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Last modified: 24 Jun 2020 14:31

Course Overview

This course provides design, analysis and control of digital systems (hardware/Software) through practical implementation. This course involves three practical design projects. Each project relates with practical applications encounters in our daily life. The course begins with a discussion of different sensors commonly employed by the industry. The hardware aspects are explained with specific reference to the task of interfacing sensors to a microcontroller; the operation and programming of integrated systems is implemented using C++ code. The elements of writing well-structured software are introduced. Sustainability, environmental issue and ethics considerations are studied for embedded system design.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 10 credits (5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Fabio Verdicchio

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course includes:

1. Project 1 (Sensors to outputs): review of digital electronics; comparison of digital and analogue systems; review of Microcontrollers and embedded systems; Integrating components to form real-world systems: high and low level languages; programming in C; Simple programs and expected inputs and outputs; arithmetic operators, logical expressions and conditional statements; Architecture of programmable systems; set up inputs and outputs to the microcontroller; read sensors and send a digital output; multiple-sensors microcontroller based operation. (4 lectures)

2. Project 2 (Actuators): serial interfacing control interfacing; opto-coupler and DC motors; understanding a simple but complete hardware design; power supply and clock generation; H-bridge and motion direction control; switch DC motor ON/OFF with input from a push button; DC motor control by using input sensors; PWM control. Sustainability, and environmental issues in embedded system design. (4 lectures)

3. Project 3 (Automation): Examples of digital and analogue applications in an engineering context; design and build hardware and software for a given practical project; basic control implementation; using sensors to drive the control process; advanced multi-sensors control designed system impacts on environment; professional ethics in design. (3 lectures)

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Science Laboratories during University weeks 25 - 30, 32 - 34, 38 - 39
  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 25 - 30, 32 - 34, 38 - 39

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Report + Presentation 1 (50%)

Report + Presentation 2 (50%)



Resit failed components of assessment

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome

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