Exploring Topics of Physical Computing
There are so many things that can be done using physical computing nowadays, and technologies are ever increasing. To a newcomer in the world of physical computing, it seems like I can make just about anything. It’s a little overwhelming.
When deciding which topics I would be interested in exploring I tried to keep several things in mind:
- Have fun: Believe it or not, learning can be fun. I really pushed myself and will encourage you to pursue topics that you think you will have fun working with. If you think using an ultrasonic range finder would be cool, then go for it! Find something to make with it. Be creative. You will find experiences like these that are enjoyable to be so much more valuable in the long run. If you enjoy what you are doing, you are much more likely to do it again in the future.
- Future use: I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology, with the intention of going into biotechnology or a related field. This being the case, nearly anything I choose to and am able, to learn in this course will be very beneficial to me. Most career fields closely use computers this day in age and the amount of technological use in any given field is continually increasing. I would suggest choosing topics that you may find use for.
- Challenge yourself. It is very important to challenge myself. I did not try to make a device that simply met the criteria for project 1. I tried to push myself and think outside the box. There’s no pride in taking the easy way out. If you are not challenging yourself, you are not learning. Pick something that will be hard. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. And you will feel so much more accomplished when the project that you thought about giving up on works like it should.
Topics I Have Explored So Far
I decided to explore some additional course topics in addition to the topics required for course 1. Those include conditionals, functions, loops, arrays, interrupts, and light-dependent resistors. Although, I did not actually put all of these topics to use in my first project, I researched them and became better acquainted with them.
Topics I Plan to Explore
I could not make a complete list of fifteen points’ worth of topics for myself, but that’s okay. I did, however, decide that I will be exploring the following: soldering, using an oscilloscope, arrays, interrupts, microphone, stepper motor, and robotics. I was able to add most of these to my list because I intend to use them in my final project (more details to come). However, I am more than eager to tinker with all of the sensors and outputs. I am enrolled in this course to learn whatever I can, and learn I shall.