EDNE February 2013 - (Page 19)

TIVE MO G S CE A L Control Electronics mechatronics Electronic Systems Electromechanics TU RI NG Mechanical CAD S M FA U Y E C Mechanical Systems S T M S CO A N S CT NSU MER PRODU Automatic code generation and Arduino The combination is unbeatable for students and practicing engineers alike. T wo complementary concepts—automatic code generaWhat could possibly excite an tion and the inexpensive, open-source, single-board engineer or engineering student microcontroller—have reinvigorated innovation in more than solving a real-world engineering practice and education. problem? Seeing one’s solution Automatic code generation from system block diagrams implemented in hardware does has been around for decades and is an entrenched way of precisely that. Kevin C Craig, PhD, developing embedded control systems and performing hardWhile teaching model-based is the Robert C Greenheck ware-in-the-loop testing at many aerospace and automotive design and controls over the past chairman in engineering companies; today, it is rapidly moving into other industries. 20 years, I have not seen a more design and a professor of The Arduino microcontroller debuted in 2005 and has quick- exciting, effective, and accessible mechanical engineering at problem-solving combination than the College of Engineering ly become a favorite of inventors and students. Computer programming and implementation can seem so graphical block-diagram program- at Marquette University. out of place in engineering problem solving that engineers ming, as is done in the Matlab/ For more mechatronics often relegate the tasks to a specialist. “Engineer programmer” Simulink environment, and auto- news, visit mechatronics is an oxymoron. matic generation of C code for a zone.com. I have said, however, that the human, the computer tools microcontroller, as is done using (software and hardware), and the problem should all be in the Arduino microcontroller with perfect harmony throughout the problem-solving process. the Simulink Coder. Today, all manner of robots and selfThe combination of graphical programming using block dia- balancing transporters are conceived, modeled, simulated, grams, automatic code generation from the block diagrams, controlled, and virtually prototyped before construction, in and implementation on an easily understandable yet powerful a way that all engineers embrace. microcontroller comes close to that ideal. Ours is an age of diminishing meaningful human interacHoneywell observed in 2005 that the typical software tion. A university engineering program’s value, then, lies in process injects 100 defects, due to both design and coding demonstrating the importance of such interaction through errors, per 1000 lines of source faculty-student mentoring and code using manual processes. education in the context of realThe company has automated world, human-centered, teamsoftware manufacturing through based problem solving. automatic code generation and Automatic code generation has demonstrated the achieveand the Arduino microconment of six-sigma quality—that troller should be a part of that is, not more than 3.4 defects per strategy from the beginning of million opportunities. Northropan engineering student’s career. Grumman, for its part, has fineInnovative concepts, expressed tuned the process of going from graphically for all to see and the desktop directly to flight code understand, automatically on flight hardware. Rapid protobecome real-time instructions typing and hardware-in-the-loop for a computer, and then become testing are now the rule, rather The Arduino open-source, single-board microcontroller is real-world actions that make a than the exception. difference. EDN a favorite of inventors and students. www.edn-europe.com RAPHY ROG XE M AT E R IALS PR O E IC Software E FRESH IDEAS ON INTEGRATING MECHANICAL SYSTEMS, ELECTRONICS, CONTROL SYSTEMS, AND SOFTWARE IN DESIGN CE M Digital Control Systems NS FE DE MECHATRONICS   IN DESIGN   AERO SP A Control Systems S N TO D I AU february 2013 | EDN europe 19 http://www.zone.com http://www.edn-europe.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EDNE February 2013

Cover
Digi-Key
Contents
RS Components
Microchip
Agilent Technologies
Masthead
EDN.comment
Digi-Key
Pulse
Maxim Integrated
Renesas
Signal Integrity
Mesago SMT 2013
Test & Measurement World
Rohde & Schwarz
Mesago PCIM 2013
Mechatronics in Design
Hot technologies: trends to watch in 2013
EPN
Hot 100 products of 2012
Add LED intelligence to improve light quality, efficiency, and cost
Design Ideas
EDNE
IAN
Product roundup
Tales from the Cube

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