Welcome to EECS Platforms for Learning.
Courses Using TekBots Hardware
There are several classes each year that build on the Platforms for Learning that Oregon State University offers to its electrical and computer engineering students under the successful TekBots platform. These engineering students build on their TekBots from freshman year until senior projects, through various labs:
ECE 111 Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering I
In this class students learn what its like to be an engineer, the instructor John Sweet teaches students the basics of clectrical and computer engineering topics and has various homework assignments for students to learn about engineering and themselves. A required recitation is attached to this course and serves as the primary lab work of the class. Undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) work in a team of three to run the class, most of them with a passion for and experience with TekBots. The TAs take the students on a tour, sit with them as they hear from industry and OSU professors the second week, proctor a online scavanger hunt, teach the basics of current and voltage through an LED lab, and teach them the power of a microcontroller by using the Tiny 26 board.
ECE 112 Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering II
Roger Traylor has been teaching the lecture portion of this class, he covers many of the important Electrical and Computer Engineering topics covered from the basics to the complex. Roger says the course is a "mile wide but an inch deep," meaning he covers many topics but does not go over everything that a complete class would on the subject. This class serves as a great preview for 4 years of Engineering course work and also introduces students to their very own TekBot. Through a progression of labs designed by the TekBots team, students build their TekBot from the ground up a typical trait of the Platform for Learning coursework that follows. With 4 labs students build their base and battery chargers and then learn the basics of using a multimeter and really hammer down the concepts of current and voltage. The last two labs build up the knowledge with motors, BJTs and comparators. These labs also complete the basic TekBot and after wiring together the analog and motor control boards, your TekBot is ready to use its sensor board to run on its own and be a bumpbot.
ECE 199 Special Topics - Build a TekBot
Accelerated lab course designed for non-traditional students that require a constructed TekBot for class prerequisites.
ECE 272 Digital Logic Laboratory
ECE 272 is the final electrical and computer engineering class students take before entering pro school, Both CS and ECE students take ECE 271 the lecture portion and ECE 272 the lab of this class from Matthew Shuman. In the lecture basics of digital logic are covered including flip flops, logic gates and combinational and sequential digital logic design. In lab they put the concepts in the lecture to work as they design complex systems with a digital controller board that contains a field programmable gate array (FPGA).
ECE 322 Electronics I
Pallavi Dhagat teaches ECE 322, a more in-depth electronics class that has an attached lab. Though the TekBot is only used in one lab to add IR sensing capabilty, the concept of the Platform for Learning is apparent throughout the sequence of labs. Through the building of a power supply students work on labs covering diodes, BJTs, MOSFETS, filters, rectifiers, voltage regulators and more. The end result is a working power supply that the students can use in several applications for providing power to a circuit or other electronic device. Students are put to the test during the last week. As a report and presentation are due during dead week as they present the entire design and how they troubleshooted, built and operate their power supplies. It gives students the opprotunity to work on presentation skills that will be valuable to them as they work on their senior projects, apply for jobs and work in the real world. Presentation skills for engineers are very important and defending why they did something in this class is a fantastic final project.
ECE 323 Electronics II
Our newest addition to the TekBots platform is ECE 323, a students next look at electronics comes in the form of a series of complex TekBot labs. Designed by students interning with TekBots during the summer of 2006. The labs go through in typical PFL fashion by starting out with the basics of PSPICE simulation, the very next week you dive into working with a frequency generator which will upload to your Digital Logic board previously used in ECE 272. Filters, amplifiers, detectors and Schmitt Triggers are covered over the next few weeks as you start to build the framework for a new kind of remote control for the TekBot. The last 4 weeks of lab cover building your class project and the microphone for the signal and then you finish the project by building the receiver. At the end of the receiver lab you should be able to create a TekBot that combines logic and sound to receive controls from the transmitter and make the corresponding movement. A truly innovative and challenging engineering solution that puts to use several skills needed for electrical and computer engineers to use.
ECE 375 Introduction to Computer Organization & Assembly
Students continue on to a course in putting their programming to work, in this class taught by Ben Lee students learn the basics of assembly programming language and how it gets converted from C. It then converts it into machine code and then to the TekBot through a Atmel ATMega 128 microcontroller. Students take what they learn in Professor Lee's lecture and then use it to create things on a LCD display and to work with large number arithmetic. Eventually students create a simple computer and then the final project consists of creating a remotely controlled vehicle for the second time (previously done in ECE 272) and creating a lab report describing problems that they may have had and the exact operation of their code and why it does what it does. There is an extra opportunity for students to create two robots that play "freeze tag" with each other with some extra programming.
ECE 473 Microprocessor System Design
Roger Traylor teaches this senior level class on Microprocessor System Design. The lecture involves comparing several different microprocessors and microcontrollers; other topics include architecture of microprocessors/microcontrollers, interfacing peripheral devices, and interrupts. In the lab part of the class you take the knowledge learned in ECE 375 with the Mega 128 and you expand it to create your own system; recently the course has called for making your own clock radio as part of the final project. The students build an FM receiver that can be digitally tuned and has digital volume control. In addition, students implement accurate timing that does not lose or gain time over a period of several days. Memory presets, snooze buttons, and fade in and out functions are some of the optional functions students add. Through the class students add the Daughter board to their Mega 128 and create a minature piano to build the knowledge to complete the final project.
ECE 44X Senior Design
The last class that implements TekBot/Platforms for Learning techonology is the 3-course senior design sequence. Each year projects vary depending on sponsors, mentors, project success in the years past, and new ideas that students will work on to implement into a final presentation to the community. Each 2 credit class culminates in presentations of work done during the term, and the final product is demonstrated to the public. Students work outside class with their groups to achieve deadlines and goals throughout the year. Specifics on current and past projects can be found on the ECE 44X website.