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#IT-02-37 Build a Physical Computing Prototype

  • Categories IT
  • Duration 20h
  • Total Enrolled 0
  • Last Update August 2, 2021

About Course

Lancaster University


Explore how physical computing is changing tech and build your own prototype

Physical computing is the use of computers to respond to the physical movement of the human body.

Whereas in the past computing was limited to immobile computers and laptops, today microcontrollers and sensors are revolutionising the tech industry and how we interact with household items.

On this course you’ll learn what’s inside the devices we all use every day, like kettles, phones, and smartwatches. You’ll come to understand how they work, how they respond to our movements, and ultimately learn to create your own physical computing prototype.


What topics will you cover?

  • Physical computing
  • Hardware of physical computing
  • Software of physical computing, coding physical computing
  • Creating physical computing devices


Who will you learn with?

Joe Finney

Joe Finney

Joe is a Professor of Computer Science at Lancaster University, where he leads courses in Software Development, Institute of Coding initiatives and is a founding partner of the Micro:bit Foundation.



Lorraine Underwood

Lorraine Underwood

Lorraine teaches undergraduates on the Minor in Creative and Applied Computing. She is an author and avid maker, creating physical computing projects to inspire people to learn more about computing



Who developed the course?

Lancaster University

Lancaster University

Lancaster University is a collegiate university, with a global reputation as a centre for research, scholarship and teaching with an emphasis on employability.

What Will I Learn?

  • Explore the components and methods for physical computing
  • Investigate how physical computing is used in industry
  • Investigate how to collect, use and process data
  • Create a program that utilises input data
  • Identify parts of a physical computing project
  • Develop several physical computing projects from design to creation
  • Evaluate physical computing in the real world and its impact

Topics for this course

13 Lessons20h

Welcome to the course?

Welcome to week 1 of Construct a Physical Computing system
Welcome to the course VIDEO (01:07)00:00:00
What you will learn in this course ARTICLE
Let us introduce ourselves DISCUSSION
Physical Computing 101 ARTICLE
A Tour of Industry VIDEO (02:24)00:00:00

Breaking down Physical Computing?

Discover the ins and outs of physical computing: the hardware, the software and examples of devices used.

Your first microcontroller program?

Now you've seen the ins and outs of physical computing, let's go deeper into the code behind it

End of Week 1?

You've reached the end of Week 1. Well done! What's next?

Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • This course is for computing students interested in exploring the world of physical computing. It would also be valuable for anyone looking for an introduction to physical computing, whether hobbyists or people wondering if a career or degree in computing is for them.