Project Research- Microcontroller

Now that I know what I want to do, I need to to concentrate on what do I need to create this interactive artefact.

If I decide to use a sensor of any kind I will need to plug it to a device, which will control and collect data from it. That is called a Microcontroller.



Which one should I go for?


One of my teachers is a big fan of the phidget interface. I do know if I ask him an advice, the answer is going to be Phidget. However I went on the UK website and check if this will be suitable.


The Phidgets are the user-friendliest system available for controlling and sensing the environment from computer. The Phidget Interface Kit is very versatile, it seems .

Analog inputs can be used to measure continuous quantities, such as temperature, humidity, position, pressure, etc. There are many sensors in the Phidgets product line that require no assembly, you just buy and plug, and you will more likely find some codes in the .com website. This little device seems very easy to handle, a lot easier than Arduino. Most of the sensors comes with cables design to be plugged to the interface in a very steady way, this is a big advantage against the Arduino.

Now there is no Ultrasound sensors or foot switch in the Phidget product line, so I will still have to choose independent one.

The other backside is a of tutorials, or example connecting this kind of independent sensors to the Phidget interface. It is very sad indeed, because that device seems more reliable than the Arduino. 

Definitely a item to keep in mind for some future project



I believe this microcontroller is one of the cheapest in the market. You can plug nearly everything. However I did found it fiddly, and not always reliable. The major attraction I think is the community, what ever your project is about you will find somewhere some code for the Arduino.

Arduino is an open platform that can communicate with a large number of other software packages to manipulate data in different ways according to the needs. Some examples of software are MAX MSP, Pure Data, Isadora, VVVV, Eyesweb, Processing, Flash , …

Because of this huge community online, I believe I am going to stick and try again to work with it…hopefully for the best.



1 Comment

  1. Dear Sandrine,

    I think you have correctly distinguished these two products. Have you examined the list on There are quite a lot of interfaces out there. In most cases it isn’t that easy to compare products directly. For some users the actual soldering of a PCB is part of their hobby.

    Another example: if you are a programmer and if you compare our product BlueSense with Arduino it is very easy to conclude that BlueSense is too expensive. If you are an experienced Pure Data programmer however and have little time to learn C it can still be interesting to examine BluePD as the basis for a physical computing project.

    Did you use Arduino since november? What are your conclusions?


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