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A Robotics Based Microprocessor Course For Engineering Technology

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.35.1 - 1.35.6



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Paper Authors

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Robert L. Avanzato

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

.—. . ..—.

Session 1620 —. . . ..-

A Robotics-Based Microprocessor Course for Engineering Technology

Bob Avanzato Penn State Abington-Ogontz

Abstract: An innovative robotics-based microprocessor course has been designed for the electrical engineering technology associate degree program at the-Penn State Abington- . Ogontz campus. The course focus is the team design, testing, and troubleshooting of a “ ‘microcontroller-based autonomous mobile robot. Topics include robot design and control, microcontroller architecture, 6811 assembly and high-level (C) programming. Mini-lectures and workshops are scheduled on an “as-needed” basis. A robot competition is held at the conclusion of the course. The project-based course has proven to be highly motivating for the student participants. This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education under Grant No. DUE- -- 9454547.

1.0 Introduction A robotics-based microprocessor course has been designed for the associate degree electrical engineering technology program at the Penn State Abington-Ogontz campus. The focus of this sophomore-level course is the team design, testing, and troubleshooting of a microcontroller-based autonomous mobile robot. This project-based course is a single module in a Penn State multi-campus NSF Advanced Technological Education grant with the objective of developing project-based educational modules for the Associate Degree Engineering Technology programs that also provide bridge programs to high schools and integration with math, physics, communications, and the humanities. This engineering technology activity also ran concurrently with a baccalaureate freshman engineering design program and high school outreach program which utilized similar robot design tools and resources. Several important developments have occurred in the past few years that allow for microcontroller-based robotics projects to be more accessible and manageable to educators. One such development is the availability of low-cost, high-level programming language environments for microcontrollers (e.g. Interactive-C born MIT.) Second, low cost robot kits are available that are comprised of filly assembled microcontroller boards, hardware for rapid prototyping (e.g. LEGO), sensors, motors, gears, etc. This availability reduces. the overhead for instructors and institutions with limited resources. Third, support for students and faculty engaged in robotics projects can readily receive technical support through various newsgroups over the Internet.

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Avanzato, R. L. (1996, June), A Robotics Based Microprocessor Course For Engineering Technology Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6270

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