A series of learning-specific electronic circuit boards and associated software has been developed to support mechatronics education in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kettering University. The boards are designed to interface to the Toshiba TLCS-900H Microprocessor Trainer and Evaluation Board. The purpose of these boards is to provide mechanical engineering students of mechatronics with robust hardware that readily permits interfacing of sensors and actuators to microcontrollers used in mechatronic applications. Further, the boards feature signal conditioning circuits for use in conjunction with sensors, and driver circuits for operating high-current actuating devices. Supporting software has been written to permit ready use of the features of the hardware with only a functional knowledge of electronics, thus helping mechanical engineering students realize the full potential of mechatronics applications in an introductory course. Additionally, a stand-alone microprocessor board with flash memory has been designed and fabricated to permit students move out of the development laboratory and readily embed the electronics portion of a mechatronics device into their projects.
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