FALL 2021

This page is designed to support the UCI Walking Machines graduate class. We meet once a week to expand our knowledge of basic electronics and software control of devices. The purpose of this group is to design, test, and evaluate motor and servo control systems that can be used to add locomotion to the walkers. As we progress, I will keep adding new stuff. 

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Arduino Resources

  1. Download & Install Arduino IDE

  2. Please read "Welcome to Arduino" information.

  3. Getting started with Arduino UNO

  4. Arduino Data types

  5. Arduino UNO 3 Specs

Parallax Basic Stamp Downloads

  1. Get your IDE software from Parallax and install it. Let it add USB drivers and associate your .bs2 programs. (PC or MAC)

Quick Links


Study Group Resources

Using a Sony TV remote to control your critter

Featured Tools & Electronics Items & Tutorials


The Details

  • Lesson 1
    Getting Arduino IDE set up. Learning about basic circuits
    Create our first sketch & learn basic layout skills.
  • Introduction to Electronic Circuits & Arduino Programming
    • Arduino facts and features
    • Breadboards: how to wire components
    • LEDs and resistors
      • Our first LED circuit
      • How capacitors work: dim the LED
      • Potentiometers & Diodes
      •  Use a variable resistor to control intensity of LED video
      • Breadboad image
  • Programming
    • Our first Arduino sketch: Blinky. We will make our first Arduino program to blink the LED on our breadboard.
      • Setup & loop sections
      • Variables
      • Delay command
      • DigitalWrite command
      • Setting Pin outputs high and low
    • Downloads & Images
  • Lesson 2
    Using DC motors. How to use diodes & transistors to control a motor.

    Working with H-Bridges to drive DC Motors.
  • H-Bridge using switches.
  • Lesson 3
    Introduction to servos, Serial monitor, & C++ control structures and loops.
  • PWM in more detail



  • Lesson 4
    Introduction to IR control. Decoding the IR stream with a TV remote.
  • Viewing ocilloscope images of decoded signals.



  • Lesson 6
    Integrated Controller
    • The Cytron H-Bridge motor controller shield.
    • A complete solution for the walkers
  •  A Complete Walker controller solution: Introducing the IR Cytron Arduino Motor Driver Projects
    • Let's check out the Cytron Motor Drive Shield. This is a Arduino shield that controls 2 DC brushed motors with a minimum of effort. Power is supplied by a 1500mAh Li-Ion quad copter battery pack (or equivalent). Power from this battery powers the Arduino also.
      • Hook up 6 wires and build your IR circuit and the hardware is ready to go!
    • We will add our IR motor controller circuit and code to create a complete Critter Controller system for dual motor walkers.
      • Parts:
        • Arduino UNO or equivalent
        • IR Receiver
        • 220 ohm resistor
        • 47uF electrolytic capacitor
        • .1 uF (#104) ceramic capacitor
        • 2 DC Brushed motors (no encoder needed)
    • IR Receiver OUTPUT connects to UNO Pin#11.
    • IR Power and Ground to 5V on UNO and ground to UNO
    • Place 47uF capacitor across the IR V+ and V- power pins. This eliminates EMI that can affect the sensor.
    • Connect the 220 ohm resistor from the IR OUTPUT pin and Pin #11 on the UNO. This limits current on the IR sensor.
    • Place the .1uF across the 5V+ and Ground on the breadboard. This blocks high frequency noise on the power line coming from the UNO.
  • Programming & Downloads and Images
  • Lesson 6 download (code and images)


  • Lesson 8
    Introduction to digital electronics and logic gates
      • AND|OR|XOR gate logic chips
      • Voltage Dividers
      • Current Sources
      • Transistors: Digging Deeper
      • The 555 timer chip
      • Discreet 555 Kit



  • Lesson 9
    Introduction to operational amplifiers (OP-AMPS)
  • Introduction to passive and active RC Filters
  • Light-Dependant-Resistors
    • Simple LDR Circuits video
    • Comparator version
  • Passive RC Filters (My technical report)
  • Active Filters using Op-Amps
    • Low-Pass single pole
    • High-Pass single pole
Copyright 2021 Ronald P. Kessler, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
Revised: October 22, 2021