Summer Course - 10 Week

Special Topics: Simple Robots and Microprocessor

Summer 2001, ECE292B Section 051, 2 hours

This course will provide an introduction to an embedded computer systems.  It will expose students to computer engineering topics. 

 

The objective of this class is to build a small robot and use microprocessor technology to make it walk and sense its environment.  This will use the Stiquito robot, PC parallel port controller, and a Basic Stamp 1.

 

The culmination of the class will be a Stiquito walking contest at the end of the semester.  Students will work on the project using skills learned through the semester.  They will discover the value of code reuse from earlier labs and of task scheduling and project management.



Syllabus for
ECE292B Section 051, 2 hours
Special Topics: Simple Robots and Microprocessor

North Carolina State University
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Summer 2001 (10 week) James Conrad

 

Objective

The objective of this class is to build a small robot and use microprocessor technology to make it walk and sense its environment. This will use the Stiquito robot, PC parallel port controller, and a Basic Stamp 2.

 

Purpose of Course

This course will provide an introduction to an embedded computer systems. It continues to expose students to computer engineering topics. During this course, students will develop a basic understanding of embedded computer system architecture; learn to program embedded computer systems; and learn how simple I/O devices are controlled by microprocessors. This class will use lecture and lab to solidify concepts on embedded systems.

 

Prerequisite

Junior standing, a grade of B- or above in ECE 206/218, a grade of B- or above in ECE 200 (or equivalent), and permission of the instructor. Limited to 24 students.

 

Materials Purchased by Student:

         James Conrad and Jonathan Mills, Stiquito for Beginners, IEEE CS Press, 1999. $40.

         Stiquito PC Parallel Port Controller Kit, MRS, Inc. $10 (purchased by each lab pair)

 

Additional lab supplies and tools provided by the ECE Department:

         Basic Stamp 2 Board of Education, Parallax, Inc. $50-$100 (one for each lab pair). If the lab pair wants to keep the Basic Stamp microcontroller, they can buy their own directly from Parallax, Inc.

         Parallax Basic Stamp User's Guide, Parallax, Inc. (in developer kit, and on web).

         Miscellaneous hardware (ULN2803, transistors, perf board, sensors, connectors)

         PC with parallel/serial port (in lab Dan 343)

         Soldering station

         Multi-meters, power supplies

 

Labs

Lab sessions will be held weekly in 343 Daniels. Students will work on labs in pairs. A considerable amount of time and thought will be required in the labs. Because almost all of us learn by doing, the laboratory will probably be the most effective method for learning the material. It is important that you participate fully in the lab-- do not just let your partner do all the work. (If you do, you find that you will not finish the project!) To learn, you need to do it and you need to creatively think about what you are doing! Students will learn to take lab notes, and use the notes for their final paper.

 

Since a student will learn the most for performing labs, grading for the course will be weighted heavily on lab performance:

         Lab pairs will demonstrate their work at the end of their eight labs.

         Students will turn in their lab books at the end of the semester

 

Quizzes

There will be a quiz each week before lecture to ensure that students prepare in advance for the day's discussion. There will be no make-ups for quizzes. Students are expected to attend all 20 of the classes.

 

Final Project

The culmination of the class will be a Stiquito walking contest at the end of the semester. Students will work on the project using skills learned through the semester. They will discover the value of code reuse from earlier labs and of task scheduling and project management. These skills will be quite helpful for their future Senior Design Project. The lab pair should also write a project report in the form of a magazine article. The objective is to submit the article to a magazine, like Circuit Cellar Ink or Robot Science and Technology, for eventual publication. The project results and final report will be part of the final grade.

 

Course Topics and Labs

 

Week

Date

Lecture

Lab/Homework

W

5/23

Introduction to Embedded Computer Systems; Introduction to Stiquito

 

M

5/28

 

(1) Build a manual controlled Stiquito

W

5/30

Electronics, soldering skills, instrumentation, power supplies

 

M

6/4

 

(2) Solder a PC Parallel Port Controller and test

W

6/6

Basics of Computer control Input/Output

 

M

6/11

 

(3) Program (in C) to the parallel port controller (output-Stiquito gait w/LEDs and input)

 

Check the text below

W

6/13

Controlling the Gait of Stiquito

 

M

6/18

 

(4) Build a tether and program a PWM gait for Stiquito

W

6/20

An examination of a small embedded Computer System; project management; final project rules

 

M

6/25

 

(5) Program I/O on the Basic Stamp board

W

6/27

An examination of a small embedded Computer System

 

M

7/2

Triangle Amateur Robotics Club meeting

 

M

7/9

 

(6) Develop Stiquito Gaits on Basic Stamp

W

7/11

Optimization of embedded system code

 

M

7/16

 

(7) Sensors using the Basic Stamp

W

7/18

Hardware/software co-design

 

M

7/23

 

Building Stiquito/basic Stamp board

W

7/25

Testing Embedded Systems

 

M

7/30

Rough draft of final report due

Building Stiquito/basic Stamp board (cont.)

W

8/1

 

Building Stiquito/basic Stamp board (cont.)

M

8/6

Stiquito race/Pizza Party at TAR Meeting

 

F

8/10

Report due

 

 

 See the Stiquito race on TV!!!

 

 

Here are some photos of the final day:

 

Grading Percentages

40% Laboratory demonstrations
10% Lab notebook

10% Quizzes

20% Final project/race results
20% Final report Magazine Article
100% Total

 

 

More info on Lab 3: