T11: Prototyping with Arduino

Monday, 20 July 2020, 08:30 – 12:30
Back to Tutorials' Program


Panayiotis Zaphiris (short bio)

Cyprus Interaction Lab
Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

Andreas Papallas (short bio)

University of Oxford, United Kingdom



This half-day tutorial will take you through the basics of prototyping with Arduino, the popular microprocessor platform used in interactive electronics prototyping, maker projects and educational technology. This involves learning the basic functions of the Arduino programming environment and the microprocessor itself.

No prior knowledge or background in programming or electronics required.

In the first part of the tutorial, we will provide a brief background on electronics, the Arduino hardware and prototyping. Then we will learn to light LEDs and control these using digital and analogue sensors and in the second part of the tutorial build a small radar that will detect objects in its immediate environment.

We will provide electronic component kits for participants or groups of participants and take you through a step-by-step approach to understanding programming in the Arduino environment. Both analog and digital inputs and outputs will be covered. We will also provide information about where to buy Arduino boards and kits.


Content and benefits:

Arduino has emerged as a popular teaching platform in various domains as well as a useful tool for rapid prototyping. The platform allows for exploring imaginative and unique solutions to various real-life issues with multiple applications involving physical and wearable technologies, IoT, interactive device design, HCI for health etc. Participants will learn the capabilities of this technology and be exposed to some of its many applications in an effort to include basic electronics prototyping methods in the HCI toolkit.

Indicative content and activities:

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Overview of the tutorial
  • Fundamental electronic concepts
  • Basic electrical components
  • Electronics prototyping basics and components
  • Arduino components - analog and digital inputs and outputs
  • Basic programming
  • Breadboard overview and set-up
  • Basic output control using sensors

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the basics of electronic concepts and electrical components and how these are applied in the Arduino microprocessor
  • Learn basic programming for Arduino and be able to control analog and digital inputs and outputs
  • Practise the implementation of an interactive electronics prototyping project - the radar - through following a step-by-step guided learning approach.


Target Audience:

Target audience includes (but is not limited to): designers, engineers, teachers, researchers and hobbyists interested in creating interactive objects or environments. This is a beginner's workshop but experienced Arduino enthusiasts are welcome to join-in. This workshop has no prerequisitesl. Laptops are required, necessary software and arduino hardware and components will be provided

Bio Sketches of Presenters:

Panayiotis Zaphiris is a Professor at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts and the Cyprus Interaction Lab of the Cyprus University of Technology and director of the Social Computing Research Centre. He sits at the board of directors of RISE, a 30-million EU-funded Centre of Excellence and created and leads the online MSc in Interaction Design numbering more than 80 students from 40 different countries. He studied Electrical, Systems and Industrial Engineering in the USA. Before returning to Cyprus he was a Reader at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, School of Informatics of City University London where he still holds the title of Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow. Before City University, he was a researcher at the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University from where he also got his Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

Andreas Papallas is a DPhil student at the University of Oxford and a practicing architect. He received his MPhil from the University of Cambridge with distinction and his BA from the University of Sheffield in architecture. He teaches co-creative design and design thinking at the MSc in Interaction Design of the Cyprus University of Technology. Andreas is a certified Design Sprint Facilitator (explorations.cyprusinteractionlab.com) and manages the first Makerspace in Cyprus.