Resources: Physical Computing

Physical Computing

Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Wearable Computing, E-Textiles, LEGO, and Robotics


Wearable computing, e-textiles

  • Lilypad Arduino – A special Arduino board for projects using textiles and wearable electronics.
  • Arduino Wearables – by Tony Olsson. This book is a project-based introduction to wearable computing, prototyping, and smart materials using the Arduino platform. Each of the ten chapters takes you all the way from idea to finished project, gradually increasing in complexity and challenge.
  • Getting hands-on with soft circuits – An e-textile workshop facilitators guide by Emily Lovell (e-book)
  • Fashioning Technology – Syuzi Pakhchyan is an experience designer whose work investigates the intersection between code, cloth and culture. If you like the blog, you might also like her book.
  • Soft Circuit Saturdays – Tutorials and project ideas very suitable for kids from Angela, a maker in New England.
  • talk2myShirt – News, blogs, and projects using wearable electronics. Some of the projects are very technical, but well worth looking at for inspiration.
  • How To Get What You Want – This website collects projects, global workshops and events, references, tutorials, and more for wearable technology and soft circuits. It has a unique section on techniques that aren’t finished projects, but might spark ideas.

Raspberry Pi

LEGO Engineering


  • Hummingbird Robotics Kit– The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is designed to enable engineering and robotics activities for ages 13 and up (8 with adult supervision). It is terrific for making robots, kinetic sculptures, and animatronics built out of a combination of kit parts and crafting materials. It is programable in dozens of software environments including Scratch and Snap!
  • Finch Robot – The Finch is a small robot that can be programmed in over a dozen languages. Originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University, it has onboard sensors, buzzer, and lights for a tangible entry to computer science.
  • GoGo Board – Open source hardware platform for programmable projects using sensors and robotics. Works with MicroWorlds and Scratch.
  • Make: LEGO and Arduino Projects: Projects for Extending MINDSTORMS NXT with Open-Source Electronics – by John Baichtal, Matthew Beckler, and Adam Wolf
  • Great robotics challenges – Gary Stager’s 13 favorite problem-solving prompts for inventing with robotics.
  • Big Trak – Our late friend, Steve Ocko, invented this programmable floor turtle (robot) for Milton Bradley in 1979. There has never been a more powerful easy-to-use robot available for kids since. The good news is that some lunatic bought the rights to the Big Trak and is manufacturing new ones 30+ years later. Kids from 5+ will play and learn with Big Trak for ages.
  • New Pathways into Robotics – This paper discusses strategies for educators to broaden participation in robotics activities.
  •  Bee-bot and Probot – Bee-bot is a bee-shaped programable turtle for young children. For slightly older children, Probot is a car-shaped floor turtle, complete with a pen for drawing geometric “trails” on paper.
  •  Robots for Kids : Exploring New Technologies for Learning – Edited by Allison Druin and James Hendler. Essays and stories from designers, researchers, educators, and children that discuss their experiences and ideas about robots
  • iRobot Create Programmable Robot – The Roomba company has created programmable floor robots that use the C programming language
  • Botball – A team-oriented robotics competition that focuses on reusable components and autonomous programs (no remote controls,) that encourages creativity and programming.
  • Other Robotics Competitions – List compiled by NASA of many other robotics competitions