An Open Source Hardware and Software Platform for Interdisciplinary Design: Electronics, Interfacing and Programming for the Designer

By Philip Breedon, Leslie Arthur and Fergal Coulter.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The integration of the appropriate pedagogic methods for incorporating technology-based disciplines can be challenging within the design curriculum. However designers and design students who also possess the appropriate technological skills are being viewed by an ever increasing number of commercial organisations as valuable company assets. This paper discusses how the design team within NTU is using this platform to enhance the technological experience and knowledge of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree students. A number of case studies demonstrate how such a relatively inexpensive and simple programming platform is being successfully utilised for a wide variety of design and research applications.

Keywords: Pedagogic Methods, Product Design, Electronics Prototyping, Arduino Platform

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.143-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 871.715KB).

Dr. Philip Breedon

Postgraduate Programme Leader, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Dr. Philip Breedon is a postgraduate programme leader within College of Art and Design at the Nottingham Trent University. He started his career as an indentured engineering apprentice and has taken on a series of engineering and computing academic challenges culminating in the award of his PhD based on artificial intelligence and robotics. A number of previous cross disciplinary robotics and pneumatic technology research projects have been undertaken, including Snake Robot and Muscle Machine. These exciting and innovative projects provided numerous challenges in terms of design and control. His research interests and latest projects centre on new and emerging technologies and include technical textiles, wearable technologies, swarm robotics and investigative research related to the utilisation of ‘smart materials’ for medical applications and surgical implants.

Leslie Arthur

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Leslie Arthur is a Principal Lecturer and the Teaching and Learning Coordinator in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment. He has experience of working in disciplines that range from the arts to the sciences. His current teaching interests look at developing and implementing new and different teaching methods. These methods work alongside delivering material in a traditional manner to enhance teaching and learning and enliven the educational environment. The focus is upon methods, mechanisms and methodologies of research, which compliment design practice, critical and contextual studies.

Fergal Coulter

PhD Student, Product Design, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Fergal Coulter qualified in Electronic and Computer Engineering at University of Limerick, followed by a number of years working with internet and server technologies and user interfacing. In 2010 he completed an MSc in Smart Design at Nottingham Trent University, specialising in the design and fabrication of active facial prosthetics (or artificial muscles) to help sufferers of facial paralysis recover symmetric expression. He is currently pursuing his PhD at NTU, within the discipline of Bio-Robotics and Artificial Muscles via minimum energy structured electro-active polymers (EAPs).


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