Hands-on Electrical Engineering (Embedded Systems Design) - I
robots summer camp;robotics projects

Duration:

This the Stage (Week) One of our Introduction to Embedded Systems Design.
Level I will be followed by II. They are offered in two consecutive weeks. You may take Stage One only. However, in order to take Stage Two, you must have taken Stage One or equivalent.

Track:

Physics and Electronic with Robotics — Grade 8-12

Description

There is a plethora number of online instructions to show kids how to mobilize something with the most commonly used (from college to commercial world) microcontroller Arduino, such as a car, or robot. Many can simply follow basic Arduino tutorials to construct fun projects.

However, where is the equivalent enthusiast class for young makers who want:
  • to get under the hood and have a deeper understanding?
  • to learn how to do some tuning for better performance?
  • to increase robustness of their work?
  • to equip themselves sound fundamental to expand their projects or create more sophisticated projects?

If you are one of these young makers, this will be a great learning opportunity for you.
You will learn how to design something faster, better, and stronger what you can get just by stacking on more external devices like sensors and shields. You will create your own controller board instead.


They aim to give you a sound exposure to Electrical Engineering through Embedded Systems Design (E3SD). Embedded system is a special-purpose system in which the computer is completely encapsulated within the device itself. An embedded system is tasked to be optimized for performing a set of pre-defined tasks.

The objective of this course is to give the hardware/engineering skills necessary to create your own control board.

Anticipated Engineering Learning Outcomes:

Students learn through hands-on projects with engineering disciplines. You’ll walk away with a fully operational circuit you designed on a breadboard after basic SMD & through-hole soldering is learned and an understanding of what is required to follow this field. Major topics will refresh/skim over student's previous experiences with programming and hardware (i.e. Arduino/Pi) and go into:
  1. Why we need embedded systems engineers/what do they do? How/where to learn about it?
  2. The tools you'll need; both hardware and software
  3. The practical skills you'll need to start designing your own systems (e.g. Soldering, breadboarding, debugging, using DMMs/logic analyzers/scopes).
  4. The links to electrical engineering (hardware), software engineering (programming), User Experience/Interface design and what you should know about them (e.g. voltage regulation, current protection, conditioning/signal integrity/decoupling, sequentially driven vs. interrupt driven programming, firmware vs. OS).
  5. How to get started breadboading and what the limitations are with it. Potentially introduce SMD design considerations/tools.
  6. What embedded systems can do outside of basic GPIO, ADC, DAC, Interrupts, and timing and developing a path for their own projects/week 2 (e.g. the extra peripherals like USB, SPI, I2C.


Activities include:

  1. MCUs vs. Computers and which gecko is right your project
  2. Create firmware to do things as simple as blinking the LED (note…not like the way you do it in Arduino.. )
  3. Controlling external Devices, such as controlling off-board LEDs, button input and Deep Sleep States, etc.
  4. Clocking for MCU clocks and introduction to interrupts
  5. User Interface Experiments like : Human Reaction Time, Switch Bounce.
  6. Interface with On-board LCD, Timer Set/Adjst Mechanism,
  7. Real time Clock (RTC)
  8. Creating Timer Logic
  9. Power management/changing sleep states, clocks & interrupts, debouncing, real-time clock
  10. If time permits, may get into Asynchronously Communication Between Devices with USARTs Interrupts, Clocking and Electrical Signaling

Prerequisites:

  • Will require two recommendations for approval into the program. Please send this link to your recommenders.
  • High Proficiency in Algebra I and Grade 8+ Reading and Writing Skills.
  • Must love mathematics and solving complex problems.
  • Must love analytical and creative thinking.
  • Must be willing to work with at least one partner.

Learning Tools:

  • Software - Arduino C.
  • Hardware - Atmel Microchips. (more will be updated by mid of February.


Prize

In September, 3 students with the BEST Online Portfolios will be announced and receive a prize. Please contact us for more details.