Controllers

The processor is the "brain" of a mechatronic or robotic device.

At our center students work with a variety of devices to provide broad experience in programming and assembly.
Our controller platforms include:

 

Arduino


   The Arduino Board

Arduino is a low-cost open source processor platform with remarkable power. As it is not "packaged," use of Arduino familiarizes the students with practical problems of wiring and debugging a physical circuit and device, as well as finally creating appropriate housings and protection for the components. It is programmed with a C/C++ type environment.


 Arduino Processing Environment

The processing environment is simple an easy to learn. Best of all it is FREE to download (no tricks, no ads).

It is easy to learn and comes with a variety of  sample programs.

Download from the inventors' site HERE

Where To Get Arduino Boards

 Where To Get Arduino Boards

At this time (Feb 2011) the basic Arduino Uno board costs about $29.95. 
You can get more powerful models but this one will do a lot.
In addition, you will need a USB cable and maybe some LED's
to play with.

Also, they are available in kits with a variety of parts for experimentation.
You get them from many online sellers, check for price and availability
for example:
Click on the links above and search for Arduino on the sites above.
We do not endorse or receive any compensation from the firms above.


National Instruments RIO Technology

This platform is widely used in industry and laboratory applications worldwide. Familiarity with this platform prepares the student to encounter the type of equipment that will be found at larger organizations. It is programed using advanced languages such as Java and C++ as well as proprietary tools like LabView.

NXT-Mindstorms-Tetrix

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT platform provides a very sophisticated, yet easy to use, processor. At the Mechatronics Technology Center we use this technology to introduce Mechatronics to new students and to coach our younger proteges from the neighboring middle and high schools. As the construction is very easy and requires few tools, student can quickly build functional devices. By adding and "modding" the Tetrix extensions student are able to build very sophisticated devices. Control and programming is accomplished using RobotC language.

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