Artscience SAM

Sensors Actuators and Microcontrollers

The course will be given by Johan van Kreij and Lex van den Broek

The world of sensors and Actuators combined with Microcontrollers like Arduino / Teensy / Beagle /RaspBerry / is huge and can be very complex if you are a beginner or even an advanced user. This SAM-course of 8 days will introduce you to the hybrid world of Analog- and digital electronics. How to connect sensors to an Arduino and sending the measured data to miscellaneous software within your computer? Or how to drive motors or lights?

The goal of the course is that you work on your own project. Try to apply the techniques we show (analog, digital and code) in your own project. Subjects like ‘Serial communication, Operational Amplifiers, Max objects, Sensors, Field Effect Transistors, Current, Actuators, Voltage, Resolution and much, much more subjects will be addressed. We will mainly work with Arduino boards. If you have one yourself already, great! If you do not have one, you can borrow one at the EWP – let us know.  The last two days of the course we will try to meet live in Cam30. We will make a planning along the way, since we can only be with 5 persons at once in the studio.

There will be 8 days in total, starting at 10:00 and ending at 16:00. We will start on Monday 1st February 10:00 and end the course on Friday 12th of February 16:00. On Wednesdays there will be no lessons.

Link to the online meetings

Week 1
Monday 1/2; 10:00 Kick off. Introduction / Overview /  (Lex & Johan) [Online]
Tuesday 2/2;  Sensors / Arduino / Actuators / (Lex) [Online]
Thursday 4/2; Programming / Serial communication / Max / (Johan) [Online]
Friday 5/2; Electronics / Driving motors/actuators / (Lex) [Online]

Week 2
Monday 8/2; Programming / Serial communication / Max / (Johan) [Online]
Tuesday 9/2; Electronics / Interfacing / Opamps / (Lex) [Online]
Thursday 11/2 Small groups (3) live meeting and discussion in CAM30 (KC) [Johan and Lex Live + Online stream]
Friday 12/2 Small groups (3) live meeting and discussion in CAM30 (KC) [Johan and Lex Live + Online stream]

Monday February 1st (1-2-2021) - day one - 

Introduction of the participants and teachers and a chat about the context of the course.
Subjects: overview of all sensors and actuators. A start with coding the Arduino to communicate with software applications like Max/Msp

Tuesday February 2nd (2-2-2021) - day two -

General overview of the in- and outputs of the Arduino. Resolution, driving actuators (motors) with Field Effect Transistors (FETS’s). Checkout the presented keynotes below.

Sensor inputs – how to connect

Driving Actuators

Thursday February 4 (4-2-2021) - day three -

Coding exmaples of how to drive the Arduino from within Max/Msp. Sending the right ASCII numbers and covert them to the 8-bit values . The examples of the coding will be shared below.

Friday February 5 (5-2-2021) - day 4 -

How to build electronics and what are the important steps you have to consider when you want to build your own project. Below the keynote of the ‘building tip’ combined with an example of converting a simple circuit from breadboard to experimental board. Also check these pages on the website


Operational Amplifiers. How can you apply these building blocks to improve the stability or the range of the sensor. A keynote below. More information of OpAmps can be found here.


Monday February 8 (8-2-2021) - day 5 -