Get Started with Physical Computing

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Your Raspberry Pi has a row of GPIO pins in the long rectangular opening in the case. GPIO stands for General-Purpose Input/Output. You use these pins to connect programs you write to the physical world. We refer to this as physical computing.

With the GPIO Pins a program you write can detect whether a switch has been pressed, or turn on a light. In this first lesson we will learn the basics of Physical Computing. In later lessons we will sense motion, temperature and interact in amazing ways with the real world.


Simple Circuits

Length: 30 minutesComplexity: Standard

This project introduces circuits. All of the projects that follow use the concepts introduced here.

Light it up

Length: 50 minutesComplexity: Standard

Now that you understand Simple Circuits, wire up a Raspberry Pi and write a simple Scratch program to allow Scratch the Cat to turn the light on and off.

Use a Button

Length: 40 minutesComplexity: Standard

Learn how to use a button in a circuit.

Build a Game Controller

Length: 55 minutesComplexity: Standard

Finished the Game Course? Build this game controller to play all the games you created.

Quick Reaction

Length: 65 minutesComplexity: Standard

Use buttons and lights to build this two person game that will test your reaction time. Play it with your friend to see who has the quickest reaction time.