planning

Please spend the second half of the lecture on thinking about your 2nd assignment. What are you going to do? Why are you doing it?

We will also watch this for some inspiration