Physical Interaction Design at CCRMA
CCRMA has recently seen growing interest in what we call "Physical Interaction Design" (PID) for Music. Related to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Physical Computing, PID is about the relationship between users, the devices they use, the tasks they accomplish, and people who receive this output. Rather than focusing solely on devices and their inherent qualities, we acknowledge that Physical Interaction Design is about the mutual influences between people and technologies. We mix design, sensors, embedded technologies and real-time sound synthesis to create new ways of interacting with sound.
Currently, we teach one course (for Stanford students only): Music 250A -- Physical Interaction Design for Music.
The central hub for PID work at CCRMA is the MaxLab, a multi-purpose research lab / office / workshop for developing PID projects.
In our courses, we use AVR 8-bit RISC microcontrollers by Atmel. These chips have a modern Harvard Architecture, executing most instruction cycles in a single clock cycle. An extremely efficient open source C compiler is available, and these devices are used and supported by a large community of developers. See the AVR wiki entry at CCRMA for support on the AVR.