Single-Course 10 ECTS

Physical Computing

Overall Course Objectives

The goal of the course is to give a basic understanding of programming and Physical Computing and how different forms of interaction (e.g. sound, pressure, button, graphical user interfaces) can be used in human-machine scenarios.

See course description in Danish

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to name and discuss interaction models in relation to HCI (human-machine interaction) and physical computing.
  • Be able to apply basic eletronic components, sensors, actuators, mm.
  • Construct advanced interactive models, devices, or systems, that use microcontrollers and a PC that the students must program.
  • Prototype a working Physical Computing system.
  • Program the control of different types of hardware in a relevant language (C++/java) using Storycoding.
  • Understand and implement a simple communication interface to a PC.
  • Understand and implement simple WiFi-based physical computing systems.
  • Understand, implement, and document test scenarios.
  • Evaluate and reflect on the work from the perspective of a technical, physical/digital, interaction paradigms, and documentation such as UML.
  • Understand how energy-management and energy-harvesting can be used within physical computing towards sustainable embedded systems.

Course Content

The students will learn programming and prototyping from a Human-Computer Interaction perspective, being able to create and relate a detailed microcontroller-program and a digital interface to a real-world situation. The course will provide the basic skills towards independent prototyping, i.e. how to interface to electronics, how to program complex behaviours that make use of the electronics, and create an interactive graphical user interface on a PC.

The students will also learn to reflect on the behaviour of the prototype with respect to the user evaluation, towards producing functional and situation-appropriate prototypes.

Teaching Method

Class lectures and exercises in programming. Final exam project.



Faggruppe: Innovationsprocesser og Entrepreneurskab
Proces og Innovation: 4. semester

See course in the course database.



13 weeks


Engineering Technology


DTU Ballerup Campus

Course code 62048
Course type Graduate Engineer

15.000,00 DKK