Physical Computing

Established in 2019, Cal Poly Pomona Physical Computing Collection is a Tech Lending Library supporting Project Based Learning assignments, such as prototyping Internet-of-Thing devices, machine vision/AI, environmental monitoring, interactive art installations, cosplay props and wearables, robots and more. Funded by a $24,500 Instructional Innovation CPP Special Projects to Improve Class Room Experience (SPICE) grant.

This unprecedented collection features 60 Physical Computing Discovery Kits, each with a Micro-Controller (MCU) development board or Single Board Computer (SBC) accompanied by essential components, basic sensors, actuators, and tools required to learn the basics. These kits are augmented by a variety of components and a curated selection of 360+ analog and digital sensors, motors, servos, LEDs, displays, and networking and signal processing boards for students to try.

As of Fall 2021, the Physical Computing Collection is now part of the Maker Studio in CPP’s Library.

Collection Inventory

Microcontrollers and Single Board Computer Kits28
Multi-functional Boards (IO, sensors, actuators)4
Sensors and U/X boards:
• 28 U/X, Proximity, Gesture, and Distance
• 13 Motion, and Location Sensors
• 15 Vibration, Force, Strain, and Sound Sensors
• 22 Light, IR, UV, Color Sensors + Cameras
• 25 Temperature, Weather, and Gas Sensors
• 10 Soil, and Water Sensors
Actuators and Drivers (LEDs, Servos, Motors, Speakers, et cetera)
• 31 Electro-Mechanical Actuators/Controllers 
• 35 Electro-Optical/LED Displays/Controllers  
Networking, IO, Memory, Logic boards/chips
• 22 Networking/RF Boards 
• 82 Logic/Timing Chips or Board
Test Equipment, and Tools8
Power Supplies, Regulators, and Energy Harvesting39
tally of the collection

Featured items:

The collection also includes thousands of replacement components (resistors, capacitors, LEDs, diodes, ICs, power regulators, and more), plus an extensive inventory of connectors, wires, enclosures, hardware, tools, packaging, labels, and other items that are available for student projects. The Instructor’s Kit includes 90 varieties of components, test equipment, and tools for teaching.


The collection’s Bill of Materials/budget required 1200+ line items (each which required research and comparison shopping) sourced from 25 vendors. Primary fabrication and kitting took three student assistance, myself and my son six weeks over the summer of 2019. Cataloging and kitting continued through 2020.

7/3/2019 first round of items delivered!

7/24/2019 Setting up the soldering station.

7/29/2019 Kitting the Course Discovery Kits

7/29/2019 Soldering!

Lehrman’s Physical Computing Test and Fabrication Tools

My new workbench!