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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 236749, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/236749
Research Article

Project-Based Learning Laboratory for Teaching Embedded Systems

Department of Computer Engineering and Automation, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), 59078-970 Natal, RN, Brazil

Received 24 April 2015; Accepted 16 June 2015

Academic Editor: Zhen-Lai Han

Copyright © 2015 Marcelo A. C. Fernandes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents a project-based learning laboratory for the teaching of embedded systems. The main objectives are to encourage students studying the embedded systems course in developing hardware solutions for real engineering problems and to include aspects of other courses studied within the academic programmes. One of the aims of project-based learning (PRBL) is to integrate different courses in the achievement of a common objective, within a multidisciplinary course of the academic programme. In the present case, this module is the final project of the embedded systems course. The project in question concerns a temperature control system for an industrial drier, equipped with a remote system for configuration and data acquisition. The design of the drier, as well as elaboration of the entire electronic system involving drivers and sensors, was undertaken by the students using a kit with a microcontroller specific for the development of embedded systems. The results of opinion surveys conducted with the students following implementation of the PRBL proposal were used to validate the procedure. Full details of the development and results of the project are provided, with the aim of assisting professors and students of similar courses.