open source teaching materials

Introduction to Embedded Systems


This course deals with embedded systems i.e. physical systems or processes that are monitored or controlled by a computer. More specifically the course focuses on microcontrollers and how to apply them to practical applications. A microcontroller is a small computer on a single chip with a significantly reduced size and cost compared to a personal computer (PC). Microcontrollers are programmed using a PC to perform a specific task and can then do this while either remaining connected to the PC or disconnected from the PC and powered by an external power source such as a power supply, battery (power bank) or solar cell panel.

Embedded systems are often used in e.g. industrial, agricultural and medical applications. If combined with wireless communication, embedded systems can exchange data with e.g. Internet of Things (IoT) services. An example is the monitoring of water towers in Sierra Leone established by EWB-DK.