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Embedded Systems for Robotics

Robots are no longer confined to industrial automation. They are becoming increasingly reliable, affordable and user friendly.  In addition, they are improving the quality of life. Robots are performing everyday household tasks such as vacuum cleaning and personal assistance. The medical device industry is utilizing controller microchips that translate muscle movements into prosthetic responses.  As the demand for these robots grows, so does the need for qualified professionals.

In a typical mechanical oriented task, robots use sensors, actuators, and software to perceive their environment and safely perform programmed goals. An embedded system resides inside the robot tying together the different subsystems. Without an embedded system, robots would need to rely on external computing systems which can increase the safety risks due to delay and failure in the communication link between the robot and its external control system.

In this hands-on, laboratory course, you will learn the basic skills necessary to develop and implement embedded systems that control a typical robot. You will explore embedded computer hardware that interfaces with sensors, embedded software that reads and processes sensor data, and actuators for physical motions. Upon course completion, participants will take home an embedded system development board based on the ARM architecture compatible with the mbed development environment.

Course Highlights

  • Microcontrollers
  • C Programing
  • Digital I/O
  • Analog to Digital Converter
  • Digital to Analog Converter
  • Encoders
  • Infrared for measuring distance
  • Ultrasound for measuring distance
  • Laser Scanner LADAR/LIDAR
  • Gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • RC Servo Motor
  • Stepper Motors
  • DC motors with encoders

Course Benefits

  • Develop and implement an embedded system (hardware and software) necessary to control a typical robot
  • Acquire and process data from typical sensors used in robotics
  • Control typical actuators used in robotics 

Course Typically Offered: Schedule varies - check course matrix for next quarter offering.

Next Step: After completing this course, consider taking other courses in the Embedded Systems Engineering or UNIX & Linux Systems Administration certificate programs.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email

Course Number: ECE-40285
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)