June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.45.1 - 14.45.10
A Low-Cost Approach to Integrate Sensor Technology in Multidisciplinary Courses 1. Introduction
Sensor technologies have received tremendous attention from both academic and industry fields. Unfortunately, high costs of laboratory equipments and spacing have prohibited many Engineering and Technology programs to offer courses in sensors, sensor networks, and related topics. Consequently, graduates from these programs often lack thorough understanding of sensor technologies and networks and their hardware/software design issues. As a result, these students will be in disadvantageous position in the current competitive job market.
In this project we introduce an introductory multi-disciplinary-based laboratory experiment, which provides basic theoretical knowledge about various types of sensing devices. The laboratory experiment and related lectures are primarily for students enrolled in different undergraduate science (biology, physics, bio molecular, etc.), engineering, and technology courses possibly with limited background in electronics. The proposed experiment can be utilized as an add-on component to courses with laboratory activities covering physical computing, instrumentations, computer-based measurement technology, or related topics. In addition, programs such as inter-disciplinary team-based learning1 can greatly benefit from such experiment.
In this paper we also show how interested and more advanced students can develop more involved projects using advanced programming and wireless communications. We conclude the paper by showing student responses to the quantitative and free-form questions concerning the implementation of the sensor laboratory experiment.
An immense number of new services and products have been introduced in the past two decades, many of which are monitoring and measuring physical parameters using various sensors. Consequently, sensor technology has been extended to many diverse fields, such as environment, medicine, and wildlife.
Today, a large number of industries are devoting significant investments in research and development of various sensor technologies and sensor networks. A growing number of industries are also looking into development of intelligent sensors and actuators to monitor physical parameters. As a result, more and more instruments and process control systems are utilizing sensors.
Unfortunately, as in many other universities and colleges, our curriculums in Engineering, Electronic Engineering Technologies, Computer Engineering Technologies, and science related majors do not offer any specific courses in sensor technologies. Laboratory experiments in physics and chemistry only demonstrate basic electrical and physical measurements in order to reinforce lectures in particular areas. Consequently,
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