Robotic Programming (In Person)

(Introduction to Computer Engineering)

For Grade 11-12 students interested in math, physics and computer programming.

In this course we will learn about integrating the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller with different peripheral devices in an effort to create smart machinery controlled by software.


  • Some computer programming experience
  • Knowledge of basic Physics is desirable (Forces, Newton’s laws, basic electricity)
  • Computer access at home (laptop in class is not required)
  • A lot of enthusiasm and a motivation to learn about the robotic underworld

Notes about the course:

The goal of this hands-on course is to learn the basic principles of Robotic Programming. To achieve this, we will be working with the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller and integrate it with various sensors and peripheral devices using low-level protocols. There is more to robotics than making robots drive and engage in crazy fights!

This is a multi-disciplinary course with components in math, physics, computer science and engineering. Some knowledge of these areas is desirable, yet, this course will be self-contained as much as possible, and will cover the fundamental knowledge required from these areas.

The students will be expected to invest at least 2-3 hours weekly outside of the course lecture times to complete required activities and/ or projects.

Course Plan:

  1. Linear and Circular motion.
  2. Python Programming Refresher (recurrent subject).
  3. Forces and energy
  4. Computers and Controllers – Introduction to Raspberry Pi Pico board
  5. Micro Python for Raspberry Pi Pico
  6. Working directly with hardware: ports, UART, protocols
  7. Brief introduction to electricity and electronics:
  • Electrical and Functional circuits
  • Basic laws of electricity
  • Types of electrical currents (AC/DC) and their transformation
  • Hardware interfaces (I2C, SPI)
  • Why we are not using USB
  1. Using hardware interfaces in Micro Python
  2. Micro Project #1
  3. Micro Python programming in depth
  4. Midterm project
  5. Going wireless (Bluetooth and its cousins):
  • How it works
  • How to use it
  1. More Micro Python programming
  2. Building bigger and more stable systems
  3. Micro Project #2
  4. Simulating “intellectual” behavior: our brain from a control theory point of view
  5. What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  6. Final project

2023/24 Course Information

The course will run in-person from September 30, 2023 to April 2024 on Saturday afternoons from 3:00pm to 4:30pm with a break in December.

Class location in the Winter term: Canal Building, room CB 2202 (same room as in the Fall).

Registration fee for this course will include an extra fee for the hardware components (robotic kits that the students will receive).


  • Midterm (December)
  • Final exam (April)

We reserve the right to cancel this course with a full refund if minimal enrollment is not reached.

Registration Information

Registration is now closed.
We will open registrations for September 2024 in April.

Refund Policy

Please note that after the first class the hardware fee for this course is non-refundable.

Course fee refund policy:

100% refund prior to August 31st
95% refund prior to September 30th
75% refund prior to October 31st
50% refund prior to November 30th

To request refund, please complete this form before the deadline.

**Please note we are unable to answer any enquiries by phone.**

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