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Resources for Classes

Inspiration: Artists, Movies, Projects, etc.

  1. Drawing Machines

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  2. Marble Machines

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  3. Musical Machines

    1. Carlos Guedes' wonderful [Phobos, Orquestra Robótica Disfuncional[(
    2. Sudhu Tewari's Yasmin Electro Mechanical Sequencer
  4. List of inspirational movies collected by Barney Haynes (also here) and shown at his Interface classes. In particular

  5. Inspirational videos collected by J.D. Zamfirescu
    1.1. Basic robots
    1.1.1. Tree-climbing robot
    1.1.1. Self-balancing robot
    1.1.1. Insect robot
    1.1.1. Treadbot
    1.1.1. Velociraptor robot
    1.1. Installations
    1.1.1. The Bay Lights
    1.1.1. Murmur Wall
    1.1.1. Floating Couch
    1.1.1. Wooden Segment Mirror
    1.1.1. Generative design
    1.1. Art & Music bots
    1.1.1. Textile weaving
    1.1.1. ReacTable
    1.1.1. Projection mapping
    1.1.1. Laser harp
    1.1.1. Cubli: Floating Cube
    1.1.1. Arc-o-matic
    1.1.1. Robo Faber
    1.1.1. Eggbot
    1.1. Drink-makers
    1.1.1. Textspresso
    1.1.1. The Inebriator
    1.1. Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
    1.1.1. Shapoko / tinyg
    1.1.1. Makerbot Replicator
    1.1. Vacuuming
    1.1.1. Roomba

  6. Golan Levin: Art that looks back at you

  7. Drawdio

  8. Other Projects
    1.1. Alex Markova's fortune wheel
    1.1. Claire Neel's reactive eye
    1.1. Ji Young Kim's [map and national anthems](
    1.1. May Baho's campfire

Solderless Breadboards

  1. How to Use a Breadboard tutorial by Sparkfun
  2. Setting Up a Breadboard lab at NYU ITP

Basic Electronics

  1. Basic Electronics tutorial by Sparkfun
  2. Electricity: the Basics tutorial at NYU ITP

Data Visualization Examples

  1. Ben Fry

  2. Aaron Koblin

  3. Jer Thorp

    3.1. Just Landed

    3.2. another

    3.3. nytimes top coverage and connections

  4. Nicholas Feltron

Mechanical or Primarily Mechanical

  1. Survival Research Labs Machine or industrial art

  2. Matt Heckert Machine and kinetic art, machine sound art, and creator of many early SRL machines

  3. Carl Pisaturo Artist, master machinist, and inventor, Carl documents his process in detail for great learning opportunities. Great examples of complex motions via cables

  4. North Pitney North Pitney’s amazing reconfigurable maze is one of my favorite examples of kinetic art.

  5. Arthur Ganson makes amazing sculptures using wire gears and mechanisms Making wire gears Sample piece: Meditation #1 Search youTube for many other videos of his work

  6. Daniel Rozinin Wooden mirror in which over 800 small blocks of wood are individually rotated slightly to display an image of what the camera captures

  7. Theo Jansen Theo Jansen creates new forms of life using plastic tubing as the basic building material. Wind is their "food", and their "stomach" is made of recycled plastic bottles. Theo’s The art of creating creatures presentation at TED in 2006 includes a wonderful video of his work and a live demonstration of portions of his mechanisms. Search youTube for many other videos of his work

  8. Del’s Beautiful New Wooden Machine An intricate hand-cranked machine demonstrating many types of simple mechanisms: cranks, gears, chains, sprockets, offset gears to change speed, escapements, conversion of rotary motion to linear motion. Thanks to Tristan for bringing this to my attention.

Basic Arduino Resources from Arduino

  1. Getting Started with Arduino / Genuino Uno tutorial

  2. Blink tutorial

  3. DigitalReadSerial tutorial

  4. AnalogReadSerial tutorial

  5. Fade tutorial shows how to use the analogWrite() function

Basic Arduino Resources from Other Sources

  1. Arduino basics: Intro through Lesson 3 of Adafruit's Arduino tutorial

  2. Arduino in a Nutshell

  3. Photoresistor Instructables

Sparkfun Inventor's Kit Resources

  1. Introduction to the Sparkfun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Experimenter's Guide

  2. Experiment 1: Blinking an LED in the Sparkfun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Experimenter's Guide

  3. Experiment 2: Reading a Potentiometer in the Sparkfun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Experimenter's Guide

Arduino Multitasking Resources

  1. Tutorial to Blink Without Delay on the official Arduino website

  2. Another explanation of Blink Without Delay recommended by a student

  3. The same student recommends that in order to understand Blink Without Delay, it is wise to first understand millis()

  4. Excellent Adafruit Multitasking Tutorial (highly recommended)

  5. A detailed explanation of Blink Without Delay. I don't like the way he does the circuit, but his explanation is good.

  6. Very detailed line-by-line explanation of Blink Without Delay, with links to explanations of related concepts every step of the way.

Arduino Tone Resources

  1. Decent explanation here

  2. Using switches to control the tone here

Arduino Sensors Resources

  1. Adafruit guide to sensors

Shift Register resources

  1. Adafruit Shift Register tutorial

  2. Arduino Shift Register tutorial

  3. Electronics Tutorials Shift Register tutorial

  4. Sparkfun Shift Register tutorial

Communication resources

Sparkfun Serial Communication tutorial


Miscellaneous Electronic resources

  1. Sparkfun Logic Level tutorial

Mechatronic Resources

  1. Pages 272-281 in "Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers" by Igoe/O'Sullivan, available in the Hybrid Lab

  2. "How to Build Automata" book, available in the Hybrid Lab

  3. "How to Build Simple Automata" book, available in the Hybrid Lab

  4. A nice overview of making your own gears. Don't worry about the specifics (Inkscape etc.) but get the general concept which can be achieved in many different ways and using different tools.

  5. "Making Things Move" book, available in the Hybrid Lab and in our library

  6. Machinations/Mechanisms

  7. Gear generator

  8. Free plans from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

  9. Instructables tagged with the keyword Automata

  10. Nice collection of resources for Cam and Crank toys

  11. Simple descriptions of the 6 basic mechanisms

  12. Cardboard Automata pamphlet from The Exploratorium

  13. Free plans to download and other resources from Dug North, a master automata builder

  14. How to Make Cardboard Automata article on Make: Projects website (which itself is a great resource for all sorts of projects).

Github Resources

  1. How to create a Github account and your first repository guide

    Your account name should be your name (unless for privacy reasons you'd prefer something else) and your repository name could be the course name.

  2. Help! I created my account and repository, but I can't find the button that says "Create new file" or "Upload files". How do I fix this?

    Answer: It sounds like you forgot to create a file when you created the repository. See below.

  3. Help! I created a new repository but I forgot to check the box that says "Initialize this repository with a README". How can I create a README file?

    Answer: You can either:

    1. Delete your repository and create a new one, this time with the box checked.

    2. Click where it says "README" and then click "Commit new file" at the bottom of the page that comes up. This will create a "README" file.

  4. How to upload a file to Github

    1. Click on "Upload files"
  5. How to create a folder in Github

    Git doesn't store empty folders, so you can only create a new folder when you have a file to put in it. Also, you can't create a folder when you upload a file. The only way to create a folder is to create a new file, and then to tell Github to put that new file in a new folder:

    1. Go to the folder inside which you want to create another folder.
    2. Click on Create new file.
    3. On the text field for the file name, first write the folder name you want to create, then type / (which creates the new folder) and then the name of the new file you want to create. The name doesn't matter.
    4. Finally, save your new file by pressing the green Commit new file button at the bottom of the page
    5. If you don't need the file, you may delete it now that the folder has been created.
  6. How to delete a file

    1. Browse to the file in your repository that you want to delete.
    2. At the top of the file, click the icon of the trash can
    3. Add a short description of why you are deleting this file
    4. Finally, save your changes by pressing the green Commit changes button at the bottom of the page
  7. How to upload a code file so that Github formats it as code

    Use the extension along with the file name. Github recognizes that .ino are code files. Github recognizes many other file extensions as code.

  8. How to organize folders and files in Github (move and rename)

  9. How do I control the appearance of my file?

    There are many guides to Github Markdown. I find this particularly useful.

    Any file that has the .md extension will be interpreted by Github as a markdown file.

  10. How do I create code blocks within in a markdown (.md) file?

    You can create fenced code blocks by placing triple backticks ``` before and after the code block. We recommend placing a blank line before and after code blocks to make the raw formatting easier to read.

	function test() {
		console.log("notice the blank line before this function?");

Making Sounds without Arduino

  1. Basic 40106 (hex Schmitt trigger inverter) oscillator
  2. Other 40106 ideas


  1. A great tutorial on schematics

  2. There are many different symbols for MOSFETs depending on subtle difference that we won't be concerned with.

    I suggest that you use these symbols:

    We have both N-channel and P-channel MOSFETs in the lab, but the ones that we use primarily (and the only ones I've discussed in class) are N-channel enhancement mode MOSFETs

Edge Detection

  1. Arduino tutorial

  2. Adafruit tutorial

  3. Another tutorial



  1. Adafruit Digital Multimeter tutorial

  2. Sparkfun Digital Multimeter tutorial

  3. Clay Shirky's 4 part video series on debugging


  1. Arduino function reference

  2. User contributed Arduino function tutorial

  3. Arduino function lesson


  1. Arduino array reference

  2. Arduino array tutorial

  3. Another Arduino array tutorial

  4. Yet another Arduino array tutorial

  5. Yet another Arduino array tutorial

  6. Yet another Arduino array tutorial


  1. Hello Processing tutorial

  2. Processing Getting Started tutorial

  3. Processing Coordinate System and Shapes tutorial

  4. Processing Color tutorial

Classes and Objects

  1. Daniel Shiffman’s Objects tutorial (Processing)

  2. A simple Processing class example

  3. "Arduino the Object Oriented way" tutorial


  1. Adafruit guide to excellent soldering

  2. Sparkfun Through Hole Soldering tutorial

Solderless Breadboard Resources

  1. Sparkfun's How to Use a Breadboard tutorial.

  2. Adafruit's Breadboards for Beginners tutorial

Fritzing Resources

  1. Download and install Fritzing from

  2. Fritzing’s Getting Started

  3. Getting started with Fritzing’s Project View

  4. Fritzing Designing PCB tutorial

  5. My repository of assorted Fritzing projects

Othermill/Bantam Tools Printer Circuit Board mill

  1. Getting Started project

Wireless Resources

  1. Wifi

    • Hard to use on some networks such as those that require logging in with credentials or those that prevent peer-to-peer communication
    1. Arduino Yun

    2. Arduino MKR1000

  2. Bluetooth

    • Reliable
    • Limited to vendor provided phone app unless you know how to write your own
    • Don't solder the module to your project! Add the appropriate header to mate with the module.
    1. Adafruit Bluefruit and Adafruit Motor Shield tutorial
  3. Xbee

    • Tricky to configure
    • Very reliable
    1. Sparkfun tutorial
  4. 433 MHz

Motors Resources

  1. Sparkfun Motors and Selecting the Right One tutorial

  2. Adafruit Arduino Lesson 13. DC Motors

  3. Adafruit Arduino Lesson 14. Servo Motors

  4. Adafruit Arduino Lesson 15. DC Motor Reversing

  5. Adafruit Arduino Lesson 16. Stepper Motors

  6. H-bridge tutorial

Transistor Resources

  1. Quite decent MOSFET tutorial

  2. Quite good MOSFET tutorial and usage guide

Wordpress Resources

  1. Creating your first post as a Wordpress author

    1. Visit your blog's administratoin page at blogname/wp-admin e.g. Enter the user name and password that you have been given.

    2. In the left hand toolbar hover over "Posts" and select "Create New"

    3. Give a title to your first post, such as "Introducing Myself"

    4. Write the text of your post in the large box below. You might use this opportunity to experiment with some of the formatting options. You can edit your post now as well as later.

    5. When you are satisfied with your post click "Publish"

    6. It is always wise to make sure you post published correctly and appears how you want it. Hover over the blog name (near the home symbol near the upper left corner) and select "visit site".

    7. If you are not happy with your post you can click in "Edit" and make further changes.

  2. Comparison of User Roles

  3. Rather than upload a video to a Wordpress blog, it is better to upload video to Vimeo or Youtube and to embed those in your post. Here are instructions.

Laser Cutting Resources

  1. Laser cut boxes Gallery of Ideas

  2. Laser Cut Like a Boss lecture

  3. Laser cut T-Slot picture

  4. Laser Cut box notes

  5. Detailed instructions for gluing acrylic

  6. General tips for Working with acrylic

CAD Resources

  1. Free cloud based simple 2D CAD software Vectr. Somewhat limited but easy to learn quickly from built-in tutorials.

  2. Free Open Source 2D CAD software inkscape. Runs on Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

CNC supply resources (stores)

  1. Inventables

  2. Adafruit

  3. Servo City

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