COURSE CURRICULUM

The course is organized into two main parts: (1) Engaged learning; (2) Implementation and Practice. In the first five weeks of the quarter, students work in teams of two to complete a series of beginner, intermediate, and advanced project to help them acclimate to the project building environment. In the second part of the course, students work in teams of 4-5 on their own project. Projects introduced in the course include: Robotic Arm, Binary Clock, Guitar Pedal, Solar Tracker, and Arcade Emulator. 

ROBOTIC ARM

Build a robotic arm to control and power! The robotic arm sequence begins with a series of circuits to acclimate students to the Arduino environment. Next, students will build the robotic arm by laser cutting parts and programming potentiometers and servos to work together. Finally, the robotic arm will be powered by your own power supply! This sequence will allow students to develop their mechanical engineering skills, 3D print, laser cut, solder, breadboard, and program Arduinos!

BINARY CLOCK
 

A series of projects that is so much more than a binary clock. Students begin by building and ATTiny programmer and a heart circuit. Next students will build a binary clock and a power supply that would power it! In this sequence, students will learn how to program Atmel chips, solder, learn about power, and integrated circuits!

GUITAR PEDAL

A series of guitar effects and sound distortions using circuits and filters! Students will take a combination of circuit elements, filters, Fourier transforms, Pspice, MATLAB and a guitar to develop the blue clipper distortion, big muff pi, and EA tremolo. In this sequence, students will develop the ability to read schematics, breadboarding, soldering, and Fourier Analysis.

SOLAR TRACKER

A LED powering solar tracker that optimizes the amount of sunlight directed towards a solar panel to increase efficiency. Utilizes Arduino to control microservos that rotate gears to move the solar panel face towards strongest light source. Students will begin with a series of challenges to acclimate to the Arduino environment and next develop a maximum power point tracking algorithm to operate the solar tracker without photoresistors. In the second stage, students will build 3D solar tracker based on photoresistors and compare solar tracking efficiency of each tracker.

ARCADE EMULATOR

A personally customized arcade emulator to play your favorite games! Utilizes raspberry pi to run the entire system! This project is intended to be an easy beginner project to get students started with laser cutting and programming!

FACE RECOGNITION

A machine that knows "YOU". Students will learn how to use deep learning techniques to build a program that recognizes faces. They will apply OpenCV to detect faces on Raspberry Pi, learn the basics of convolutional neural networks, and train and deploy a neural net themselves!

INTRO TO IOT: AMBILAMP

Jump into the world of ubiquitous computing with this introduction to Internet of Things. Students turn a Raspberry Pi into a web server that hosts an application they build from the ground up, learning both front and back end web development tools. Then they build a desk lamp that monitors their environment, learning how to interact with hardware on the Raspberry Pi, use databases, and represent physical data on their website. This project covers several aspects of IoT, inviting students to find the component that speaks to them and delve deeper into the topic.