Module 13: Embedded Systems


Nominal duration: 6 weeks (48 hours total time commitment)


This time commitment includes the preparation reading, attendance at each webinar (1 hour plus 15-30 minutes for discussion), and the time necessary to complete the assignments and further study.






An 'embedded system' is a computer system designed for specific control functions, often within a larger system. It is embedded as part of a complete device, often including hardware and mechanical parts. At the core of the system is a microprocessor or microcontroller. A microcontroller is a small self-contained computer implanted on a single Integrated Circuit (IC). It contains a processor, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. Some form of program memory is often included on chip, as well as a small amount of RAM. These controllers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the larger microprocessors used in PCs and other general purpose applications. Microcontrollers are used in automatically controlled products and devices such as automobile fuel injection systems, robots, and toys. Mixed signal microcontrollers are common, integrating analog components to control non-digital electronic systems.






Module 8:    Digital Circuit Design

Module 11:  Programing Languages




To evaluate the achievement of the learning outcomes; written assignments, group projects and practical exercises are set.





1.   Demonstrate the difference between various PIC programming approaches


2.   Develop a PIC program to control a mobile robot





Learning Outcome 1



Assessment criteria


Demonstrate the difference between various PIC programming approaches


1.1       Write a small program to control one aspect (only) of a small mobile robot, alternatively using (a) PICBASIC and  (b) PIC Assembler

1.2     Examine and discuss the difference between PICBASIC and PIC Assembler in terms of (a) Programming effort and (b) Amount of code generated



Learning Outcome 2


Assessment criteria


Develop a program to control a mobile robot


2.1.     Develop a program for a PIC microcontroller in order to control a simple mobile robot. The program needs to include (a) I/O and (b) An interrupt service routine


2.2     Use appropriate software to simulate the program


2.3    Transfer the program to a PIC or, alternatively, transfer the program via USB to a PICAXE chip


2.4     Demonstrate the operation of the robot



Delivery Mode

A combination of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning delivery comprising a judicious mix of interactive online web conferencing, simulation (virtual labs) software, remote online labs, online videos, Power Points, notes, reading and study materials (in pdf, html and word format) accessed through the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS).

Software/Hardware Used


  • Proteus


  • Remote Lab