ASEE 2015– Robots, Pmods and Project Boxes!

We had wonderful time at ASEE 2015! It seems like every year gets better, and that’s saying a lot — ASEE 2014 was great.

ASEE Digilent Team

ASEE, one of our favorite conferences, is made up of educators from across all engineering disciplines–mechanical, biomedical, industrial, aerospace, materials, and of course, our favorite, electrical and computer engineering (ECE). This gave us the opportunity to show off why we think learning electronics is what makes modern-day engineering so interesting.


We began the conference with the very popular workshop taught by Kathleen Meehan, Teaching Engineering Design with Student-owned Digital and Analog Lab Equipment.

Workshop at ASEE 2015 with the Analog Discovery
Workshop at ASEE 2015 with the Analog Discovery. “We found that students were in the parking lot with [the Discovery]testing and working on their cars, then bringing that same equipment into the lab,” said Kathleen Meehan.

Workshop participants listened to Kathleen’s experience introducing the popular Analog Discovery to students at Virginia Tech University and how engaged students were before and after the course.


Then, the participants got to try out the labs themselves on their PCs by using some of the loaner units we brought with them and the parts kit they got to take home.

Workshop booklet and loaner analog discovery being prepared prior to the conference.
Workshop booklet and loaner Analog Discovery being prepared prior to the conference.

The exercises included making a Metronome Circuit using a 555 timer and designing a Night Light. Copies of both of these exercises can be found linked on the Digilent Forum.


This year was slightly different in that we gave a preview look at the newest version of Waveforms 2015!

Waveforms 2015 demo getting prepared to be running on a Mac!
WaveForms 2015 demo getting prepared to be running on a Mac!

WaveForms, our free software lab-software was previously only available on PC. This version of WaveForms has been beta testing on our forum as Waveforms 3 for the past several months. Most recently, it’s been marked as feature-complete and compatible with PC, Linux and Mac! We will be releasing it formally later this year, but we gave a live demo of it at ASEE (users who want to see that demo and use it themselves can still sign up for the Beta program).


After the workshop we went to set up and man our booth!

Kaitlyn setting up the booth- with our banner.
Kaitlyn and Holly setting up the booth with our banner.

Since the audience at ASEE was so large, we opted for a simple message:


Need to Teach Electronics? We can help!


Then, we filled the booth with products that we have found are the most popular with our educators. My favourite part of the booth was our recommended products for labs/classrooms, the “backpack favorites”, and robots. These included:

Our Teaching FPGA Boards that include the Basys, Nexys, Zybo and the newest Nexys Video
Our Teaching FPGA Boards that include the Basys, Nexys, ZYBO, and the new Nexys Video.
  • Our FPGA boards for education, including the latest in the Basys, Nexys, and ZYBO lines.


We sneaked in a preview of our newest Nexys product, the Nexys Video (it’s our first in “teaching application specific” boards).

chipKIT Pro and chipKIT boards
The chipKIT Pro and chipKIT boards.
  • And the chipKIT Pro (for ECE labs and classroom) and the chipKIT boards for student projects and hobbies.
Our MRK and SRK robots are often times used by educators to add to the microcontroller or embedded processing courses
Our MRK and SRK robots are oftentimes used by educators to add to the microcontroller or embedded processing courses.

“Backpack Favourites” as a category are the products that at Digilent we have been requested to make for students to own, take home, and to reuse.


To help “backpack-proof” some of these, we came out with a line of Project Boxes that are 50% off with any of our educational board purchases.

Project boxes include stickers and can be reused by students.
Project boxes include stickers and can be reused by students.

Included was our newer, larger Project Box, that could fit two of the regular boxes or the entire robot kit.


Side comment: The reason why this section is my in my favorites is that the project box is one of my favorite places to start with educators. I look at it as the starting place for a designing a student’s hands-on- learning experience. Take a box, fill it up… then let Digilent (us) know what you need and we’ll work to put a bundle together for you.


Other parts of the booth included the new LabVIEW Home Edition + Physical Computing Kit + LED Demo, Kaitlyn and Josh’s ZYBOt, and our Future Engineers category including the Box Monster and our Snake Game.


If you missed us or were unable to go and wanted to get more information on our demos, you can visit and find out more about the products we brought.


We very much enjoyed being able to show off our products at ASEE 2015, and a big thank you to all of you who came to visit!


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About Larissa Swanland

I'm a bit of an electronics-education evangelist. After all, Education is how we learn about the world. Electronics make the world better. Engineers change the world. So more engineers that know how to design and create electronics? That's the kind of world I want to help create.

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