Digital Electronics: Robotics, learn by building module II
What you'll learn
- Design and construct digital electronic circuits, use microcontrollers to control real world items like robots you build!
- You will be able to program microcontrollers like the PIC and Arduino.
- You will need knowledge of analog electronics and the parts listed in the first lesson.
- No prior experience or knowledge in digital electronics is needed - just some basic math and computer skills!
Updated August 2022
Building on the knowledge you gained in the Analog Electronics module opens even more doors to diverse careers and hobbies. Think about how many industries / businesses / hobbies that involve computers or computer control. Even automobiles are chock full of digital electronics now. All of this involves digital electronics, and you want in on it today. In this module 2 course, you will build digital electronic circuits, use and program microcontrollers like the PIC and Arduino, and connect to the real world with them. You'll need a good understanding of basic electronics (i.e., you've completed the Robotics: Learn by building, module I), some basic math skills, a computer, and that's it!
With over 12,000 students enrolled and more than 300 five star ratings, students aged 8 to 60+ have enjoyed the course and its projects.
No prior knowledge of digital electronics or programming is required, and yet by the end of this course you'll have built functioning digital electronic circuits like a digital memory, and programmed microcontrollers which are basically a computer on a microchip. You will connect these to the real world for home automation and of course, controlling your robots. All courses have captions for the hearing impaired.
You will need the analog electronic parts and a breadboard, which you can purchase as an accompanying kit (i.e., the Analog Electronics Kit from module I) or provide your own.
You will also need the digital electronics kit which again you can purchase as an accompanying kit or provide your own parts. The first lesson is a walk-through of what is in the kit and acts as a parts list for this module.
This series of "Robotics: Learn by building" modules has an end-goal focus on the diverse field of robotics. In module I we learned the basics of electricity and electronics. In this module II you further develop your knowledge and skills to include digital electronics and practice your skills on real-life digital components.
This course is the prerequisite for the module III course where you'll learn robotic drive systems and physics, and gain a wide variety of skills in prototyping so you can actually build your own robots and manufacture your own parts. In module IV, you'll culminate all you've learned so far as you build a 3D printer from scratch, hook it up to a desktop computer and make your own plastic parts. The 3D printer is, in effect, a robot which you can then use to make parts for your other robot designs. In module V you can take your robot design and construction skills to the next level with a hands-on approach to autonomous robotic systems: learning about various sensors to know where you are and what your robot is doing, GPS navigation, basic artificial intelligence, powerful microchips known as FPGA's where you literally design a custom circuit on the chip, vision systems and more.
In this course we'll be covering:
What is digital?
Binary & Hexadecimal system and ASCII
Analog to digital and digital to analog conversion
Logic gates and you'll make your own RAM
Microprocessors & microcontrollers - what are they?
Programming & using PIC microcontrollers to:
-display information on an LCD display
-Read both digital and analog inputs
-PWM control a DC motor and servo motor
-Read keypad matrixes
-control LED displays
-writing to flash memory on board for remote systems
What is Arduino?
-using Arduino for all of the PIC projects above, as well as using full-colour TFT touch screens
Building our mobile robot
Giving our mobile robot a "brain"
Ultrasonics and ultrasonic radar / external sensing
Programmable IR remote
Who this course is for:
- You have a desire to learn computer control and electronics, especially geared towards building and controlling robots.
- You want to understand the heartbeat of computers and digital systems, and want to build your own digital electronic devices.
I've been an instructor in science and technology for 30 years. I got my start teaching at a science camp when I was 16. I also taught technology at the high school level for 10 years. I am a graduate of robotics engineering from Canadore College, North Bay, Ontario, and conducted research and development for multiple innovations over the years, including work with an Eastern Ontario company producing cool suits and hot suits for harsh environments. Our suits were used on board the space shuttle while it was in operation.
My interests have gone far beyond robotics, having written multiple scientific papers, published in peer reviewed journals and a book, wrote a book on video production, and am currently a railroader, working for Canadian National Railroad in Ontario. My passion is still for teaching and this can be seen even in railroading where I produced a video series on how to read Canadian railroad signals which is now being used in conductor courses to instruct the students on how to read the signals. I traveled on the road for ten years with a traveling museum I collected and constructed, speaking on the creation/evolution debate and have produced and hosted a television show on the topic for five years now.