Module 6—Simple Automation Systems

Module 6—Simple Automation Systems




In the final module, we cut the umbilical cord and try standalone operations of UNO board. You will learn about the applications of the AVR in various areas. We also talk about the Internet of Things, a huge evolving opportunity, and how these will form part of the enterprise computing networks. Last but not least, you will complete your final project, building a prototype standalone gadget that displays time, as well as temperature and humidity information for your environment.




Module 6 covers the following topics:


  • Arduino in home automation systems
  • AVR microcontrollers for automotive applications
  • AVR microcontroller in laboratory equipment
  • Programming a standalone target AVR microcontroller
  • Real time multitasking applications
  • Arduino and Microsoft




After successfully completing Module 6, you should be able to:


MO6.1   Describe the AVR applications in home automation.

MO6.2   Examine the AVR use in automotive applications.

MO6.3   Identify the use of AVR microcontrollers and laboratory equipment.

MO6.4   Describe the use of Arduino board to program a standalone AVR microcontroller.

MO6.5   Examine the integration of AVR based small systems with Enterprise Applications.

MO6.6   Describe the concept of multitasking in embedded applications.

MO6.7   Demonstrate multitasking applications on the UNO board.

MO6.8   Identify the Internet of Things paradigm.


Course objectives covered in this module include CO13, CO14, CO15




Reading Assignments




Module 6 has three activities. Please consult the Course Calendar for the due dates.


Discussion Forum 6

In Discussion Forum 6, post your response to the following discussion questions. Reply to at least two classmates’ responses by the date indicated in the Course Calendar.

The “Internet of Things” has been a hot topic in the realm of IT for the last several years. Industry giants have been making predictions about how many billions of devices could be connected to the Internet by the year 2020 and how many trillions of dollars would be the economic value.


One of the objectives of this course is to develop your interest and understanding of this vastly promising area. According to Gartner, “By 2020, More Than Half of Major New Business Processes and Systems Will Incorporate Some Element of the Internet of Things.”


Do an Internet search on “IoT predictions 2020” and click on images. Click a few of the images and go through the contents of their web pages. Select one that you think is the most useful, and write a 300 words note containing a summary of what you find and adding your own comments and conclusions. The image and your note would be your initial post. Please do not forget to add a reference to the source. [MO6.8]


Written Assignment 6

The written assignment draws on the Study Materials listed in this module. Answer all questions and cite and document all sources of information with an appropriate APA format. Be sure to proofread your work carefully for correct spelling, grammar, and clarity of expression.




  1. Write a summary of ideas for using Arduino in home automation.
  2. Briefly discuss the automotive applications of AVR microcontrollers.
  3. Summarize the AVR microcontroller applications in electronics lab test equipment.
  4. Describe the procedure for using the UNO to create a standalone device on breadboard using the ATmega328P microcontroller.
  5. Briefly explain how Windows Remote Arduino can be used to develop applications for Arduino boards using Microsoft Visual Studio.


[MO6.1, MO6.2, MO6.3, MO6.4, MO6.5]


Lab Assignment 6

Please complete all the lab exercises given below and submit a report including a video demonstration. You will submit the report and video demonstration separately on the course website.


Report (60 percent): The report should list all the major procedures required to complete each of the exercises. Here are the general guidelines for the report:


  1. Cover Sheet (5 points): The lab report must include a completed cover sheet with your name, student ID number, the lab number, lab title, and submission date. Note: Your lab report will not be graded without a completed cover sheet.
  2. Objective (15 points): A short paragraph stating the purpose (main ideas) of the experiment.
  3. Procedure (30 points): At the beginning of this section, give a summary description of the procedures taken during the lab.
  4. Discussion/Conclusion (30 points): State your understanding of this experiment. (What did you learn from these experiment?) State the challenges and problems faced, and measures taken to resolve these problems and overcome challenges.
  5. Arduino Sketches (20 points): At the end of the report, please append the text of all the Arduino sketches you have developed. To do this, simply cut the entire text from the Arduino IDE editor window and paste it in the report document. Start on a fresh page for each sketch.


Video Demonstration (40 percent): In this section, your video demonstration should provide a visual record of the results obtained in each exercise. Please start with recording a brief video clip giving your name, course number, and assignment number. Record a video clip for each exercise according to the instructions provided. Use a video editor to combine all the clips into one video file before you submit/upload to the course website. For guidelines to record and merge video clips, check Record, Merge, and Upload Your Videos.



Exercise 1: Standalone range sensor gadget

You have already used the ultrasonic range sensor and the LCD display. For this exercise, you have to display the output of the range sensor on the LCD instead of sending it to the serial monitor. After you have got everything working, you will need to separate your setup from the computer to enable standalone operation. As you remove the USB connection, you will need to provide alternate power. The simplest way is to get hold of a 9 volt battery and use the “9v battery connector and jack,” which is part of the kit, to power the board. You may also use an AC adapter, but you have to ensure that the voltage, connector, and polarity match the requirement.


The video clip for this exercise should show the wiring of the experiment and the text on the LCD display as you move the object from about 30 cm away to very close and get the “out of range” error display.



Exercise 2: Multitasking the Arduino UNO

You completed a very simple multitasking exercise in Module 5. The Adafruit multitasking resource provides complete documentation and source code for a more complex demonstration. Please go through all the wiring and code and understand how it works. You have to make two alterations to the given setup for this exercise. Since you have only one servo, you need to remove all code for the second servo. Second, use three different color LEDs (Red, Yellow, and Green) and place these on the breadboard so that Red is on the left, Yellow is in the middle, and Green is on the right. Also, change the on and off timings as under:


Red: On 500 Off 500; Yellow: On 250 Off 250; Green: On 125 Off 125.


Build and run the demo. When you press the button, LED1 should stop flashing.



The video clip for this exercise should show the wiring of the experiment, normal running of the demo, and the effect of pushing the button.


[MO6.6, 6.7]


Reminder: Final Project Build Phase Due

This is a reminder that you should complete the Final Project Build Phase during this module. For details and requirements of the build phase, please refer to the Final Project area of the course website.

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