Developing Arduino practical applications for basic electronics systems lecturing
Tutor / director / evaluatorArias Pujol, Antoni
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
Microelectronics has become an important but inconspicuous part of our daily livesanduniversities have an important task of introducing the usage of microelectronics to theirstudents, who then need to be able to apply those learned skills into practice aftergraduation.Every electrical engineering student is familiar with textbook examples and theories, butfor many of them it takes a long time to get into contact with the actual hardware they aresupposed to be designing. An important key for learning, the interest towards the subject inquestion, may also be lost when students do not know how the subject fits into practicaluse.With these issues in mind,two main goals arose for this bachelor project:•To create a do-it-yourself microelectronics project that would be suitably challengingfor undergraduate students•To encourage them to explore and design electronic devices on their own•To make it easily applicable in teaching practiceHaving set the goals, it was decided that project should:•Involve an adequate amount of programming•Components should be cheap enoughfor students to buy them themselves•Offer something practical that students could imagine applyingfortheir own needs•Preferably be reusable in class yearly by the course that might implement itThe programming side was solved by building the project around a microcontroller. Sincemicrocontrollers typically offer a very high learning curve, if one needs to start from thescratch, Arduino's microcontroller board is a perfect choicefor this purpose. These boardsare easily approachable since they are programmed and powered through a USBconnection, and there is a comprehensible number of ready libraries for programming.Thanks to these characteristics, students do not need to go through mystical andcomplicated initialisation processes when they start programming the microcontroller.Do-it-yourself aspect is achieved by using a breadboard and discrete components to buildelectronics for the project. In this way, assembling can be done without soldering,correcting errors and modifying design is easy and, best of all, all parts remain reusable fornew designs.Major part of costs of this project falls on Arduino's microcontroller board and thebreadboard. The rest of the components are very common and can be found in anycomponent store at a reasonable price, creating only a small fraction of the total cost.Furthermore, I hope that my end results show how easy and fast it is to assemble acomplex device from simple components, thus helping others to get ideas on how to buildsomething practical and applicable to real life.Having these thoughts as my guidelines, I started to design what would be my bachelorproject and hopefully would result in others venturing to create similar projects on theirown.This document gathers the information about the materials I used and what I managed tobuild from them. There are detailed explanations about how the whole ensemble worksand what problems I came across while putting it together. Finally, the document alsodisplays my ideas for further improvementsof the device.