On August 31, 2015, after three years, the Embedded Engineering Learning Platform (E2LP) European Commission project, funded under FP7-ICT was officially completed. Partnering the following universities and institutes: THE ALBERT-LUDWIGS-UNIVERSITAET FREIBURG from Germany, CREATIVITIC INNOVA SL from Spain, COMMISSARIAT ENERGIE ATOMIQUE AL ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES from France, RUDER BOSKOVIC INSTITUTE and SVEUCILISTE U ZAGREBU FAKULTET ELEKTROTEHNIKE I RACUNARSTVA from Croatia, BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV from Israel, PRZEMYSLOWY INSTYTUT AUTOMATYKI I POMIAROW PIAP from Poland, and RT-RK from Serbia, the project coordinated by the FACULTY OF TECHNICAL SCIENCES Novi Sad submitted the final report to the European Commission.
The main idea behind the project was to provide students across Europe with a unified platform for embedded system development programs and courses. Coming from the standpoint of importance of laboratory work, hands-on experience, and avoiding the hassle of work with versatile platforms for different courses, E2LP project has spawned a unified platform and exercises for:
- Embedded microprocessors and computer architectures programming,
- Digital signal processing (audio, video and data) and its real-time implementation,
- FPGA digital system design and testing,
- Networks and interfaces and
- System integration.
The E2LP platform base-board is based on low cost Spartan6 Platform FPGA surrounded by a comprehensive collection of peripheral components providing basic user interface, storage, multimedia, communication and debugging interfaces for the platform. The platform is accompanied by three extension boards: ARMADA, ARM, and proto-board. Additionally, E2LP provides basic set of exercises, augmented reality interface with touch screen providing information on the platform and components, and remote laboratory. During the course of the project, thorough evaluation methodologies involving both quantitative and qualitative tools were undergoing to measure satisfaction of both students and teachers to feedback to R&D.
With 100 installed E2LP platforms, 48 new exercises created after introduction of E2LP, 65 laboratory exercises on E2LP in the open source library at 11 universities and study programs, E2LP has shown a remarkable potential in the education of future engineers of embedded systems’ design.
Through real-time experiments E2LP stimulates curiosity and supports students in understanding and constructing their personal conceptual knowledge based on experiments. In addition to the technological approach, the use of cognitive theories on how people learn helps students to achieve a stronger and smarter adaptation of the subject.
Now commercially available for purchase, E2LP will ensure a sufficient number of future engineers in Europe to master design of complex embedded systems thus maintaining European leadership in the automotive, avionics, automation, mobile communications, telecoms and medical industry.