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Intermediate Level


Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Intermediate Level


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

4 hours to complete

Thermal Sensors

In module 1 you will learn how to specify and use temperature sensors in an embedded circuit. First, you will learn about common types of sensors and actuators found in common products such as smart phones and automobiles. Then you will get a high-level overview of analog and digital interfaces, followed by a deep dive into thermistors, RTD’s, and thermocouples. For each of these three types of thermal sensors, we define the core theory and formulae, give you examples of how commercial sensors are packaged, and explain what you need to know to purchase them on a web site.

10 videos (Total 64 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
10 videos
2: Common Types of Sensors and Motors6m
3: Analog and Digital Interfaces3m
4: Temperature Sensors and Applications6m
5: Thermistors: Basic Facts3m
6: Thermistors: How They Work6m
7: RTDs: Basic Facts5m
8: RTDs: How They Work10m
9: Thermocouples: Basic Facts7m
10: Thermocouples: How They Work11m
2 readings
Week 1 Online Articles2h
Week 1 Videos1h
1 practice exercise
Week 1 Quiz20m
5 hours to complete

Sensor Development Kit and Prototyping

In module 2 you will learn how to design a complete temperature sensor system within a development kit environment. We will teach you how to assign internal components to the schematic. This includes pins, amplifiers, MUX’s, DAC’s, and ADC’s. Then you will learn how to wire in external parts: resistors, thermistors in particular, to the kit. Finally, you will take a deep dive into interfacing a thermistor and associated front end components to the development kit. This includes lessons on using the schematic portion of the kit, as well as writing application software in c code.

14 videos (Total 132 min), 2 readings, 5 quizzes
14 videos
2: Nscope Introduction7m
3: PSoC Creator 2 Pin Assignment2m
4: Automatically Generated Code11m
5: Adding the LCD display to the Nscope and Developent Kit9m
6: Debugging with GPIO and DACs9m
7: Documenting Components not in the PSoC Chip6m
8: Pin Types10m
9: Digital to Analog and Back Again10m
10: A Basic Sensor Interface in PSoC16m
11: Thermistor Lab, Part 18m
12: Thermistor Lab, Part 213m
13: Thermistor Lab, Part 39m
14: Thermistor Lab, Part 45m
2 readings
Hardware Needed to Do Course Project Based on This Module10m
Week 2 Online Articles2h
5 practice exercises
Pre-Video 11 Pre-Quiz2m
Pre-Video 12 Quiz2m
Pre-Video 13 Quiz2m
Pre-Video 14 Quiz2m
Week 2 Quiz20m
6 hours to complete

Rotary and Flow Sensors

In module 3 you will learn how rotary sensors work and how to specify them for purchase. In our videos rotary sensors include both optical encoders and resolvers. You will also learn the design intricacies of flow sensors, along with their appropriate applications. The videos will discuss variable area, differential pressure, vortex, ultrasonic, turbine, thermal mass flow, and coriolis flow meters.

14 videos (Total 62 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
14 videos
2: Summary of Rotary Sensors and Applications3m
3: Optical Encoders: How They Work6m
4: Optical Encoders: Applications6m
5: Resolvers: How They Work8m
6: Resolvers: Applications5m
7: Flow Sensors and Applications8m
8: Variable Area Flow Sensors4m
9: Differential Pressure Flow Sensing2m
10: Vortex Flow Meters2m
11: Ultrasonic Flow Meters2m
12: Turbine Flow Meters2m
13: Thermal Mass Flow Meters3m
14: Coriolis Flow Meters4m
3 readings
Week 3 Online Articles #12h
Week 3 Online Articles #22h
Week 3 Videos1h
1 practice exercise
Week 3 Quiz20m
5 hours to complete

Amplifiers and Sensor Noise

In module 4 you will learn the theory and practical application of amplifiers and circuit noise. You will review how gain is calculated in inverting, non-inverting, summing, differential, and instrumentation amplifiers. We will then contrast theoretical vs. real-world amplifier performance, and give examples of how commercial chips specs are interpreted. Then we will discuss the causes of noise in sensor circuits, how the noise affects sensor accuracy, and some steps you can take to reduce noise in your sensor circuit designs.

10 videos (Total 56 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
10 videos
2: Why Study Amplification?3m
3: Basic Amplifiers8m
4: Instrumentation Amplifier9m
5: Amplifier Imperfections9m
6: Amplifier Frequency Response4m
7: Noise in Sensors4m
8: Johnson and 1/f Noise5m
9: Shot and Quantization Noise5m
10: How Noise Affects Sensor Accuracy3m
2 readings
Week 4 Online Articles #12h
Week 4 Online Articles2h
1 practice exercise
Week 4 Quiz20m
11 ReviewsChevron Right


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Top reviews from Sensors and Sensor Circuit Design

By MCFeb 21st 2019

This course is a great overview of thermal and flow sensors and how to implement them as well as select them. It's also a great course in using the Cypress PSoC.

By SMApr 4th 2019

Great intro to sensors and embedded systems. Coding is simplified but that's probably good for an intro class.



James Zweighaft

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

Jay Mendelson

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

Start working towards your Master's degree

This course is part of the 100% online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder. If you are admitted to the full program, your courses count towards your degree learning.

About University of Colorado Boulder

CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies....

About the Embedding Sensors and Motors Specialization

Embedding Sensors and Motors will introduce you to the design of sensors and motors, and to methods that integrate them into embedded systems used in consumer and industrial products. You will gain hands-on experience with the technologies by building systems that take sensor or motor inputs, and then filter and evaluate the resulting data. You will learn about hardware components and firmware algorithms needed to configure and run sensors and motors in embedded solutions....
Embedding Sensors and Motors

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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