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Arduino: Free Rein to your Technological Creativity

Lifelong learning course. Face-to-face.


UPC School

Since the emergence of the Arduino electronic prototyping platform, with its Open Source licence, ease of use and its very low price, there has been a cultural change related to creation. This change is known as the "Maker Culture". Arduino is a tool that has received little consideration and is rarely found on the syllabus in serious academic spheres, and when it is, it is normally as an afterthought and in specialised degree courses, which contradicts the idea behind its conception: making a tool that requires no prior knowledge of electronics or programming to use it, so that it can be used by artists, biologists, architects, etc. and anyone who wants to create inventions and unleash their creativity.

If anyone wants an introduction to this world, the only way to get one is to look for examples, try and imitate them and learn based on trial and error. There are Arduino courses for individuals, which are taken by enthusiasts but have no continuity or certification, and which are nevertheless very popular. People clñearly have a great desire to learn about it but do not know quite how to do it.

Arduino's great plasticity makes it useful in many production sectors that are expanding or very much in vogue, such as SmartCities, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printers, physical devices for smartphones, lighting control, motor control, robotics, wireless communications (wireless), interaction with the environment, creating electronic musical devices, and flight control of drones.


- To provide students with the theoretical foundations and above all the applied knowledge so that they can design systems with Arduino. This will be achieved using a practical methodology that will take up 90% of the time.

- To provide an introduction to the Maker movement and culture, and create synergies between the students' various skills and backgrounds so they can undertake collaborative projects.

Who is it for

This course is not aimed at a specific academic profile - it seeks precisely the opposite. The less homogeneity the better, so that as many multidisciplinary synergies as possible are created within the group, so that the students can consider various interests to apply them to Arduino and can share their particular skills and knowledge.

The more diverse the group, the greater the perspective of applications, the more different skills and the greater likelihood that after the course multidisciplinary personal or business projects between classmates will take place.

In short, the course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn about Arduino, electronics and explore its potential. Professionals with no specific training in the field of electronics or programming. Possible examples could be architects with plans or ideas to create unique spaces using light who require a simple platform to control lighting. Artists who want to work with new technologies, creating interactive installations. People interested in robotics who want to start creating their own robots. People interested in the 'Internet of things' (IoT). Computer technicians and programmers who want their code to be able to interact with reality (physical computing). Programmers of smartphones and tablets who want to connect their app with a device, such as remote control of heating, blinds, etc. People wanting an introduction to the world of embedded systems.



The course is structured as one subject which is organised in three blocs of 20 class hours each:

- Bloc I. Arduino and makers
- Bloc II. More control over the physical world
- Bloc III. Protocols and serious things


Arduino: vía libre a tu creatividad tecnológica
3 ECTS. 60 teaching hours.
Bloc I: Arduino and makers

1. The revolution of the twenty-first century: the MAKER culture

1.1. Makers, Hobbyists and other aliens.
1.2. The amazing relationship between design and Arduino: designing things that interact with humans and the world around us.
1.3. Microcontrollers have changed your life without you knowing - part of the change is: Arduino.
1.4. The change of mentality: even an 'arts person' is a potential engineer, here and now.
1.5. Tinkering, Patching, Hacking, Circuit Bending and other mysterious 'ings'.

2. What really matters: what Arduino is and how it works.

2.1. The Arduino board: a look at the hardware.
2.2. The Arduino program: a look at the software.
2.3. LET'S GO FOR IT! We install it once and create a program for controlling an LED display.

3. Basics of electronics

3.1. Resistances, LEDs, buttons and other small items that we can connect to Arduino.
3.2. The breadboard
3.3. Basic fun concepts of programming.
3.4. Does electricity have a smell
3.5. Polymeters, testers, multimeters and oscilloscopes: now you're a real professional.

4. Your big ally: the Arduino serial port

4.1. Send data from Arduino to the PC.
4.2. Receive data from the PC on Arduino.
4.3. The solution to all your future problems (with Arduino): debug code with the serial port.

5. Digital inputs and outputs

5.1. Digital outputs
5.2. Control a button
5.3. Various exercises

6. Analogue inputs and almost analogue outputs: PWM.

6.1. Reading an analogue signa

Bloc II: More control over the physical world

7. DC Motors

7.1. Servomotors7.2. DC Motors7.3. Stepper motors7.4. Building a robot

8. Creating music with Arduino

8.1. Why does a speaker produce music?8.2. Playing tones8.3. Playing an MP3 file8.4. Playing a WAV

Bloc III: Protocols and serious things

9. LCD screens

9.1. 2 x 16 character display
9.2. Free drawing ccreens

10. SPI Protocol

10.1. What the SPI is and how it works
10.2. Connecting an RTC to Arduino
10.3. Building a clock
10.4. Building an alarm clock

11. I2C or TWI Protocol

11.1. What I2C/TWI is and how it works
11.2. Connecting an accelerometer to Arduino

12. MIDI protocol

12.1. What the MIDI protocol is and how it works
12.2. We make some bananas into a MIDI controller or a DJ's desk.

13. DMX Protocol

13.1. What the DMX protocol is and how it works
13.2. We control professional spotlights in a theatre or concert hall
13.3. Creating fantastic illuminations

14. Writing and reading an SD card

14.1. Gbytes of memory available for Arduino: reading and writing
14.2. SD card data logger

15 other platforms

15.1. And if Arduino is too small, then what? The Raspberry Pi!

Management & Faculty

Academic management

  • Hill Vinyals, Fèlix
    An industrial technical engineer specialising in industrial electronics at the UPC. Senior specialist in electronic product developments, specializing in microcontrollers. He leads Arduino and Creativity workshops for adults, and Arduino and robotics workshops for children.
  • del Río Fernández, Joaquín

Teaching staff

  • Hill Vinyals, Fèlix
    An industrial technical engineer specialising in industrial electronics at the UPC. Senior specialist in electronic product developments, specializing in microcontrollers. He leads Arduino and Creativity workshops for adults, and Arduino and robotics workshops for children.
  • Martínez Carmona, Òscar
    Lecturer at the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) where he teaches Arduino, creative coding and data visualisation with Processing. He works as an engineer at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE). He is the co-founder of HUI, a start-up developing software applications for the blind, which uses holophonic sound interfaces.
  • Vives Pons, Jordi
    Adjunct lecturer at the UPC's Manresa campus, affiliated to the Department of Electronic Systems Design and Programming (DIPSE). He teaches the course on Foundations of Computer Science and Computing, and is the coordinator of the Computing course on the Mechanics, Chemistry, Electronics and Mines degree courses.

General information

3 ECTS (60 teaching hours)
Start date
Start date:04/04/2017End date:30/05/2017
Tuesday  18:30 to 21:30Saturday  09:00 to 14:00
Taught at
Tech Talent Center
C/ de Badajoz, 73-77
08005 Barcelona
Telephone: (34) 93 112 08 70
Lifelong learning diploma issued by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. To obtain this degree it is necessary to have an official or recognized university degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree or diploma. Otherwise, the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya will only award them a a certificate of completion.

In the case of having a foreign degree check here.
Virtual Campus
The students on this Lifelong learning course will have access to the My_Tech_Space virtual campus, an effective work and communication platform for students, lecturers and course directors and coordinators. My_Tech_Space allows students to find background material for their classes, to work in teams, ask their lecturers questions, consult their marks, etc.
Employment service
Students can access job offers in their field of specialisation on the My_Tech_Space virtual campus. Applications made from this site will be treated confidentially. Hundreds of offers appear annually of the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development Employment service .The offers range from formal contracts to work placement agreements.
Registration fee
900 €
The registration fee must be paid before the beginning of this Lifelong learning course.
See the section Discounts, loans and financial aid for possibilities of advantageous financing conditions.

Applicants are given the option of making a voluntary €5 contribution when formalising their enrolment. As part of the UPC's 0.7% Campaign, this donation will go towards meeting charitable needs in developing countries.


Language of instruction