The Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts will host a public celebration of World Arduino Day on Saturday, March 29, marking the 10th anniversary of the single-board microcontroller that revolutionized and democratized physical computing.

Arduino has simplified physical computing, ensuring its prevalence in commerical, artistic and hobbyist applications.
Arduino has simplified physical computing, making it tremendously popular among artists, hobbyists and entrepreneurs.

Two of Arduino’s original co-founders – Massimo Banzi, originally of the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea, Italy, where Arduino originated; and Tom Igoe, Associate Arts Professor at ITP – will participate in the celebrations, which will involve talks, demonstrations and interactive exhibits from noon till 5 p.m. at ITP, 721 Broadway, 4th floor. The event is just one in a series of worldwide celebrations bringing together the people and projects that have made Arduino grow to where it is today.

“The thinking behind Arduino was to enable everyone, not just engineers to create interactive objects and environments, which explains why we’ve relied on it so heavily at ITP, a program that caters to artists and entrepreneurs that often have limited technical backgrounds,” said Igoe. “Much to our delight, it has not only become a favorite platform for professionals and hobbyists alike, but it has also spawned an active, collaborative community that continues to help us modify and develop Arduino way beyond its original scope.”

Physical computing, or the building of interactive physical systems by the use of software and hardware that can sense and respond to the physical world, has grown rapidly in the time since Arduino’s inception, encompassing everything from the art projects of of Scott Snibbe and Daniel Rozin to commercial products such as Microsoft Kinect and the arcade game Dance Dance Revolution. Arduino was conceived by designers at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy, and tested and modified by students and faculty in the ITP program and other programs around the world. In addition to Banzi and Igoe, Arduino co-founders include David Cuartielles, Gianluca Martino, and David Mellis.

The Arduino board is a small computer that can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The boards can be built by hand or purchased preassembled; the software can be downloaded for free. Arduino boards retail for roughly $30.

The Arduino open-source hardware board is designed around an 8-bit Atmel AVR, or a 32-bit Atmel ARM microcontroller. The board allows uploading programs into the microcontroller memory without needing any extra hardware. The companion programming environment, also open source, is designed for beginners, and features a simple, spare interface and easy-to-learn programming commands.
The ITP Arduino Day will featuring a gallery of great Arduino-based projects from ITP alums and other members of the New York Arduino community, as well as talks and demonstrations on the following topics:

  • The basics of Arduino
  • Connecting Arduino to the internet using Temboo
  • Creating interactive spaces using SpaceBrew
  • Making MIDI Music with Arduino and Bricolo
  • Arduino meets Biology in WetPong

Arduino Day at ITP is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved online. For more information about Arduino Day or ITP, visit

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