Module Leader

Dr. Shayan Sharifi

Mr Kamyar Hazeri

Gizmo combines the approaches of Physical Computing and Mechatronics. It is a foundational course that assumes you have elementary or no prior knowledge in one or more of the associated subjects of mechanical design, electronic control and feedback systems, and computing. The module takes an active learning approach, with most of the real work happening in the workshops and programming and interacting with your peers and tutors. A broad overview of tools and techniques used in Physical Computing and Mechatronics will be provided, with emphasis on mechanisms.               

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be better able to:

  •   Distinguish between a wide range of standard machine elements and electronic components
  •   Generate multiple distinct potential mechanisms for specified situation and select the most effective
  •   Construct working sketch models of machines confidently and quickly
  •   Generate technical drawings of machine assemblies
  •   Design and develop complex machines, integrating hardware (including machine elements, structure, electrical components, sensors, actuators, and micro-controllers) and high-level programming languages such as Python to affect specified outcomes
  •   Produce communication assets for effectively sharing the design of machines with an informed audience             


Description of Content

Interaction design:
  Physical/multi-sensory interaction
Machine elements:
  Electric motors
  Planar linkages
  Springs and flexures
  Structure and connections (fasteners)
  Flexible drives
  Epicyclic gears
  Tolerances and Fits
Control and electronics:
  Digital IO. Analog Input (w/ Arduino)
  Analog output (w/ Arduino)
  Serial communication
  CAD motion studies (SolidWorks)
  Technical [part] drawing
  Technical [General Assembly] drawing
  Tidy prototyping            


Module Highlight

BMIC is a mechanical drum sequencer.

BMIC Drum Sequencer - The Process

BMIC is a mechanical drum sequencer.

From a 4x3 step sequencer controller the user can input combinations of beats and instruments. The inputs are interpreted by a programmed Raspberry Pi, that sends output to three solenoids accordingly, each attached to a drum hitting mechanism.

Designed and developed by Ina Roll Backe, Tilly Supple, Carla Urbano, and Bea Lopez.