ARDUINO PROJECT: Hardware Hacking.

Significant Concept:

The open-source movement has been developing software for many years.
Now computing hardware is open-source!
Unit question:
What can I control?

Area of Interaction: Environments.

Open source software has been around for many years. Programs such as Firefox, Apache, VLC, Gimp and Ubuntu have changed the face of computing. In recent years, open-source hardware has become available. One of the first, fully functioning platforms made available is the Arduino. “Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.”

You are going to create a working example of how open source hardware might be used. You are in no way limited in regards to the purpose of your project, but I would expect it to be a “proof of concept” rather than a fully functioning prototype or complete working product. The purpose of this task is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the systems involved and the individual components that make up that system. You are free to re-create an existing project. Accompanying your project, you need to produce a single A3 sized card, explaining how the components interact with each other and possible application(s)

Firstly, create new pages for the ARDUINO PROJECT as we normally do.
  1. On the Investigate page, create a table with the following headings; Component Name, Image, Circuit Symbol, Description.
  2. Complete the table for ALL of the following components; resistor, capacitor, diode, LED, variable resistor, switch, DC motor, servo motor, breadboard, light dependent resistor (LDR), battery, micro-controller, speaker, transistor and inductor
  3. Complete a bibliography.
  4. If you find a great video, that explains things clearly for you, then please upload it and give me a little review. I would expect everyone to find at least one cool video...
Component Name
Circuit Symbol
Resistors are made from a semi conductive material and they resist the flow of electricity through a circuit. Its kind of like how a tap restricts or limits the flow of water through a pipe. How much a resistor 'resists' is measured in OHMS.
To read the value of a resistor (its resistance) you need a special chart.
Note: there are 2 circuit symbols commonly used to represent a resistor. One is American/Japanese (zig-zag) and the other used by the rest of the world.


  • Circuit symbols are used to represent electronic components in schematic diagrams (plans) for how to make stuff.

  • Not all of the components on your list have symbols.

  • You should make sure the Description is in your own words. Do the research, watch the videos, read the explanations and write your understanding. If you copy I will not know what you understand about electronics. (and I will make you write out copied work 1000 times!)



Arduino Homepage

There are many resources for components:

Search Youtube.

The Electronics Club

BBC Bitesize.

Technology Student

Arduino Homepage

Make Magazine videos are bellow to get you started.....SuperGeeks!

You need to find several different Arduino based projects and evaluate their appropriateness. I would expect that you will need to modify your chosen project in order to create it in the time available. They should be simple projects. Lets learn how to walk before we run

Spooky ideas
Simple projects from the Arduino homepage

When you have found 4 POSSIBLE projects, please briefly evaluate each and justify your final choice of project.

Best ideas will be simpler ones.
Links to projects that I think should work!
Instructables Arduino Contest
Laser 'tripwire'
Mobius Latern
Mood Light
Digital Dice
Larson Scanner or "Cylon Eye!"
Control a servo motor with light (or Laser)
Mini Keyboard or 'drum kit'
Earthquake detector
'Simon' follow me type game


You will be formally assessed on your plan. As always you will need to :
1. Produce a logical plan that could be followed by others.
2. Consider the time needed and the resources (components and materials) needed.
3. Evalaute you plan. What are the critical control points? What steps are you concerned about.

NOTES: The best way to do this would be to read the design instructions you have chosen carefully and to then put them into your own words.
Another student, who knows nothing about Arduino, should be able to follow you Plan.


This is a two part project.

Part 1 is the creation of the working arduino proof of conceptexample.

Step by step explanation, with images, of the making of your project.

Part 2 is the A3 explanation poster

You poster need to include:
- A brief outline of what the project is and how is might be used "in the real world"
- images of the major components and explanations of what they do. (Micro-controller, LED, Laser, LDR etc)
- Good poster design: 'less is more', good quality images, no large blocks of text, easy to understand language, use headings, arrows and other graphical devices to help explain your project.

Arduino Project Book!