Parallax Propeller Educators Course (1-day)
This course utilizes the Propeller Activity Board’s powerful yet easy to use 8-core Propeller microcontroller to introduce a variety of automated STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) projects. Attendees will learn just how easy it can be for students to automate their own projects using a simplified C programming environment called SimpleIDE. It allows beginning students to start quickly and succeed with simple programs and circuits. It also has built-in features to support more advanced project ingredients with a similar level of ease. This system brings “hello world” simplicity to seemingly more intricate activities like SD card memory access, speech synthesis, wireless communication, and playing audio files.
There will be group activities as well as lab time to work at your own pace and choose the topics you want to focus on through self-guided tutorials.
- Overview of the Propeller P8X32A multicore microcontroller
- Intro to C programming with SimpleIDE
- Blink lights, monitor pushbuttons and dials
- Robot motor control and navigation
- Choose, build & test a sensor system: whisker contact, ultrasonic distance, light, infrared object or XBee radio control
- Read/write to SD card file, and use WAV files to make your robot tell you what it sees.
- For fun: Make your robot a WAV file playing juke-bot!
- Optional activities you can choose from (if time permits): Try a second robot sensor subsystem, joystick, serial liquid crystal display, tilt sensor, compass.
- Programming & Computing: displaying messages, remembering, computations, counting and repeating actions, decision making, using libraries to simplify your code, multiprocessing libraries
- Physics: velocity, distance, time, sound and light frequencies
- Robotics: sensor inputs, microcontroller processing, motor control output
- Electricity & Electronics: voltage, resistance, current, voltages and signals, binary vs. analog signals
- Digital Electronics: control binary outputs and monitor inputs, A/D and D/A conversion
Prerequisites & Equipment
The topics in this course are technical in nature, so experience with tinkering and/or computer programming basics are helpful but not required. Minimum prerequisites are typing and basic computer skills: operating a mouse, installing software, navigating between windows on your computer.
Propeller Activity Boards and other hardware to use during the course will be provided. Bring your own Windows or Mac laptop computer. Click here to for the SimpleIDE software and USB drivers installation instructions.