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Verilog Hdl Controlled Robot For Teaching Complex Systems Design

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Mobile Robotics in Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1586.1 - 12.1586.12



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Paper Authors


Austin Griffith University of Wyoming

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Austin Griffith completed the Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2004 and the Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006 at the University of Wyoming. He is a member of IEEE and Tau Beta Pi -- the Engineering Honor Society. He is project engineer with Plasma Cam of Colorado City, Colorado.

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Steven Barrett University of Wyoming

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Daniel Pack U.S. Air Force Academy

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

Verilog HDL Controlled Robot For Teaching Complex Systems Design


Verilog Hardware Descriptive Language (HDL) design tools are a valuable tool for the digital systems designer. Many undergraduate programs in electrical and computer engineering and computer science provide basic and advanced coursework on this topic. In an effort to provide a motivating (fun) atmosphere to teach HDL, we have developed an autonomous maze navigating robot. This robot was originally developed for use in a microcontroller-based Real Time Embedded Systems course to teach complex concepts such as Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) and also fuzzy logic control. We have equipped the robot with an off-the-shelf CPLD development board. In this paper we will discuss the design of the robot modifications, the laboratory assignments to support use of the robot in a senior level, advanced digital design course, and the results of using the robot in the classroom. We will also discuss the valuable lessons learned by students in comparing a Verilog HDL system solution versus a microcontroller based solution to the same design challenge.


Verilog HDL techniques are a valuable tool for the digital systems designer. Many departments of electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science offer fundamental and advanced coursework in the state-of-the-art digital design technique. At our university we use Verilog HDL design concepts in our first digital design course as well as an advanced course devoted to digital system design.

The advanced system design course is three semester hours and meets for three 50 minute lectures per week. During the course of the semester students practice theory of HDL learned in the lectures through ten different homework assignments. The homework assignments are completed using the Xilinx Project Navigator. Students must demonstrate the proper execution of their design using the ModelSim XE Simulator. Proper test procedures and test bench development are emphasized throughout the course. Students are required to develop a test bench for each homework exercise.

The course culminates in a team design project. The purpose of the project is for students to choose a project of moderate difficulty involving the interaction of several systems. The students work in teams of two. Once they select a project, they then perform a background investigation of the project, determine a list of project requirements, design the project, and develop a testbench to demonstrate the proper operation of the project. Students provide a ten minute oral summary of the project to the class and also provide a ten page written report. The

Griffith, A., & Barrett, S., & Pack, D. (2007, June), Verilog Hdl Controlled Robot For Teaching Complex Systems Design Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1721

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