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Innovative Embedded Systems Project

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Software Applications in ET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.971.1 - 26.971.11



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Paper Authors


Stephen A. Strom Pennsylvania State University, Erie

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Stephen Strom is a lecturer in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology department of Penn State Behrend, and holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His career includes over thirty years experience in designing and programming embedded systems and has multiple patents for both hardware designs and software algorithms

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Innovative Embedded Systems ProjectAbstractThe goal of an Embedded Design course is to teach programming, embedded circuits and softwarealgorithms. There are also related goals, such as learning to use development tools, lab equipmentand proper debugging techniques. There are tangential goals such as working in teams andpreparation for senior/capstone projects. And while there are a variety of approaches to teaching,the common theme is that you want the students to be successful and understand the material asthoroughly as possible.Each year, there are new peripherals, new processors and a general belief that you must try to teachmore information in a shorter period of time. Technology students (in general) require a morehands on approach in that learning is accomplished via lab projects as opposed to lectures andhomework. Thus an Embedded Design course with the proper lab work is the best way to achieveall of the associated goals.This paper details an approach that I have used in my (junior level) microprocessor course in whichthe students (some with a strong interest in programming, some with less) all learn to program in‘C’, and interface the PIC processor to a wide variety of peripherals using a development board thatthey build themselves. What is unique is that the PCB was designed in-house using Eagle Cad andcontained a wide variety of components not present in typical off-the-shelf development products.This allows us to teach a wide range of sensors (temp, light, range, etc.) and a variety of protocols(RS232, SPI) as well as software debouncing and filtering algorithms.The final part of the course was to let the students come up with their own ideas for a final labproject and each student took a unique approach in applying their hardware and software skills.With the success of this course, it is hoped that the information provided here could be used as aframework for other classes with similar goals and objectives.

Strom, S. A. (2015, June), Innovative Embedded Systems Project Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24308

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