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Intro to Physical Computing Syllabus

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Dustyn Roberts Fall 12

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Contact: You can reach me by: email (preferred) dustyn(at)dustynrobots.com, phone at 201.452.1583, or Skype at dustyn.roberts
Office hours: Off-site: Monday evenings 4-6pm in my office at NYU-Poly (please email me a head's up), and by appointment - email me to set something up.
On-site: Wednesday evenings from 5:30pm until class starts. Look for me in the adjunct lounge until about 6:15pm.
Location: 6 Metrotech Center, Rogers Hall 520A, Brooklyn, NY
From ITP (20 mins) take the A/C/F/R train to Jay St Metrotech - Rogers Hall is the main NYU-Poly building that will be right in front of you with purple and green letters - entrance next to Starbucks. Follow the hallway to the stairs or elevator, get to the 5th floor, turn right, then you'll see room 520 in front of you. My office is in there so just knock.



  • Wed, 6:30 - 9, Rm 406 (Class Dates)
    • more than 2 absences or more than 5 late arrivals is an automatic failure


Class Blogs:

Please press "Edit" at the bottom of this page, login and enter the url to your blog (if you are new to wiki formatting just follow the pattern)

Notes from classes

Week 1
What is Physical Computing? SixthSense Technology

Week 2

Nokia Morph Concept
As mentioned today in class, this is a video of Nokia's Morph Concept (emphasis on the word "concept", ergo the illustrated nature of the video):

Week 6
shadow monsters
sensor wiki Processing code - punctuation method

Student suggestions:

Book Erika mentioned in class a few weeks ago: The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

Imagining the Future of Emergency Management Tech: Video

Week 11 (Nov 14)

- now, get up and move and sit in a new place and/or next to someone you haven't sat next to before

Permission to suck

PRESENT THIS WEEK: Final project concept presentations/discussions. Have an idea to talk about or be ready to jump in with someone else.

In-class discussion/exercise:


For next week, document the concept for your final project. Describe the technical system briefly (one paragraph with a diagram). Prepare a preliminary bill of materials and start budgeting the cost.
Develop a plan to playtest your project. Perform a playtest before the next class and report on it.

Week 12 (Nov 21)

In-class discussion/exercise:

  • Wireless communication overview
    • Bluetooth example
    • Shilpan - why wifi
  • Adam - getting started with Max

PRESENT THIS WEEK: Final project discussion: concepts, diagrams, BOM, play test reports

Assignment for next week:

Revise your project plan and description based on what you've learned from your play test

Week 13 (Nov 28)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

PRESENT THIS WEEK: Final project system plan presentations


  • Finish your final project documentation/presentation. This includes:
    • Description of concept and goal/objective
    • Steps of implementation (post code, schematics, etc.)
    • Bill of Materials
    • Play test reports
    • Future work, if any
  • Review Rory Hamilton's notes on preparing presentations and giving presentations

Week 14 (Dec 5)


  • Final Project Demonstrations

6:30 Erin
6:40 Susan
6:50 Vitor
7:00 Erika/Donna
7:15 Asli
7:25 Jonas

7:35 BREAK

7:45 Su
7:55 Emily
8:05 Shilpan
8:15 Rose/Hanna
8:30 Adam/Surya
8:45 Omer
8:55 Alexandra

9:05 Evaluations
9:10 Celebrate! Congratulations!

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