Tutorials

All tutorials are on Thursday, March 12, 2020 except the second session of Python for Microcontrollers and the Sensors for the IoT which will be offered Friday, March 13.

ALL TUTORIALS ARE FREE WITH SOUTHEASTCON REGISTRATION!!
NOT REGISTERED YET? PAY A SINGLE $25 FEE TO ATTEND AS MANY AS YOU WANT!

To register for any of these, go HERE

Patent Strategy Workshop

9AM-Noon Thursday, March 12, 2020

This workshop will discuss the benefits of getting a US patent, the requirements to get a patent, the differences between good technical writing and good patent drafting, and the pitfalls of confusing the two. We will also address the potential downsides of the patent application process. Can you protect your idea from disclosure if you do not get a patent? 

We will touch on the latest USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (PEG), its impact on software patent applications, examiner rejections for claiming an abstract idea, and the spillover effect that the guidance has had for enablement rejections. 

Other topics include differences between a Provisional Patent Application and a Non-Provisional Patent Application and the right time to use each. You will learn about patent prosecution strategies to develop a patent portfolio and get some insight into the patent prosecution three-way partnership between the Innovator (you), the Patent Practioner (me), and the Patent Examiner (not the bad guy). 

We will also review the connection between priority dates and inventorship at the USPTO and get some prior art searching tips to help you prepare to meet with a patent practitioner. Finally, we will discuss how your technical background may be a great starting point for a career in Intellectual Property.

Presenter: Shane Trent
Bio: Shane is a Patent Agent in Raleigh, North Carolina and works with clients to help them protect their intellectual property rights. His technical background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering. He also has experience in circuit design, signal conditioning, and automated test systems. Shane wants to help you better understand US patent law and how you can use the patent system to protect your innovative creation. You can email him at shane@shanetrent.com.


Tools, techniques and training for today’s complex circuit assemblies

9:30AM-Noon Thursday, March 12, 2020

Today’s electronics are complex and require new tools, techniques and training to reliably prototype, build or repair them.  The knowledge of proper techniques and industry standards for quality is essential.  The IPC specifications are the industry standard that virtually all companies worldwide use.  When properly trained in these specifications, operators are more effective, confident and capable of performing their specific job functions.  However, some of the IPC acronyms and terminology can cause confusion, resulting in selecting the wrong training or avoiding certification altogether.  This presentation explores the 5 IPC assembly specifications with examples from each so that you can make a more informed decision regarding the best training to optimize your process.  The IPC specifications are:

    IPC-J-STD-001 – Requirements for Soldered Electronical & Electronic Assemblies

    IPC-7711/7721 – Rework, Modification and Repair of Electronic Assemblies

    IPC-A-610 – Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies

    IPC/WHMA-A-620 – Requirements & Acceptance for Cable & Wire Harness Assemblies

    IPC-A-600 – Acceptability of Printed Boards

    Benefits of adopting industry standards and investing in updated worker skills

    IPC roadmap-what new industry standards and specification updates are on the horizon

When selecting the correct tools and training, employees are properly equipped and proficient.  Their performance goes up resulting in higher efficiency, lower cost and higher profit. 

Using Chameleon Cloud as a Research Lab

8AM – Noon Thursday March 12, 2020

Mauricio Tavares

The Chameleon Cloud is a NSF-funded cloud-based research testbed that provides virtual and baremetal servers which can be connected with user-defined networks. More than 3000 faculty and students from many universities have used these resources to run classes and experiments on developing new operating systems, virtualization methods, artificial intelligence, power management, security, and software defined networking in a scalable way. Chameleon aims at providing its resources — FPGAs, GPUs, 15000 Cores, 100Gbps user configurable network, ARM — to researchers so they do not need to have them available locally. Papers based on experiments run in the Chameleon Cloud have been presented at CloudCom, ICMP, PEARC, CNERT, and ICCCRI amongst other events.

In this heavily hands-on workshop attendees will come away with
• A thorough understanding of what the Chameleon Cloud is and how it can be leveraged inside organizations, to include use cases and successful implementation examples.
• A knowledge of what resources are available and readily accessible to attendees.
• A clear understanding of how to access the testbed and what the requirements are.
• How to create reproducible experiments, and how to run the experiments themselves. Live experiments will be run during the workshop.
• How to create “living” documentation, to include class notes / assignments. Sample documentation will be created and reviewed on-site.

OUTLINE
1. What is the Chameleon Cloud, why it is neat, and who can play.
2. Getting an account
2.1. PI vs project member (or student)
3. Building a test environment
3.1. Layout
3.1.1. Private network
3.1.2. Available resources
3.1.3. Scheduling
3.1.4. Packages we will install
3.2. Baremetal vs KVM
3.2.1. Baremetal slow to build (10min?) but has lots of devices
3.2.2. kvm fast to build (a minute?) but no devices
3.3. Building
3.3.1. Using the GUI
3.3.2. Do it in Jupyter notebook
3.3.2.1. Write your own Jupyter notebook
4. Accessing it.
4.1. Logging in
4.2. Putting data in and out
4.3. Where to store data?
5. Tear it all down!

If we have time and interest we can go over more advances topics.

BIO
Mauricio Tavares, BS in Aerospace Engineering, has worked in credit card, medical, and educational industry,. He currently works at the Renaissance Research Institute (renci.org) building shiny things and at the Chameleon Cloud (chameleoncloud.org) an instructor. He is also the president for the Triangle Linux Users group (trilug.org).

Python for Microcontrollers

This tutorial will be offered TWICE: Thursday, March 12 from 1-4PM and Friday March 13 from 9-12AM. Each session is limited to 20 attendees.

While assembly language and C still dominate as programming languages for microcontrollers, a new generation of microcontrollers can now be programmed using MicroPython and CircuitPython. The port of the Python language to these devices enables Python programmers to develop human-machine interfaces, data gathering devices, Internet of Things things, and more using microcontroller boards powered by Atmel chips with a Python bootloader. The increasing influence of Python as a scripting language for everything from traditional data analysis to machine learning and computer vision projects makes the port of Python to microcontrollers an even more important advance as it opens the possibility of a single language that transcends the entire process: from a sensor to data to the cloud and back again.
This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to Python for microcontrollers using the Adafruit Trinket M0, a small, inexpensive, but powerful embedded computing board built around the Atmel ATSAMD21E18 chip. We will program the microcontroller using a regular USB cable and a lightweight IDE known as Mu, an open-source editor quickly becoming the standard for programming Python on microcontrollers. With Mu, the device can be programmed to operate in standalone mode, send serial data over USB as a USB device, or be accessed interactively with REPL. Mu includes basic streaming data capabilities capturing data values and generating real-time graphs.
The workshop will provide an introduction to Mu and demonstrate this functionality. But the main focus of the workshop will be the development of circuits and code showing how Python is used to manage the hardware (setting up bidirectional ports, performing 10-bit AD conversion, controlling the lights on the board, and so on) and how to manage data on the device (creating variables and data structures, populating data structures, transforming data, and sending data for long-term storage or other analysis). We will breadboard circuits using potentiometers and switches to simulate more complex sensors and provide the code necessary to capture those data.
We will do a quick review of the enormous number of sensor part libraries already available as open source code and how to find and install them. We will show how to take advantage of some of the strengths of the Python language such as list comprehension and lambdas, but also discuss some of the current limitations, in particular, memory demands. We will also discuss some of the differences between this platform and other microcontroller platforms, including how to manage scripts stored on the device (what is saved where), careful management of Python modules and other files to minimize storage demands, and how to handle versioning of implementations with special attention to the bootloader which is still under rapid development.

This workshop will provide a clear path for Python programmers to enter the world of microcontroller programming and, at the same time, demonstrate the value of some of the uniquely powerful simplicity of Python for traditional programmers who are curious to learn about this new technology.


Schedule
This is a 3-hour workshop presented in two sessions with a 10-minute break in the middle.
Session 1: Getting Started
In this session, we will introduce Mu, setup the hardware and write a script using Python, and load the program to the microcontroller.
Installing and using Mu (familiar functionality with a microcontroller twist)
Connecting the Python-enabled microcontroller (drivers, directories, and USB hang-ups)
Blinky, the “Hello, World” of Microcontrollers
Getting Pythonic (list comprehension, lambdas, etc.)
Exploring the Trinket RGB DotStar, a psychedelic LED with Python
Session 2: Gathering Sensor Data. In this session, we will gather real-time human touch responses, scale the values, graph the results, and store the data. We will also discuss file management, memory constraints, and versioning of code with special attention to the bootloader.
Using the Tilt Switch, a 50-cent Finger Control
Using a Potentiometer (capturing DA, scaling obtained values)
Using a Switch and Potentiometer Prototype (serial over USB communication)
Sensor libraries and sample code
Memory constraints
Design considerations (Speed, simplicity, hardware adoption)
The Future? (Outlandish predictions and hesitant hypotheses)

Workshop Structure and Technical Requirements
3-Hour Workshop
20 Participants per session

Participants must bring their own laptop
All other materials (microcontrollers, breadboard, etc.) provided for workshop use
Some basic experience with Python and breadboards is assumed, but examples will focus on basic use of Python for programming the microcontroller and less on more advanced aspects of Python.

Workshop Facilitator
Elliot Inman has led workshops in electronics and creative coding on topics ranging from basic electronics and Arduino/CircuitPython programming to Fast Fourier Analysis, 8-bit chip synths, MIDI controllers, and the Internet of Things. He developed and led the “Musical Circuits” series as Maker-in-Residence at UNC (spring 2016), “Quantification: The Art of Making Data” workshop series at NC State (fall 2016), and “Microcontrollers for the Rest of Us” at the University of Rochester (fall 2017). At Knobcon 2016, he presented “Experimental Music: Composing with an Arduino Midi Controller,” demonstrating unusual musical applications for a standard Arduino Uno. At Moogfest 2017, he led Musical Pencil CMOS Oscillator workshops; in 2018, two workshops: one building an 8-bit wavetable circuit and another using Audacity to develop an imaginary soundscape; and, in 2019, CircuitPython MIDI Controller and CMOS Chip Square Wave Oscillator workshops. He is an active participant in the Maker Faire scene, having presented at maker faires in Burlington, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Rochester, NY. In addition to his work with electronic circuits, he has given talks on interdisciplinary studies at the Black Mountain College ReViewing conference in 2018 and 2019, was a part of the UNC School of the Arts’ Make Night series at the Center for Design in 2017, and presented a talk on his own design aesthetic entitled “Deliberately Disorienting Design” at Winston-Salem’s Pint of Science series in the summer of 2019. He earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky, completing his master’s thesis on Text Processing and a dissertation on Visual Perception and Learning. He works for a leading analytics software company designing software solutions with a focus on data visualization to help make sense of complex data and modern analytic modeling. He occasionally blogs for SAS here: https://blogs.sas.com/content/author/elliotinman/. He documents his own electronic music experiments at https://MusicalCircuits.com.

Modern Automotive Architecture and Technologies

Thursday March 12, 2020, 1-5PM

Automotive industry has entered the fast lane of innovations with many disruptive technologies that shape the future of vehicles. Electrification pushes the evolution of powertrain from traditional internal combustion engines to hybrid and electric engines for improved energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction. Autonomous driving demands the rapid advances of sensor technology, machine learning algorithms, and high-power computation platforms. Digitization and connectivity are creating a new automotive ecosystem that makes modern vehicles both information providers and consumers in a connected world. Although new technologies will lead to many business opportunities that automotive industry has long been waiting for, they are disruptive and challenging even for the most established automotive companies. The speaker will first discuss the business and technical challenges and then focus on the latest evolution and development of automotive EE (Electrical/Electronic) architecture. Instead of the traditional hardware-centric model, automotive companies have to develop new software-centric approaches and quickly build their software capacities to stay relevant and competitive in the new automotive landscape. New automotive technologies, such as electrification and autonomous driving, will dramatically increase system complexity, demand advanced data capturing and analytics, and utilize artificial intelligence to process massive sensory information and make critical decisions. New automotive architecture is essential to address system complexity from software and hardware. Automotive companies shall prepare for the further evolution from the current domain-isolated and gateway-controlled architecture to integrated and interconnected architecture with the anticipated trend of ECU consolidation and emergence of automotive ethernet backbone. The speaker will also discuss some of emerging technologies that will drive the automotive digital evolution. Cybersecurity is not new, and many technologies, processes, and solutions are available from other industries to address cybersecurity risks for decades. However, the automotive industry has unique characteristics. Cybersecurity becomes an immediate challenge to ensure the protection of digital assets as well as safety, security, and privacy of drivers and passengers; While electrification in modern automotive brings new acoustic and audio challenges, advanced signal processing technologies such Active Noise Cancellation, Engine Sound Enhancement, etc. provide enhanced and immersive audio and acoustic experience; 5G and V2X not only bring essential and reliable connectivity to redefine and expand automotive connected ecosystems but also become a critical building block for full autonomous driving in the future.
Duration: 4 hours
Speaker: George Huan is the principal and founder of CTSA Consulting LLC, where he researches, develops, and consults for cybersecurity, connectivity, acoustics, and automotive architecture. George is also the principal systems architect of Karma Automotive LLC, where he leads the EE architecture research and development of Infotainment and Connected Cars organization for Karma’s luxury electric vehicle product lines. George has extensive work experience in cellular communications and embedded product development with technology companies such as Ericsson, BlackBerry/QNX, and Motorola for over 20 years. George is the current chapter chair for IEEE Signal Processing Society at Eastern Carolina Section and an IEEE senior member. George received his MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from University of Waterloo, Canada with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.

ROS by example using the iRobot Create2

Thursday, March 12, 1-4 PM

Description:
This is an introduction to ROS (robot operating system) using the the iRobot Roomba/Create2 as an example implementation.  During the workshop there will be a demonstration of the setup of ROS and the ROS Create2 package on a linux host system, then the use of ROS for command and control of a Roomba 600.  

Speaker Info:

Frank Agius works as Principal Engineer at iRobot. Frank holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Manhattan college, NY.  Frank has extensive embedded development design experiences in numerous firms including IBM, Ericsson, Garmin and iRobot with exceptional expertise in boot code, Linux kernel and control software for autonomous robotic systems.  Frank is an active volunteer for several years together as a coordinator of Habitat for Humanity and a coach for NC Science Olympiad.  

Easy, engaging robotics education to prepare students for the Age of Automation and the Internet of Things

Thursday March 12 9AM-Noon

Workshop abstract: The growing automation in all aspects of life is increasing the importance for contemporary engineers to be versed in robotics and systems knowledge. Students can grasp the fundamentals of embedded systems, electromechanical concepts, and Internet of Things using the TI-RSLK MAX kit.

Full Session description: Robotics is a crucial intersection of multidisciplinary systems engineering that requires expertise in an array of domains. As trends continue to see growth in automated systems across all aspects of life, it is important for contemporary engineers to know foundational concepts in robotics and mechatronics to more fully grasp the complexities of automation. Because of the complexity, robotics is a difficult subject to cover in an academic setting and leaves many faculty struggling on a method to expose robotics to students as early as possible. The TI-RSLK MAX is a platform and curriculum solution from Texas Instruments that makes it more feasible to add robotics to department lab offerings from as early as the first year of engineering to later electives covering sophisticated topics in embedded systems, IoT, sensors, power, controls, signal processing, machine learning, and more.

Benefits of Attending the workshop:

Understand how to seamlessly add hands-on robotics to campus activities and competitions
Expose students to ARM architecture and the flexibility for simple projects to highly sophisticated systems
Explore multiple entry points for students to develop software and improve their programming skills in the embedded context
Bring practical learning to students to better prepare and motivate them for technologies ahead

Speaker Name: Mark Easley
Speaker Title: TI University Marketing Manager
Speaker Company: TI
Speaker Bio:
Mark Easley is part of the team behind the TI University Program, which is committed to engineering student success and supporting institutions of higher learning that will train the next generation of makers and creators. His daily tasks include supporting universities with electrical and computer engineering curriculum enhancements, courseware support, and electronics workshops to improve student engagement and outcomes. He is also interested in enhancing industry partnerships and semiconductor / IoT research activities and keeping tabs on the accelerating trend of online and accessible technical education through Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs). He is focusing on assisting faculty with preparing students to enter industry with effective knowledge in Design, System, Power, and Connectivity. His background at TI includes product and software development, account management, business development, web marketing, tutorial writing, demo creation, outbound marketing content creation, and community engagement.

Building Sensor Networks with Hardware in the Internet of Things

Friday, March 13 9:30AM-Noon

Workshop abstract: Collecting data through sensors is an important function of many embedded systems and then reporting that data to networks and cloud services is also a critical function in many applications. Students can grasp the fundamentals of sensors and Internet of Things using the TI LaunchPad SensorTag Kit (LPSTK).

Full Session description: Low power sensors are a big piece of the IoT landscape. These sensor nodes operate in many similar ways but have tremendous flexibility in the radios, sensing capabilities, and network topologies they can be designed for. Getting started with how these sensor networks work can be overwhelming to the average developer, but this workshop will take a good look into what it takes to get these networks online and how to immediately start prototyping these networks using real, low cost hardware. Using a combination of low power wireless microcontrollers, commonly available I2C sensors, and efficient power supplies, the sensor hardware is an easy enough task to tackle. Many services exist today to help get the sensor data to the cloud and figuring out the gateway solutions to make the data connections available is another design task that will be explored.

Benefits of Attending the workshop:

Understand how to send data wirelessly through BLE and Sub-1GHz RF
Present network capabilities and design tradeoffs in IoT designs
Expose students to ARM architecture and the flexibility for simple projects to highly sophisticated systems
Explore multiple entry points for students to develop software and improve their programming skills in the embedded context
Bring practical learning to students to better prepare and motivate them for technologies ahead

Speaker Name: Mark Easley
Speaker Title: TI University Marketing Manager
Speaker Company: TI
Speaker Bio:
Mark Easley is part of the team behind the TI University Program, which is committed to engineering student success and supporting institutions of higher learning that will train the next generation of makers and creators. His daily tasks include supporting universities with electrical and computer engineering curriculum enhancements, courseware support, and electronics workshops to improve student engagement and outcomes. He is also interested in enhancing industry partnerships and semiconductor / IoT research activities and keeping tabs on the accelerating trend of online and accessible technical education through Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs). He is focusing on assisting faculty with preparing students to enter industry with effective knowledge in Design, System, Power, and Connectivity. His background at TI includes product and software development, account management, business development, web marketing, tutorial writing, demo creation, outbound marketing content creation, and community engagement.