Author Archives: erwin


Oscilloscope measurements

An oscilloscope (in short ‘scope’) is a measurement instrument that shows a graph of how an electrical signal changes over time. And is often used when working with electronics. Before you can work with it, it’s important to have an introduction. The vertical axis of the graph represents voltage, and the horizontal axis represents time. […]

How to use a multimeter

A digital multimeter (short DMM) is a tool that assists in the process to explore what’s happening inside components or in a circuit. Or when debugging your circuit. This guide will shortly explain how to setup your Digital Multi Meter and how to use it to do different measurements. Important for correct understanding: Ohm’s principal […]

Reading Analog Sensors

This tutorial has been created to explain the fundamentals of using analog sensors with a microcontroller. In this tutorial we use a thermistor (temperature dependent resistor) as example for sensing temperature . Understanding how to read this sensor and how to connect it gives you the ability to adapt to other analog resistive sensors easily. […]

Sensor Data

When using sensor data, most of the times, the numbers that are visible in the Arduino IDE serial monitor look erratic. To smooth the data, several approaches can be taken: Filtering can be done in the analog domain, but also in the digital (implies software). In software, tweaks can be programmed on the fly. In […]

ESP8266 web server + client = web-blink

Is it perfect? No. Is it fast? No. Does it have super low latency? No. Is it energy efficient? Yes, very much so. And it helps you to connect 2 (or more) ESP8266 wireless modules with just a couple lines of code. The code can be modified and uploaded with Arduino IDE. If you connect multiple clients […]

Detecting objects using IS471F

The IS471F is an optical light sensor, mainly used as object detector. The sensor is combined with an external IR (infra red) LED. When the IR light emitted by the LED is reflected into the sensor by an object, its presence is detected. The range however is limited to approximately 15 cm. LED’s can endure […]

Arduino and multi-tasking

This tutorial shows by means of a few examples how to program an Arduino to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This is achieved by implementing the concept of finite state machines. Using finite state machines helps in creating a clear and flexible program structure. What is the problem? Intelligent systems get input from environment through  (groups […]

Getting started

We have created two tutorials especially to accompany the starterskit. One tutorial uses the starterkit in combination with an Arduino Uno micro controller, whereas the second one uses the Teensy 3.2 micro-controller. Both micro-controllers can be programmed through the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). The open-source Arduino IDE makes it easy to write code and upload […]



An oscilloscope (in short scope) is used to visualize signals (voltage differences) that are varying over time. One could see it as an advanced Digital Multi Meter, however it can only measure voltages, both AC and DC. Why Do You Need One. At first it might look a bit imposing, but once you have worked […]

Vibration Motor

Vibration motors are used for haptic feedback. Typical application areas are handheld devices like mobile phones, game controllers, special tools. And in general systems in which the designer wants the feedback to be less obtrusive. Most vibration motors have an Eccentric Rotating Mass, ERM, this is a weight that is mounted on the shaft of […]

Object Detector (IR)

The Sharp IS471F is an infrared (940nm) light sensor with a built-in pulsed LED driver circuit. The sensor is impervious to external disturbing lights, because the sensor synchronizes its detection with this pulsed signal. In other words, the sensor circuit is only sensitive to signals with the same frequency as the driver circuit. This makes […]


A solenoid converts an electrical current directly into linear a mechanical motion. It is therefore related to a relay. Wire wound as a coil acts as an electromagnet when current is passed through it. Inside the coil body there is a so called plunger, performing the mechanical action. Activated by the electrical current. The plunger […]

Li-ion battery

The most used Li-ion cell is the cylindrical 18650 cell. Where 18 refers to the cell diameter in millimeters and 65-zero means 65 mm long. Lithium polymer cells have a different design compared to the 18650 cells. They are pouch shaped. The pouch is a flexible foil (polymer laminate, hence Li-Po).  The chemistry is the […]

9V block

Safe and very compact power source for student prototypes. However with limited capacity. The capacity is around 500 mAh. As a reference; an Arduino Uno running a standard blink example consumes 55mA. Theoretically this could run for 9 hours  on a 9 Volt block.

Optical Distance Sensor

An optical distance sensor is a sensor which can give an approximation of the distance to an object and outputs this in an analog signal. The useful range typically is form several centimeters to a few meters depending on the model and type of the sensor. The company Sharp produces a series of easy to use optical distance […]

Power Supply

Batteries, wall wart power supplies and laboratory power supplies are all means to power your handy-work. There are several specifications you need to take into account when working with external power supplies, which can help you to keep your components in one piece when experimenting. Voltage: fixed vs adjustable For powering an Arduino, a fixed […]


Resistors find many uses in electronic equipment, and are impossible to avoid in prototyping. Resistors are passive electronic components which have a specific, constant electrical resistance. The resistor’s resistance limits the flow of electrons through a circuit. Commonly resistors are used to limit current, divide voltages, and pull-up of communication lines. Resistors have two important […]


Basic Theory and Specifications A Kinect can be used to measure position of moving objects in 3D space. An IR source lights the room with a pre-set dot pattern. With a 1.3 Mpixel IR camera, this pattern is analyzed using pattern recognition. Triangulation between sender, receiver and object is used to measure distance. Framerate is 60 Hz, […]