New York City College of Technology

Robotics & Intelligent Systems Laboratory


Home >> Teaching >> EMT2461 E.M. Sys.

EMT2461 Electromechanical Systems: Software Interface

Instructor: Dr. Li

Email: xhli@citytech.cuny.edu

Office Hours: Wednesday 12~2PM, Friday 4~6PM (Spring 2016)


Welcome to EMT2461, the Capstone Course of your Associate Degree! The unique chance to learn and build some cool things is here! Have a quality and fun learning experience! This webpage can simply be reached by Googling "City Tech EMT 2461 Dr. Li".


Course Description (from College Catalog):

How computer hardware and electromechanical systems control external devices, both electrically and mechanically. Students build a project to learn the interface of software and hardware for use as a control element.


Grading Policy:
Attendance 10%
Labs & Quizzes 25%
Project Proposal 15%
Project Report 15% 
Final Project & Extra Credits 35%

                      A: 93~100         A-: 90~92.99     B+: 87~89.99     B: 83~86.99
                      B-: 80~82.99     C+: 77~79.99    C: 70~76.99       D: 60~69.99 


Course Documents:

  • Course Syllabus: Detailed information about the course policies, including pre-requisitives, textbook, grading policy, and other course policies.

  • Labs & Lab Reports Requirements: Detailed requirements on lab experiments and lab reports (including report's content and format).

 • Additional Guide on How to Write Technical Report: A very good guide written by IET (Institute of Engineering & Technology, the largest international non-for-profit engineering professional organization dated back to 1871).  NEW!!

Course Project Documents:

  • Course Project General Requirements:  General description and requirements on course project.

  • Parts List for Course Project: A reference part list for your project (Reminder: This list is not complete).

  • Websites to Order Parts: Some common websites from which you can order parts.

 • Midterm Project Proposal Requirements: Detailed requirements on the project proposal, including its content and format.            Additional requirement on project proposal: A project management profile (a Gantt chart for your project timeline and task division) MUST be included in the proposal. You can use Microsoft Project or an open-source software named as "ProjectLibre" to creat such a chart. See items about "ProjectLibre" in the blow for details.    NEW!!

  • Final Project Report Requirements: Detailed requirements on the final project report, including its content and format.

  • A Sample "Midterm Project Proposal":   A Midterm Project Proposal written by a team in the semester of Spring 2014. Please read the instructor's comments in this sample proposal to understand what is good and what is bad.   NEW!!

  • "ProjectLibre":   ProjectLibre is a major open source software as the leading alternative to Microsoft Project. Download and use it to generate the project management profile (called "Gantt Chart") for your Project Proposal! Download link is here   NEW!!

  • Tutorial of ProjectLibre:   A simply tutorial of ProjectLibre which was used by another class in Fall 2012. Please read and follow the steps described there thorougly. You will get familiar with ProjectLibre right away! (Note: The project file and the Gantt chart created through this tutorial is in the following item.)     NEW!!

  • Sample Project File Created by ProjectLibre:   A sample project management file (with suffix of .pod) created by ProjectLibre, which corresonds to the above tutorial. Note: You need to successfully install ProjectLibre to open this .pod file.     NEW!!


  • Introduction to Arduino:  A very good and simple tutorial on Arduino and Arduino programming made by Sparkfun. Copyright@Sparkfun.

  • Arduino Cheat-sheet:  A very handy cheat-sheat on Arduino made by Sparkfun. Copyright@Sparkfun.

  • 10 Ways to Blow Up Your Arduino: A MUST-read article about 10 common mistakes one could make to destroy an Arduino I/O board. (From ruggedcircuits.com).

  • Electrical Current Limitations of Arduino Pins: A complete guide regarding the Arduino pins current limits and detailed explanations.


  • Android App for Bluetooth Communications:   You need an app on Android device that can be used to manage the communication with the Bluetooth board connectd to Arduino. The app should also host an interface for sending and receiving data/message.  "Connection Terminal" and "BlueTerm" are recommended. Download and intall them from Google Play.       NEW!!

  • Fritzing:    An open source Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software. It supports Arduino-based prototype design and development. You can use it to draw schematic and PCB layout design for your lab report, midterm proposal and final project report.   Click this link to download Fritzing: www.fritzing.org/download.   NEW!!

   • "How to Read a Datasheet" by Sparkfun:    Reading a datasheet and dig out the important and needed information is not that simple particularly for beginners. Read this very good and simple guide by Sparkfun. Copyright@Sparkfun   NEW!!

Tentative Class Schedule:

      Note:  Some lecture slides and lab handouts are posted not here but on the Blackboard.

      Open Lab Hours: Thursday 12~2PM, V606/608






 Intro to Course, Syllabus, Course project, and project videos.


 Project team-up


 Ch1 Intro to Arduino:  history, shields/hardware, IDE, driver installation

Ch2. Basic of Arduino C/C++ Programming: Arduino sketch structure (setup/ loop/global variables),


Tutorial by Sparkfun

Team-up finishes, Do research on projects and decide project.


 Ch2. C/C++ Programming (Contd.): data types, Math operators, "for" loop, Arduino serial commucation

Lab1: show “hello world!” four times as a block. No lab report required.


Project approved by instructor. Order Arduino, Bring in Arduino next week!


Ch2. C/C++ Programming (contd): all Data Types, Logic Operators, Array, Control Structures (if, switch, …). Serial Comm: Read inputs from Serial Monitor

Lab2: Find and display Max/Min of a float array; or Sorting


Discuss the design; Start ordering major parts: motors, body/platform. Need motor in 2 wks!!


Quiz;       Ch2. C/C++ Programming (contd): Functions

Lab (Optional): Function, and read inputs from Serial Monitor

Finish Programming Basics by the 5th wk!!


Keep  ordering parts

Need motor next week! Bring in motor next week!!


Ch3. Motor Driver, PWM, analogWrite, Speed control of Motor

Lab3: PWM

Lec Slides

Lab Handout

Discuss the design and order parts


 Quiz;     Ch4. H-Bridge: general concept, analog circuit

Lab (Optional): H-bridge analog circuit

Order stuffs.  order H-bridge IC, need it in a wk!! Bring in H-bridge IC next class (L293, or SN754410) Proposal to Due in 2 weeks!


Quiz;   Project Midterm Proposal to Due at the 8th week!

H-Bridge IC Circuit:  direction control of DC brushed motors

Lab4: H-bridge IC for Motor Direction Control


Lab Handout

Proposal to Due. See Blackboard for exact due date.

Start to build the project platform (mechanical body)



H-Bridge IC Circuit:  speed & direction control of DC brushed motors

Lab5: H-bridge IC for Motor Direction & Speed Control

  Lab Handout

Urge to order sensors! Sensor needed for lab in 1 or 2 weeks.

 Project platform (mechanical body) is  in shape


Ch5. Sensors: simple sensor (switch, photresistor), infrared sensor, PIR sensor, sonar sensor


Urge to order Bluetooth! Bring in  sensors next week!


Lab 6: Sensors & Functions (no handout)

  Urge to order Bluetooth, needed in 2 wks


Lecture on Servo motor; Step motor (Optional)

Lab 7: Servo Motor

Announce final demo Date! Project Progress Report


 Bring in Bluetooth next week!


Bluetooth (or: ZigBee, WiFi. TBD)

Lab 8: Communication btwn Arduion & Android via Bluetooth.

Lec Slides

Lab Handout

Bring everything next week: tools, wires, batteries, soldering gun,DMM …


 Project Hours




 Final  Project Demonstration & Presentation








Projects in the Current Semester:

   Fall 2018:

  •  LiDAR Based 3D Scanner

  •  IoT Intercom

  •  Smart Plant Watering System

  •  Voice Controlled Survelliance Mobile Robot

Example Projects from Previous Semesters:

   Fall 2017:

  •  IoT Intercom (by Ardavan, Kevin and Aryesh)

  •  RFID & Fingerprint Based Secruity Lock (by Aldrick)

  •  Color Detecting Survelliance Robot (by Terrence, David and Michael)

  •  Garbage Picking Robot (by John and Wong)

  •  Motion Sensing Hat (by Jane and Samiha)

  •  Fire Fighting Mobile Robot (by Luis, Ronald and Jian)

  Spring 2017:    

  Spring 2016:

  •  SmartBot - Voice Controlled Mobile Robot (by Linroy, Kevin and Kleber)

  •  Open Sesame - RFID Based Secruity Lock (by Jackie, Samuel, and Luis)

  •  Color Detecting Survelliance Robot (by John, Gabriel and Thanvir)

  •  Smart Jump (by Devaun, Usama, and Hamza)

  •  Automatic Dispenser (by Gerald, Tomas and Frank)

  Fall 2015:

  •  Wearable Head-Up Display (HUD)

  •  Automatic Visual Tracking System (Video uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAEC1Zn2QVI )

  •  Video Survelliance Autonomous Robot with Android

  •  Baby Chasing Mobile Robot 

   Spring 2015:

  •  Video Survelliance Autonomous Robot with Android:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EoMNG_3DjQ

  •  Smart Garage Door:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrdNoIsblYY

  •  Quadrocopter

  •  Jumping Robot

  •  "PickerUpper"

  Fall 2014:

  • Humanoid Robot (Biped Mobile Robot, i.e., Walking Robot) 

  • Fishbot: An Underwater Robot

  • ePiggy-Bank:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a88vjgkyi8

  • Smart Baby Crib Mobile:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7TCU7-o_Tc


  • Mobile Surveillance Robot: Video uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42OhruF6ffQ

  • Bluetooth POV Display:

           Team1's video uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU1gd62K25w

           Team2's video uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pLISzjiE9c

  • Quadruped (Crab-like Robot):   Video uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVic4ecN6Uw  

  • Mine Detecting Mobile Robot

  • Automous Vacumn Robot

  • Hovering Aircraft 

  Semesters Before Spring'14:

  • Fire Fighting Mobile Robot

  • Teleoperation Robotic Hands: (1st Place)

  • POV Display: Video uploaded to Youtube:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CtncV1boOQ

  • Smartphone Controlled LED Cube

  • Obstacle Avoiding Mobile Robot

  • Colored Tape Following Robot 

  • Smart Bus

  • Rambot

  • Spider Robot


Go Mobile!

You can simply use your smartphone or tablet to scan the following 2D barcode to access this webpage on the go.

2D Barcode for EMT2461 URL


Follow me on Twitter for Course Annoucements:

As an instructor in computer engineering, I am determined to introduce the most up-to-date technologies and materials into the classroom. I am also determined to apply the most current or leading technology tools into the classroom, which reflects the state-of-the-art or trend of new computing and information technologies.

has and are being used by many leading universities as a new and proved effective tool for a better communication between instructor and students, and among the students. Through this course, I will use Twitter to promptly and smoothly send announcements, listen to your suggestion and address your concerns.

You can simply use your smartphone to scan the following 2D barcode to access my twitter. Follow me on twitter for any future annoucements, news and discussions regarding our class.

Prof. X Li's Twitter



  •  Brooklyn Tech Triangle Technology Company Tour  is scheduled on Friday, April 8, 2016. See the Blackboard for details. 

  •  Brooklyn Tech Triangle U is back!  The Be.In Symposium (formerly known as "Brooklyn Tech Triangle U" is back in this April! It features a series of exciting events, panels, networking events that bring together the technology, digit media and education community from Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and BNY. See http://beinbrooklyn.org/symposium/ for details.

  •  Open Lab is Available!  Please be advised that effective from the 5th Thursday of this semester, open lab will be avaiable in room V606, V608 and V613. You are welcome to use these lab rooms and equipments there to work on your projects or lab experiments. Open Lab hours are: Thursdays 11:20AM-2:00PM.

•  Good news: Lutron is Hiring! Lutron Electronics is the world leading company in lighting control industry. It has handful opennings now.  They come to our campus to recruit! You are highly suggested to attend their info session on March 29, 2016, 12:30-1:30PM, at room V6102. They will hold a preliminary interview right after the info session. Please see CET Dept. Secretary for more details! 

Archived Announcements:

  •  Good news: Schneider Electric is Hiring! Schneider Electric is one of the leading companies in the fields of energy managment and infrastruture equipments all over the global. It has several different openning, both full-time and part-time. They come to our campus to recruit. You are highly suggested to attend their info session on March 3, 2015, 1-2PM, at room N402. They will come back on March 19 for interviewing. Please see CET Dept. Secretary for more details!  

  •  Brooklyn Tech Triangle U: A series of events to connect the Tech+Arts+Academic communities in Brooklyn MetroTech, DUMBO and Brooklyn Navy Yard. Career events on March 5 and 6, 2015: http://brooklyntechtriangle.com/tech-u/#career-events

  •  A New Sample Project Proposal has been posted!  A Midterm Project Proposal written by a team in Spring'14 semester was posted here as a sample (see it in the above of this webpage). Please read the instructor's comments in this sample proposal to understand what is good and what is bad.

  •  MobileWeek NY 2015 Hiring Mixer: Join the official MobileWeek Hiring Mixer hosted at Yelp! Which is free for all developers and designers! Date: April 21, 2015, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Venue: YELP! Office NYC | 11 Madison Ave, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10010   See MobileWeek official website for details:   http://mobileweek.co/hiring/


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Last Update: Oct. 7, 2018