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The Upj Eet Micro Mouse: This New Addition Impacts Learning In Embedded Microcontrollers

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.653.1 - 5.653.7

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Stanley J. Pisarski

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

Session 3547

The UPJ EET MicroMouse: This New Addition Impacts Learning In Embedded Microcontrollers

Stanley J. Pisarski University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering Technology. Many of the courses offered in UPJ’s Engineering Technology Program rely on laboratory experiments to supplement the lectures. The Embedded Microcontroller course offered by the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) department at UPJ is no exception. Students enrolled in this course are required to design interface circuitry, write and debug microcontroller programs, perform simulations, and field test the final product.

Since 1992, the Electrical Engineering Technology Department (EET) at UPJ has utilized Motorola’s 68HC05 series microcontroller to control many different peripheral devices including personal computers, liquid crystal displays, keypads, analog to digital converters, digital to analog converters, temperature controllers, motor speed controllers, X-Y recorders, and stepper motors. This microcontroller is one of the easiest devices to program and has many individually programmed bi-directional I/O port pins combined with a serial peripheral and a serial communications interface in addition to input capture and output compare functions. This year a new member was born and has been added to the ever-expanding list of experiments utilizing the microcontroller as the main control unit. The UPJ EET MicroMouse is the combination of a miniature land rover vehicle with sonar-type sensors that scurries around on the floor mapping out its surroundings while avoiding obstacles in its path.

This paper focuses on the evolution of this course, the newest member of the group (UPJ EET MicroMouse), and links student learning to the use of exciting projects compared with more traditional mundane cookbook experiments. It will examine the fundamental reasons for learning while comparing and contrasting different types of learning styles and how we, as educators, can increase morale and motivate our students to do their best.

I. Introduction

The Electrical Engineering Technology department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has offered a basic course in microprocessors since the fall term of 1985. The core course was focused around the popular 8-bit Intel series 8085 microprocessor. The laboratory, offered to

Pisarski, S. J. (2000, June), The Upj Eet Micro Mouse: This New Addition Impacts Learning In Embedded Microcontrollers Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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