Speaker: Prof. Yifeng Zhu (University of Maine)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, have rapidly gained popularity in many critical applications, such as search and rescue operations, infrastructure inspections, precision agriculture, survey mapping, and product delivery. Based on the STMicroelectronics mini-drone kit that comes with complete yet inexpensive hardware set, open source drone software, and powerful development tools, we have designed a modern curriculum that provides hands-on engineering experience with designing, interfacing, and programming embedded systems.
An important feature of this curriculum is that it involves a mixture of programming at two different levels in C language: low register level and high library level. The register level programming allows a deep understanding of what is under the hood, while the library API enables efficient implementation of complex tasks. Such a combination makes make this drone curriculum adaptable for both undergraduates and graduates with various backgrounds.
This curriculum provides students a practical experience of applying their knowledge and skills in designing, implementing and operating modern complex systems. The hands-on labs consist of basic and advanced microcontroller programming, sensor filtering and fusion, fundamental quadcopter operations, and simple drone control strategies. The presentation will describe the curriculum and demonstrate these hands-on labs based on STMicroelectronics’s lightweight drones.
Developed by: Professor Yifeng Zhu, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Maine; and Marco De Fazio and Giorgio Mariano, STMicroelectronics, Burlington, Mass.