Introduction to the AVR Microcontroller
The curriculum has not been determined, yet, but will include:
- basic electronics
- intro to microcontrollers
- build your own AVR programmer
- how to set up your computer to develop your microcontroller projects
- build a bunch of simple, fun projects, each of which will teach a fundamental microcontroller concept
Microcontrollers are very cheap (as little as $0.50 for the simplest ones), and very powerful! With them you can do an amazingly diverse range of projects, anywhere from turning TVs off in public places, to playing computer games, to making robots move or see, to creating beautiful (or obnoxious) music, to anything your imagination can come up with! And anyone can learn to make their own projects with them, given a little background.
The Atmel AVR family microcontrollers are very easy-to-use, and easy-to-learn. There are lots of free, open-source tools available for it, and lots of open-source projects that have all documentation free for the download online. There is also a user forum called AVRfreaks.org, full of geeks all over the world, 24/7, just waiting to answer your questions about your AVR microcontroller project. For these reasons, and more, it is a very popular family of microcontrollers for the DIY (Do It Yourself) crowd, which is why we've chosen to use it for this set of classes.