The above video is a playlist reel of the first 31 entries. There are over 100 videos and 400 projects on the course page:
These projects were produced in the last month of ECE 4760 each spring. The students were given the responsibility of choosing their project, then designing and building it. Projects this year include ultrasonic hats, sound trackers, camera gimbals, laser tag with RF logging, a drink mixer and a fight coach. Several have been published.
The microcontroller used is the Atmel ATmega series. This year we use the Mega1284 microprocessor and WINAVR/GCC compiler. Before 2009, we used the Codevision C compiler. Many projects are on YouTube. The project numbers are for identification and do not represent ranking. For complete project documentation, see the course page here.
The App Inventor group at MIT have unveiled App Inventor2. You may be familiar with the App Inventor project when it was previously featured. (At that time it was known as Google App Inventor.) Essentially it helps you build Android apps using a graphical interface which is useful for quick coding and debugging, and is especially helpful to new developers unfamiliar with coding.
This new game for iPad and iPhone is inspired by Rube Goldberg’s legacy of original cartoons and inventions. The game is challenging and original (plus, very funny) and rises far above the pedantic and predictable baseline of educational gaming.
Do you have what it takes to turn Rube Goldberg’s humorous comics and cartoons into elaborate and incredible machines?
Developed by Electric Eggplant in partnership with Kalani Games and the Heirs of Rube Goldberg and published by Unity Games, Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game is the first officially licensed Rube Goldberg game.
Rube Works features Rube’s cartoons, contraptions, and irreverent humor and animates the iconic invention cartoons in a way never seen before. The game combines the puzzle genre with slapstick humor and creative problem solving. Imagine the goal is to carve a turkey—and you have a penguin, a bucket, a rooster, a box of sand, a sea sponge, a seesaw and an ice cream maker to complete the task. Then imagine connecting these objects together with string and pulleys along with the laws of gravity and cartoon physics to create a Rube Goldberg machine and proceed to the next level.
The realization came almost two years ago, at the start of 2012, and if I’d had the option then of crawling into my dusty room of first editions and dying, I might have. But as the single mother of an 11-year-old boy, there was a life to build, and bills to pay. So I was motivated when I came across a magazine article arguing for the importance of “code literacy.” Inspired, I signed up for a yearlong programming course at Codecademy, an online educational start-up in New York City.
The first surprise of learning to program? I actually enjoyed it. Yes, programming is challenging, frustrating and often tedious. But it offers satisfactions that are not unlike those of writing. The elegant loops of logic, the attention to detail, the mission of getting the maximum amount of impact from the fewest possible lines, the feeling of making something engaging from a few wispy, abstract ideas — these challenges were familiar to me as a critic. By my third month, I had internalized a new logic, a different way of looking at information. By the time summer came around, I was learning about good web design by constructing web applications, taking them from simple prototypes to something sophisticated enough to test with users. And by the end of the course, I knew the basic structure of computer operating systems.
This is a hand-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embedded systems. Each student will purchase a Texas Instruments TM4C123 microcontroller kit and a few electronic components. This microcontroller has a state of the art ARM Cortex M4 processor. The course uses a bottom-up approach to problem-solving building gradually from simple interfacing of switches and LEDs to complex concepts like display drivers, digital to analog conversion, generation of sound, analog to digital conversion, graphics, interrupts, and communication. We will present both general principles and practical tips for building circuits and programming the microcontroller in the C programming language. You will develop debugging skills using oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and software instrumentation. Laboratory assignments are first performed in simulation, and then you will build and debug your system on the real microcontroller. At the conclusion of this course you will be able to build your own arcade-style game with a Nokia 5110 LCD, available from Adafruit.
DIY Girls, a maker space in Los Angeles dedicated to cultivating a community of young, female makers, coders, and engineers, printed and laminated pages from our Ladyada’s “E is for Electronics” coloring book to hang around their space!
This sequence of tutorials was produced by the Processing Foundation as a part of Code.org‘s Hour of Code 2013 initiative to introduce students to computer programming. The program launched during Computer Science Education Week, 9-15 December 2013 with the goal of giving millions of students the opportunity to explore coding as a way of thinking and making.
Our contribution uses Processing, a programming platform designed to bring programming to visual arts communities and to bring techical fields closer to the visual arts. Processing is used to teach programming principles within the context of visual media. The Processing software is free to download and is open source. Visit the Processing website to download it and learn more.
Yeah, having your schoolwork posted on the fridge at home is cool. But having a video you made posted on the White House website and screened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? We think that’s pretty cool, too. That’s why we’re super-excited to announce the
first-ever White House Student Film Festival: a video contest created just for K-12 students, and whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages.
Adafruit is a fan of Charles Guan and his projects and have had him on Ask an Engineer this past summer. Here’s an interesting piece from Eric Weinhoffer at MAKE that makes a strong case for viewing Charles Guan‘s trademark MIT electric vehicle classes as a direction to take engineering education: facing off traditional engineering theoretical knowledge against real world execution. Guan challenges students to design, source, build, and test actual electric vehicles — sharpening their understanding of concepts while also learning valuable lessons from the hardware startup world:
Charles Guan is not a typical engineer. He not only makes electric vehicles very well, but is currently inspiring and teaching students as an instructor in a class he created. His mission is to give engineering students a meaningful hardware experience as early in their career as possible, by requiring them to work through the challenges of sourcing parts and building something reasonably complex – a working electric vehicle. The class has now been successfully run three times, with the current curriculum based around two-person teams, each of which is allocated a budget, access to a well-equipped shop, and a semester to build (and compete with) their vehicle.
Of course, getting people interested in the class isn’t hard, especially with the hum of electric motors and joyous students zipping around the halls in scooters or go-karts. Charles has been building electric vehicles for years and has slowly built up a following of individuals with similarly-built scooters and karts (who’ve traveled to Maker Faire, as seen above). By initially assisting in a special section of the 2.007 Mechanical Engineering class at MIT, and eventually taking it over to become an instructor, Charles has been able to continue shepherding engineering students off to go-karting glory.
So, why does all this matter? Well, I believe the way Charles has been teaching this course is the exact way more engineering courses should be taught, and I’d like to entertain the idea that this could end up being a model for other schools to follow in the future….
Do you still remember the Barobo mobot, a competent modular robot system with two body joints and two rotating faceplates. Barobo, Inc., manufacturer of Barobo mobot, announced today the launch of the Mobot-A robot kit, a 3D printed robot.
Barobo is a spin-off of technology developed at the University of California, aiming to make robotics more affordable, adaptable for education and industrial applications.
“As 3D printers become more and more common place in the classroom there’s a need for engaging projects and curriculum to tie this powerful tool into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects,” said Graham Ryland, President and Co-founder of Barobo.
All the 3D printable plastic parts, accessories, assembly instructions, and curriculum for the Mobot-A will be available to download from the company’s website.
NEW PRODUCT – Super Scratch Programming Adventure! Scratch is the wildly popular educational programming language used by millions of first-time learners in classrooms and homes worldwide. By dragging together colorful blocks of code, kids can learn computer programming concepts and make cool games and animations. The latest version, Scratch 2, brings the language right into your web browser, with no need to download software.
In Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their very own playable video games. They’ll create projects inspired by classic arcade games that can be programmed (and played!) in an afternoon. Patient, step-by-step explanations of the code and fun programming challenges will have kids creating their own games in no time.
This full-color comic book makes programming concepts like variables, flow control, and subroutines effortless to absorb. Packed with ideas for games that kids will be proud to show off, Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is the perfect first step for the budding programmer.
Now Updated for Scratch 2 (To download the games for Scratch v1.4 Click Here)
The free Super Scratch Educator’s Guide provides commentary and advice on the book’s games suitable for teachers and parents.
For Ages 8 and Up
About the Author: The Learning through Engineering, Art, and Design (LEAD) Project is an educational initiative established to encourage the development of creative thinking through the use of technology. Created by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, the LEAD project promotes hands-on, design-based activities to foster innovation, problem solving skills, and technical literacy.