Coding and Creative Machines

This page documents the material that participants in the Polygon Door “Coding and Creative Machines” will learn. It can be used as a guide for learning, but also as a reference to return to when a new idea needs to be realised.


Electricity and Circuits 101 : Some important things to know about electricity

LED Lights and Electricity

LED light basics. Controlling LED light with Arduino.

What is a Microcontroller?

A programmable chip that is not quite a full computer.

Lighting a LED with Arduino Power

LED light and Arduino power basics

Understanding Breadboards and Protoshields.

An easy way to connect up wires and try lots of different possibilities

Blinking LED on Arduino – The Arduino IDE

LED light basics. Controlling LED light with Arduino.

Ideation Dice

Expand the ideas that occur to you by throwing the Polygon Door ideation dice, and see what pops up!

Polygon Bugs – Abstraction and Grids.

Compute This! (Encoding & Instructions)

We translate our drawing bug to a set of instructions and use each other to explore both.


Drawing with Arduino and the OLED.

We introduce you to the Adafruit library for drawing on our tiny LCD screens and talk about abstraction.

Displaying a bitmap on OLED

How to display raster images on an OLED

Arduino Polygon Bug

Making things is all about Abstraction - here we start to learn what that means and how to get started.

Graphics Primitives for OLED screens


Reserving a box to hold a number (or text)

Increment (Teaching Computers to Count)

Increment just means to add numbers over and over to a total

Edge Conditions – If / else Statements

Computers and logic are full of edges! Its important to check for edges!

Animating our Polygon Bug

Lets give life to our Arduino Bug - Animation 101


Functions can help you keep you code clean!

Cleaning Up Code

Its no good if you can code - but can't read your code because its always such a mess. Cleaning up is important.

Pseudo Code – Come up with a plan for coding.

Pseudo Code is not quite code - its a plan for coding and way of thinking through plans


Light Dependent Resistors

A photoresistor is a powerful analog sensor to get started with. Activate events with light, sense movement, and much more.

Piezo: produce bleeps

Play tones and beeps, make melodies!

Ultrasonic Sensors – How far is it?

Sensing Sound – Knock Sensor

How to use a piezo as a cheap movement, vibration and sound sensor able to provide a very rich set of values


Collaboration and Creative Thinking