Benjamin Finio is a lecturer in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, where he teaches MAE 3780: Mechatronics. Dr. Finio has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University, where he completed his thesis on the “Robobee” project in the Harvard Microrobotics Lab. He has experience teaching students of all ages, both online and in person, as well as designing electronics and robotics kits for both K-12 and college-level curricula. In addition to teaching at Cornell, Dr. Finio works for a science education website (Science Buddies), where he has written for Scientific American and made educational YouTube videos that have been viewed millions of times by people around the globe.
Learning to program a microcontroller is a crucial skill in the world of mechatronics. Microcontrollers allow you to make circuits that interact with the physical world around them via sensors (which gather data from the surrounding environment) and actuators like motors (which can affect the environment). In this course, you will learn the basic microcontroller functionality required to control inputs and outputs using simple hardware like buttons and LEDs, including an "under the hood" look at how the microcontroller works. The programming concepts you learn in this course will set the stage for controlling more advanced hardware like sensors and motors in future courses and projects.
This program requires the purchase of a kit of electronic components and microcontrollers at a cost of around $550.
You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:
- Building and Analyzing a Basic Circuit
- Building and Measuring a Time-Varying Circuit
Key Course Takeaways
- Program with registers
- Use bitwise operators and masking
- Use microcontroller inputs
- Use interrupts
- Use timers
How It Works
Who Should Enroll
- Engineers (mechanical, software, civil, systems, chemical, biomedical)
- Robotics and automation technicians
- Programmers and computer scientists
- Technology researchers
- High school teachers