Asee peer logo

Embedded Systems Course Focuses On Autonomous Robot Applications

Download Paper |


1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.227.1 - 4.227.16

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Ronald A. Lessard

Download Paper |

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

Session 2532

Embedded Systems Course Focuses On Autonomous Robot Applications

Ronald A. Lessard

Norwich University Electrical Engineering Department


The EE411 Micro-based (Embedded) Systems Course at Norwich University meets 3 hours for lecture and 2 hours for laboratory each week of a 14 week semester. The laboratories case study a stepper motor robot design. The robot is designed to compete in the IEEE Micromouse Competition. In addition, a wireless modem link was added to allow for simulation of other autonomous robot applications. After introducing the design from the top-down in the first laboratory, the tools and low level software concepts needed are introduced in laboratories 2,3 and 4. Laboratory 5 has the students design their own software to be added to the robot command set. This allows simulation of the Sojourner Rover operation on the surface of Mars. Other real world applications are also discussed. Later laboratories introduce the issues critical to using the MCX11 deterministic event-driven multitasking Real Time Executive. The design is pushed beyond system limits and the consequences of failure analyzed. Finally, the interface between the assembly and the ‘C’ code is presented so that the students can implement and test the flood fill maze solving algorithm on the robot. A final project as a second design experience has students apply the principles introduced in the laboratory sequence. Teaching the course in this manner has encouraged Norwich engineering students to enter the regional IEEE Micromouse competition.

I. Introduction

Autonomous robot applications make use of many of the concepts treated in embedded systems. The Norwich University “Microprocessor-Based Systems Course“ (EE411) currently simulates development of an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Micromouse Contest competition robot. The IEEE Micromouse competition has undergraduate IEEE members develop robots to solve an unknown 16 by 16 block maze. The robot that has the shortest time from start in the corner to finish in the center within the 15 minute trial period wins. The model robot used in the EE411 course is pictured in Figure 1. It was developed using the results of a past student senior project.

Lessard, R. A. (1999, June), Embedded Systems Course Focuses On Autonomous Robot Applications Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1999 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015