Reverse engineering as a teaching technique for electronics

    Hi Habr! I previously published a post on the development of a photopolymer 3D printer from RAR Print CD drives . Now I am engaged in the development of the Creative coworking center in Tomsk. One of the center’s tasks is to train people of all ages in electronics. I am preparing the technical and theoretical basis.

    Of the ready-made devices and designers available on the market, it is necessary to make a difficult choice: price, quality and functionality. By functionality, we should understand the level of knowledge of a student (whose age can vary from 8 years to 40) and the technical performance (complexity) of a device or constructor. One of the unusual teaching methods is the so-called reverse engineering. The purpose of which is to identify gaps in knowledge and fill them in practice. In addition, arouse interest, develop basic skills for successful learning and replenish the vocabulary of the English language.

    On the toaster, I came across an offer to test electronic devices. By a fortunate coincidence, it was decided to test this technique and the choice fell on the developing electronic designer Khvatohodfrom the company Dadget.

    The designer comes in a small box, disassembled with detailed instructions in Russian. The assembly was carried out personally. The designer is intended for children over 8 years old, but it took me (an engineer and a radio installer, with more than 4 years of experience) about 2.5 hours.

    Build process:

    Experience shows that from 8 years old children cope with the help of dad, and from 10 - and (almost) themselves. During assembly, they can be taught how to handle tools and safety. Check and develop attention.

    The assembled designer is a moving robotic arm with a remote control via infrared. Transmission functions are performed by the 8-bit microcontroller EM78P156 , which is an analogue of the PIC microcontrollers.

    Below are the schematic diagrams from the instructions to the designer: The

    control of four DC motors is carried out by two MD123 drivers .

    What can you learn on the basis of reverse engineering of this constructor?

    Reading concepts
    The apparatus and engine operating principle DC
    control DC motor (collect analog driver on radioelements)
    transmission signal from the infrared channel (collect simple circuit with an infrared diode and photodetector)
    Disassemble what microcontroller (theory)
    Fundamentals of Boolean algebra (theory)
    Write a simple program

    Threads you can gradually learn how to create a control system that is used in this constructor.
    This technique allows using a ready-made device to educate children with different levels of knowledge and skills.

    Appearance of a fully assembled designer “Khvatokhod”

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