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Physical Computing and IOT Information

  • IOT: Internet of Things. A concept encompassing the increasing inter-connectivity of physical objects via the internet. Fridges which order milk, etc.
  • Arduino: An easy to use brand of micro controllers recommended for beginners
  • Micro controller: a computer programmed for one task (contrast with a laptop or desktop designed to handle many tasks)
  • Arduino Uno: The recommended model for beginners to start with
  • Arduino Yun: An Arduino with an extra chip containing a Linux operating system. More powerful, with built in WiFi support. With a bit of effort, can be made to work with WPA2 Enterprise encrypted networks.
  • Arduino MKR1000: An Arduino with a WiFi adaptor. Simpler than the Yun, but can not connect to Enterprise networks. Also has different architecture to other Arduinos so can be a pain to work with. It is pretty small, which is nice.
  • Shield: A board that can easily be attached to an Arduino to provide extra functionality.
  • WiFi Shield: A Shield which can attach to an Arduino Uno to give it WiFi access. No Enterprise support, simpler than the Yun, none of the architecture headaches of the MKR1000.
  • Encryption: Encryption is the method of allowing access to a wireless network. WPA2 is ubiquitous. There are two varieties: personal and enterprise. You probably have WPA2 Personal at home. At UAL they use WPA2 Enterprise, which is difficult for Arduinos to work with.
  • Pin: Micro controllers have pins. These are essentially just connections that an electric current is sent through to what ever is on the other end. There are two main types of input/output pins for sending and receiving data: Analogue and Digital. There also pins specifically designed to provide power. On the Arduino Uno there is the 5V pin and the 3.3v for outputting power. There is also a ground pin for the other “end” of the circuit.
  • Analogue: Continuous, non-discrete. On an Arduino, analogue pins send and receive a signal that is interpreted as being between 0 and 1023. An example could be the readings from a force sensitive sensor. 1023 would be maximum force, 0 would be minimum, with a range of values in between.
  • Digital: Discreet. On an Arduino, digital pins are binary and send/receive a signal that is interpreted as either high or low. An example: a LED that is turned on and off.
  • Raspberry Pi: A computer that has been stripped down to the bare minimum. Cheap.
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