CSCI 373 Embedded Systems: Making Things Talk

Making Things Talk, Tom Igoe, O'Reilly Media/Make, 2007.
(Also see: A blog for notes and updates to the book Making Things Talk)
WF 12:45-2:25 PM
RBH 223
Dean Brock
RBH 221
Office Hrs: TBA
Rebecca Bruce
RBH 220
Office Hrs: 1:00-2:00PM M,T,R or by appointment

This course introduces students to designing alternate physical network interfaces. We will begin with a brief introduction to physical computing by making devices that use sensors to respond to the physical environment. We will build on that knowledge by learning methods for making these devices talk to each other. We will learn about a variety of network interface devices, including microcontrollers, network radios, and serial-to-Ethernet converters by undertake a series of guided projects followed by a final project. We will also do some reading and discussion of contemporary work in the field. This is a "hands-on" course, all concepts will be introduced in an interactive Activity/lecture environment. There will be ample opportunity for self-guided exploration and creativity.

Specific course topics include:

We believe that it is essential to play with technology, exploring different possiblities directly in hardware and software. We believe that exploration should be self-guided to the largest extent possible. Creativity is fostered by self-guided exploration. In order to incourage creativity, this class strives to offer the nine dimensions of a climate for innovation (Prather, C. W., 1996).

Lecture: Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Failure to do so will impact your course grade and will be considered a lack of interest in success on the part of the student. Students are responsible for completeing all work missed due to class absense on their own.
Exams: If you must miss a quiz due to illness, you must email or telephone the instructor before the scheduled time to avoid a zero for that quiz.

Course Schedule (mostly TBA)

Wed: 01/13/10
Lecture: Overview
Reading: Ch 1, Ideas
Activity: Background and dreams
Fri: 01/16/10
Lecture: Getting board
Reading: Introduction and Project 1 of Beginners Guide to the Arduino
Activity: Running an Arduinio program
Wed: 01/20/20
Activity: Trying to get Processing to work (disaster)
Fri: 01/22/10
Lecture: Serial Communication
Reading: Ch 2
Activity: Going serial
Wed: 01/27/20
Lecture: Basic electricity
Lecture: Arduino & Processing vs. Java
Reading: Chapter 2
Updates: Chapter 2 blog
Activity: New sensors
Fri: 01/29/20
Lecture: Switches -- SPST, ..., de-bouncing, Rotary encoder, switch matrix
Guided Project: Due February 16 -- Demonstrate Monski Pong
Wed: 02/03/10
Activity: Counting bounces and checking time
Fri: 02/05/10
UNCA class canceled due to snow
Tree fell on instructor's house
Wed: 02/10/10
Fri: 02/12/10
Wed: 02/17/10
Fri: 02/19/10
Activity and lecture: IP networking
Reading: Chapter 3 of Making Things Talk
Reading: any link on the IP network notes
Reading: Tutorial on Network Programming with Python
Reading: Any of Norm Matloff's Quick Python Tutorials
Wed: 02/24/10
Guided Project 2: Due February XX -- networked PONG
Guided Project 2 jump start
Fri: 02/26/10
Discussion of PONG networking
The PONG teams: Server, Client, Display
Wed: 03/03/10
UNCA classes canceled due to snow
Fri: 03/05/10
UDP examples
Processing UDP library
Wed: 03/17/10
Fri: 03/19/10
CGI -- Common Gateway Interface
CGI and PHP example
Wed: 03/24/10
Fri: 03/26/10
tentative protocol
near-vaporware server for Pong protocol
near-vaporware client for Pong protocol
Wed: 03/31/10
Fri: 04/02/10
Wed: 04/07/10
Fri: 04/09/10
Serial and wireless
Wed: 04/11/10
XBee addressing
Rest of course
Use the Arduino for infrared communication
Use the XBee on the Arduino
Use the Arduino Ethernet shield
Take a little quiz

Things to do before the semester ends


Description Net Percentage
Daily Activities 20 %
Guided Projects
60 %
Exam 20 %
Totals 100 %


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Last modified: January 5, 2010 22:36