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.
In this course, you will learn to use a variety of sensors that can measure quantities or variables from the surrounding physical environment – such as the movement of a person or animal, the distance to a nearby object, or the amount of ambient light. Accomplishing this requires learning how to get relevant information from a sensor's datasheet and write appropriate microcontroller programs to get data from the sensor in a usable form. Learning to use sensors will allow you to build devices that are interactive and react to the physical world – a valuable skill when designing mechatronic systems.
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
- Programming a Microcontroller
- Using and Controlling Motors
Key Course Takeaways
- Work with digital sensors
- Manipulate a sensor's pulse duration
- Use analog sensors
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