Introduction to Microcontrollers Using the Arduino

8-Lesson introduction to microcontrollers based on the popular Arduino microcontroller.





Introduction, LEDs and digital output, basic electronic theory


Digital I/O (input and output) and conditionals



Motion control using servos. Functions


Analog input, A/D conversion



7-segment displays, indexed arrays



Light measurements, EEPROM


Amplified outputs: DC motor control


Sound, Interrupts, Control of 110V AC


This class is project-based, which means you learn through doing a series of projects provided by the instructor. Each lesson includes a brief lecture, then you work on the projects. It is not an on-line class, and most of the material is not on the internet.


We have a set of lab kits for this class, which you are welcome to use for free, as long as you do all the work in the lab. If you do this it will probably take you longer than the nominal 8 weeks. Therefore, you should probably consider buying your own. This will run you about $60. You can either buy the parts yourself (we'll provide a parts list), or we can provide you with a complete kit for $60, which includes everything used in the class, starting with the microcontroller itself.


Arduino vs. Basic Stamp. We offer two Introduction to Microcontrollers courses, this one, based on the Arduino microcontroller, and another based on the Basic Stamp microcontroller. What's the difference, and which one should you choose? As usual, there's a trade-off. The Arduino is less expensive (although recently the basic stamp has come way down in price) and has more powerful capabilities. On the other hand the Basic Stamp has 2 advantages - 1) it has excellent educational materials associated with it, and 2) we use the Basic stamp as the brains for the robot in our Introduction to Robotics class.


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