SAPIENZA Università di Roma, M.Sc. in Product Design

Smart Objects (6 CFU)

Prof. Fabio Patrizi

General Information

This course introduces the basics of smart objects, i.e., objects able to interact with the external environment, including other objects. The aim of the course is to provide students with the background needed to equip a product prototype with interaction capabilities. The topics covered in the first part include the notion of smart object, principles of object-environment interaction, and some basics on programming, with emphasis on command execution. The second part of the course is devoted to the prototyping platform Arduino, and covers aspects of elementary circuit design and Arduino programming. Students will learn how to make a product prototype able to interact with the external environment, through a simple circuit controlled by Arduino.

(Tentative) Programme


Course material


Students are required to buy the Arduino platform together with some components that will be used during the course. Teams (of max 3 people) can buy a single platform (+ components) to use in their project. A basic shopping list is announced below. This will be used to learn the basics of Arduino programming and circuit assembly. Additional components may be needed, as the course progresses. These will be announced as well. Of course students can buy additional components, if needed by their prototype.


Course slides can be downloaded here


Information about exam

The exam consists in implementing a prototype product that features interaction capabilities, using the Arduino platform. For students who are attending Product Design I, it is required that the project be the same. Project deliveries will take place together with those of Product Design I.

During the exam, questions about interaction aspects (including Arduino and programming) will be asked to all team members who take Smart Objects. These will contribute to the final mark.

Marking (1st delivery, 2nd delivery, final project and exam): 10% 10% 80%