Project Help -- Free Training

Many of the questions posted here are due to lack of knowledge about controllers and sensors. Even experienced engineers can benefit from general training on embedded systems.

Design News created a series sponsored by Digi Key. John Titus gave several favorable mentions to Ardiuino -- even for experienced engineers to get their feet wet in the technology.

Here is the link to seminar 1:

You will have to create an account -- nothing to purchase.

Whether you are interested in MEMS sensors or wireless you should find at least SOME of the seminars useful. If you have never done this type of work -- do the introduction and the then the last set on board evaluation. These are particularly useful for beginners.

One of the suggestions for experienced people is to take a look at Frameworks, UML and STATE machines. Most EE's are familiar with state machines -- if not you should be. There are drivers for the Arduino series. However this is for people with some fairly serious expertise.

There is a book available from Amazon and Kindle -- it can be pretty heavy going for the inexperienced.

It would be nice to see some examples applied to Arduino.

The RTOS platform as laid out in the State-Machine site has Ardiuino / Atmel ATMega examples.

Great resources.

I have noticed lots of projects that would be better handled by a State Machine – either a Finite (FSM) or Hierarchical (HSM) model.

There are lots of tutorials on the web:

Here is one on the FSM:

And another:

Here is one on the HSM:

Here is the google search:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=aa371a1c4c8326fa&biw=1461&bih=788

Just change the search to add Hierarchical as the first word to search for more.

If you cannot model it – you cannot build it… except by luck.

There was a story in the Toronto Star today about U of T partnering with Coursera:

There are even robot building courses as well as the usual computer science and math courses.

There is even a course in Quantum Computation -- for the advanced Arduino Hacker only though.

I already mentioned Udacity ( ) on a previous post.

For those of you building or thinking of building your own robot, energy sensors or CNC machine.

On a far more practical bent for control systems it turns out the most of the suppliers -- like digikey offer access to learning modules.

So if you are thinking of home automation and small control systems you can review some of the courses and get up to speed quickly.

TI has RF Tx/Rx modules in addition to the usual ZigBee XBee modules -- and some demo/training on how to use them.