Maker Weekend: Microcontrollers

Join us for a packed weekend of microcontroller fun and education. If you've ever wanted to learn more about how to make computers interact with the real world, like making things move, sensing and monitoring, this is the weekend you don't want to miss. DIY home automation, floor cleaning robots, and CNC machines all start with microcontrollers at their heart. Sessions planned (full schedule below) start with basic electronics and work all the way up to playing with robot arms. Learn about advanced topics like Arduino protocols and program arduino controlled cars for a race to the finish. This is going to be an awesome, fun, challenging and informative weekend.

There is a cost for registration. This nominal fee will cover some incidentals including a pizza lunch on Saturday afternoon. To participate in some of the sessions you will be expected to have certain equipment. You will need to RSVP for those sessions individually in addition to signing up for this event. For example, after completing your registration for this event you will want to head over to RSVP for the Intro to Arduino Programming NO KIT or Intro to Arduino Programming with Kit (sold out) or Intro to Arduino Programming with Kit du Ron. to RSVP for the Intro to Arduino Programming session of the weekend. 

Friday

• 5:00PM-9:00PM -- Set up and Reception

Saturday

• 9:00AM-10:00AM – Electronics Primer - Jon

• 10:00AM-11:00AM – Micro Controller Theory - Ron

• 11:00AM-12:00PM – Intro to Arduino Programing - Amy

• 12:00PM-1:00PM – Lunch/Work Time

• 1:00PM-2:00PM – Programing for Robots – Kevin W.

• 2:00PM-3:30PM – Fix-a-bot – Kevin W.

• 3:30PM-4:00PM – Break and set-up for Maker Meetup Meeting

• 4:00PM-5:00PM – Maker Meetup meeting – Kevin/Al

• 5:00PM-6:00PM – Maker Meetup meeting - Show and Tell – Kevin/Al

• 6:00PM-7:00PM – Dinner/Work Time/Electronic Swap

• 7:00PM-8:00PM – Arduino Sensors and Sheilds - Brian

• 8:00PM-9:00PM - Arduino Sensors and Sheilds - Brian

Sunday

• 9:00AM-10:00AM – Work time

• 10:00AM-11:00AM – Work time

• 11:00AM-12:00PM – Lunch/Work time

• 12:00PM-1:00PM – Arduino Protocols - Drew

• 1:00PM-2:00PM – Arduino car race - Build - Jake

• 2:00PM-3:00PM - Arduino car race - Race - Jake

• 3:00PM-4:00PM – Lego NXT Demo – Kevin W.

• 4:00PM-5:00PM – Clean-Up


Session Descriptions

Electronics Primer - presented by Jon Roberts

The electronics primer class will cover basic electronics as it relates to the Arduino and robotics in general. The class will start with a quick overview on Ohm's law and the various formulas used to calculate voltage, current, resistance, power, etc. Then we will get into power (AC/DC), power sources (batteries, transformers, etc.), load (amperage) and filtering & decoupling. From there we will go into resistors (and potentiometers) and capacitors. Transistors can be next, covering the two basic types, packages and basic operation. Next, we will cover indicators such as incandescent lights, LEDs, etc. and them transition into inputs (switches and other contacts). Relays and motors will be next covering the basic on these and maybe getting into how to connect them to the Arduino to make them run. Servos could be last.

Micro Controller Theory - presented by Ron Schubot

This session will introduce you to microcontrollers, what they are and how to use them. It will answer the questions:

What is a microcontroller?
Which microcontroller should I use?
What does a microcontroller contain?
What controls a microcontroller? (software)
How do you debug a microcontroller program
Do I need to know anything about electronics?
What circuits are useful to know about?
What is pulse width modulation
What types of sensors and actuators are available?
What tools and test equipment should I have?

This presentation is based on the Introduction to Microcontrollers presentation
by Michael Parks that is available at:
http://www.slideshare.net/geekc...­

Intro to Arduino Programing - presented by Amy Braat

Topics Covered:

Introduction to Arduinos
Different Types of Arduinos
Programing Environment
Getting Started
Quick Overview of Vocab
Input/Output/Control and Communication
Putting it All Together (Work time in 123d.circuits or an Arduino sketch)

Will be discussing running programs in 123d Circuits please sign-in at the link below. Runs best on Google Chrome. http://123d.circuits.io/­

The Arduino Software can be downloaded here. http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Softw...­
(Sketch is a program in Arduino or a unit of code)

Programing for Robots - hosted by Kevin Wixson

Together we will try to put into practice what we learn in the morning sessions and convince the servos of a Fixibot robot to move in a coordinated, deliberate fashion. As an Arduino novice myself, I will be exploring and experimenting right along side the participants in this session and this will be a collaborative affair. I built the robot, but I haven't taught it to do any tricks. Each participant will get a chance to try their program on the bot to see if you can complete the "mission". It will be something simple like pressing a couple buttons with the robot finger in a certain order.

Lego NXT Demo – presented by Kevin Wixson

This demo will illustrate how easy programming can be with innovative teaching platforms like the Lego Mindstorms NXT. After programming a robot to do some decently complex missions, we'll review some of the extremes that have been explored by the devoted Mindstorms community, including replacing the firmware so that you can program the block in the C programming language.

Arduino Protocols - presented by Andrew Bednar

A one hour speed session covering the importance of communication protocols, geared towards the Arduino platform. This is a beginner’s lecture covering what a communication protocol is and some of the various protocols used by the Arduino, followed by a lab session illustrating the use of the SPI library and a digital potentiometer IC. If time allows attendees will be encouraged to pool together their ICs as a team, and tasked with implementing an array of digi-pots to control some external component (LED array, motors, whatever they feel like).


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  • Julie C.

    wow, looks cool. If by Sunday night you want to commercialize what you've invented, check out www.SproutLab.org. This upcoming workshop at GVSU in GR runs Nov 4-6 and this is just the kind of thing we're looking for. Maybe you can turn your invention into a million bucks. Good luck to all of you--looks like a great weekend.

    October 24, 2013

  • Rayme

    an awesome agenda but have prior commitments friday and saturday. may be able to attend some sessions.

    October 22, 2013

  • Jason P.

    Will have the whole family with me. I will probably bring my Rostock Max so I can finish it before the calibration session. I'm also planning on bringing my Orion.

    1 · October 15, 2013

  • Glenn

    This sounds like a really fun class, wish I could make it but I will be on a jet to China. I'll wave as I fly over head!

    October 9, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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