STMicroelectronics and McGill University, Montreal, Canada announced that they have collaborated to create an undergraduate course that teaches the integration of multiple state-of-the-art sensors into embedded computer systems. Some 35 students have already completed the course, which started in January 2011.
The new course, which is the first of its kind in North America, includes laboratory exercises and a final project that enables students to analyze and design systems that include the integration of data from multiple sensors. It was designed by Professor Zeljko Zilic of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University and is based around ST's award-winning iNEMO, a unique platform that integrates ST's most advanced accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, together with pressure and temperature sensors, to provide 3-axis sensing of linear, angular and magnetic motion, complemented with temperature and barometer/altitude readings.
"We believe this new course, which integrates the curricula of Computer, Electrical and Software Engineering programs, provides an ideal foundation for modern system design, which increasingly requires the ability to combine computer system and software design, as well as the signal processing needed to integrate multiple sensor data," said Professor Zilic. "For example, smart phones now routinely employ multiple movement sensors to make more effective and intuitive user interfaces, navigation control and position detection and the same technology has unlimited applications in areas as diverse as robotics, factory automation and energy systems,"
"We are delighted to collaborate with McGill University in creating a course that meets such an acute need," said Bill Raasch, VP Product Marketing, Smart Power and High Performance Analog. "Applications using multiple sensors are proliferating daily and this course will result in hundreds of young engineers skilled in the use of the most advanced sensors. ST, together with McGill University. has created a standard education package including lectures, labs and final projects that can be supplied to other academic intuitions together with the iNEMO platform and help establish similar courses across North America."
The students' final projects included a gaming application featuring 'Hidden Markov Model Motion Detection,' a gesture recognition system for image manipulation, and a tilt-compensated compass with free-fall detection for aircraft use. The next undergraduate course will start in September 2011. In addition, a two-day postgraduate workshop devoted to Integrated Sensor Systems, also based on the iNEMO, will be held at McGill University on May 16/17, 2011.