Spooky Projects – Introduction to Microcontrollers with Arduino


spooky headerarduino usb

Spooky Projects is a set of four 3-hour classes in October 2006 hosted by Machine Project and taught by Tod E. Kurt. It is an introduction to microcontroller programming and interfacing with the real world using the Arduino physical computing platform.

In the class, participants are shown and experiment with the Arduino’s capabilities and learn the basics of common microcontroller interfacing, such as: digital output to control lights and LEDs, digital input to read switches and buttons, analog output to control motor position or LED brightness, and analog input to read sensor inputs. From these tools all sorts of interesting projects can be created. In the class, a few simple project sketches are covered using the provided parts kit, under the theme of spooky animatronics for Halloween.

The class assumes no previous electronics knowledge, though it does assume a little programming knowledge. No soldering is needed during the class, as all circuits are built with solderless breadboards.

At the end of the class, Mark Allen of Machine Project bestowed upon each of the students an awesome programming merit badge. Take other Machine Project classes to get other great geeky badges!
arduino class merit badge

Blog Posts

Class Notes

Arduino Sketches Used in Class

Processing Sketches Used In Class

  • http_rgb_led — fetch a web page, parse it, send RGB color value to Arduino. Used with Arduino sketch ‘serial_rgb_led_too’ above.
  • arduino_ball — Arduino with piezo sends a number, Processing parses it and draws a ball the size of the number.
  • arduino_spookysounds — When piezo on Arduino is whacked, Processing draws scary eyes and plays a spooky sound.

Class Kit Parts

Arduino & Other Microcontroller Resources

Parts Suppliers

  • SparkFun — Arudino board and shield, and many other neat gizmos.
  • Jameco — General electronic parts, easy-to-use, also has computer parts.
  • Digikey — Exhaustive parts supplier. Cheaper than Jameco usually, has more variation, more hard-to-find parts.
 Posted by at 8:44 pm

  66 Responses to “Spooky Projects – Introduction to Microcontrollers with Arduino”

  1. thanks for your quick answer!! I´ll try it. greetings from germany. mae

  2. thanks! I´ll try it. greetings from Germany :)
    your site is great. I´ll recommend it. mae

  3. […] Short video (m4v) of a piezo, photoresistor and Arduino…. Here’s the code we used from TodBot! […]

  4. […] your hands, but you want to harness the power of lightening, here are a few Halloween-inspired spooky Arduino projects to get your Frankenstein up and […]

  5. […] et le langage (comment créer, compiler, envoyer un programme sur la platine) je vous conseille les excellents cours de Tod Kurt à télécharger en PDF. Une entrée en matière très pédagogique, et très […]

  6. […] The circuit diagrams used in the workshop included simple led and sensor circuits. We also used the tutorials created by Limor Fried and those made by Tod E. Kurt. […]

  7. […] The wonderful Todbot material is at Todbot’s Spooky Projects: […]

  8. Hello Tod! Thanks for all of the help. I am learning along side some design students, trying to integrate the arduino into some products. One student wants to create a piezo project that can play two melodies from two piezos wired into one arduino. Do you have any suggestions?

  9. Oops! Just caught a similar question and response above. Sorry, and thanks again for your incredible tutorials!

  10. guys, i guess the link for class 4 notes is not opening??


  11. Apologies, there was an HTML error on the page. Fixed now. Thanks for catching it.

  12. […] Tod E. Kurt’s Arduino Introduction: http://todbot.com/blog/spookyarduino/ […]

  13. […] Below is the processing code I used (Thanks to todbot): […]

  14. […] In oder to do this I will be working within the Arduino environment. This is an example I got from todbot.com of how to wire three (red, green and a blue) LED’s, then fade and mix them using an Arduino […]

  15. […] it looks like a pretty good introduction to microcontrollers and programming concepts in general: http://todbot.com/blog/spookyarduino/ The 'arduino' platform is a pretty common hobbiest controller system that has LOTS of online […]

  16. […] You might want to check out Tod Kurt's tutorials. They are fun and easy to follow here: http://todbot.com/blog/spookyarduino/ And Here's His class on Arduinos : http://todbot.com/blog/bionicarduino/ Lot's of good starter […]

  17. […] notes for the fourth and final class are up on the Spooky Arduino class page. At the end of the class, Mark of Machine Project bestowed upon each of the students a merit […]

  18. […] highly recommend the TodBot tutorials: Spooky Projects and Bionic Arduino but there are many more examples and resources for you to […]

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