A robot is a device what incorporates a mechanical structure and electrical circuit which is responsible for collecting sensory data and transferring the commands to the displays or actuators. Based on this definition, if we consider cars, airplanes or simple household devices as robots it is clear that they are unimaginable without electronics and a software what coordinates their operation. These machines are only capable to fulfill their function if we manage to design, manufacture and build all three necessary parts: Mechanics, Electronics and Code. The main focus of Robotics Lab II will be the later two.
Modern electronic circuits are all produced using printed circuit boards (PCB-s). The goal of the module is to give students insight on the design and manufacturing processes necessary for creating a working PCB. Each student will route and build individually a simple electrical circuit, a Digital clock out of seven segment displays.
To achieve this goal the attendees will be familiarized with the PCB design tool CircuitMaker and the process of preparing and etching a PCB board. Each student will be able to keep their unique clocks after the conclusion of the module. 4 out of the 8 sessions will be held at a workshop where the means are provided to produce and solder the individual PCB-s. On these occasions basics of soldering, PCB design and I2C communication protocol will also be taught.
Learning the fundamentals of electronics fabrication through a clock design can be both informative and entertaining. As Albert Einstein put it: „Time flies when you are having fun.”