Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Use educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners

Electrical Foundations with Arduino (Shield-Bot) Anytime Online Training

Enjoy the convenience of taking Robotics Academy courses from anywhere in the world and at your own pace, with support and guidance from our highly qualified instructors. Anytime Online classes feature a hybrid learning model where participants receive just-in-time instructional videos as they work through course content in our learning management system. 

In this training, you will learn how to teach the electrical competencies real-world robotics technicians use every day. Tuition includes online access to CS2N and Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Training Materials. To follow along with this course, you will need some tools and inexpensive classroom materials (not included with tuition). The 

Electrical Foundations focuses on the foundational concepts around basic electricity and how circuits work. In this course, students learn how to use multimeters to measure various parts of a circuit. Students learn how to control signals using a microcontroller, how to utilize binary sensors like Limit Switches, and analog sensors like an Ultrasonic Sensor. The culminating project is an e-panel consisting of all of the components found in a typical robotic system. It is one of five courses developed as part of the Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Robotics Training (SMART) Project, funded by the ARM Institute. Please see Robotics Technician Curricula for more information.


Unit 1: Wiring and Circuits

This unit dives into creating our very first circuit. We build their way toward adding components like a switch to begin controlling the power. We also get the chance to use a very important tool, called the Multimeter, which allows us to take measurements of Voltage. The unit project for this is to create a Lightbox that incorporates all of the wiring, battery, and switches used in the unit.
Unit 2: Parallel and Series Circuits

For the second unit, we start learning that circuits can be put together in different ways where if you cut off one circuit, the other(s) can still function. This is the idea of having series vs. parallel circuits. The unit project for this involves creating multiple parallel circuits that result in an LED sign.
Unit 3: Voltage and Current: Motors

For this unit, a new concept comes into play: Current. We try to power up a motor, but see that it needs more voltage and current. Using the Multimeter, we are able to get some Current readings from the circuit. The Unit project for this unit requires us to make a fan.

Unit 4: Controlling Signals

Unit 4 involves incorporating the Arduino into our circuits. The Arduino allows us to control signals from circuits using programs. We make a few modifications to some sample programs to get an idea of what it takes to manipulate some values to get some interesting results.

Unit 5: Sensors

For Unit 5, we start to find ways to gather data from the environment using sensors. In particular, we use a Limit Switch, and a Distance Sensor. Using these sensors allow us to determine when to react to detecting a bump, or if something is near. The unit project involves creating an autonomous kicker that detects an object, and then kicks it out.

Unit 6: E-Panel

 Lastly, Unit 6 involves doing the planning. In particular, we know which components we are going to use. This allows us to lay out where the components go, and then cut the wires to size. We also learn that labeling and using conduits are helpful to future proof the electronics panel.

The following is required to complete this course (not included):

Electrical Foundations Materials list


Computer System Requirements

  • Windows® 7, 8, 10 or later / Mac® OSX 10.8 or later
  • Modern Web Browser and PDF Viewer
  • At least one available USB port
  • Broadband Internet connection

Cost - $299

Use the links to the right to register or checkout instantly. 

Upon Completion

– ACT 48 credits / 36 hours per class (for Pennsylvania teachers only)
– Certificate of Completion of course ‘graduates’ – may be used to apply for Continuing Education hours


We will only use personal information (such as name, mailing address or e-mail address) contained in your registration or correspondence to respond to your questions or provide Robotics Academy updates. If you enter a chat area or post messages, remember that other users may have access to your email address and user name. The Robotics Academy will not share any personal information provided by you with any unauthorized person or company except where the disclosure is required by law or is necessary to comply with legal process.

Certificate of Completion Requirements

To earn the Certification, class attendees must complete all course assignments to the satisfaction of the instructor and pass the certification exam.

Class Eligibility

Classes at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy are available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and minors who have parental consent to enroll. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to restrict, suspend or terminate any student for violation of these policies. In consideration of your involvement with the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, you agree to provide true, accurate and current information about yourself when you register. If you provide any information that is inaccurate or if the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has reasonable grounds to suspect the information is inaccurate, the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has the right to terminate your account.


Purchasing a seat to online classes gives access to one participant only. Resources distributed as part of the class are for use of the participant only. Purchase Orders are also acceptable. Please contact the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy at for information about registering for the course, and payment for the course.  Please email if you have questions about the content of the course.

Internet Access / Bandwidth Fees

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is not responsible for any internet access or bandwidth fees you incur while taking this class.

International Export Controls

International enrollment is subject to applicable the United States export controls and laws.


Refunds are generally not available for Anytime Online Training. Please contact the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy at for more information. 

Copyrighted Class Material

All course documents are owned by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. These materials may not be reprinted in any form except those specified for instructional purposes. The course documents and presentations may be displayed and printed for personal, non-commercial use only. Only students registered for this course may access this material. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy makes every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date content. However, we have no liability for the accuracy, content, or accessibility of the hyperlinks included with class material.

Use of Student Material

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to use coursework done by students for the purpose of advancing the educational mission of the Academy. When this occurs, students will be given the option to have their name credited to the material. This includes, but is not limited to, text, graphics, multimedia and other material created as part of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy online course assignments.


You agree to indemnify and hold the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy harmless from any and all losses, actions, controversies, suits, demands, claims, liabilities or any causes of action whatsoever. You expressly agree that the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is not responsible or liable for any infringement of another’s rights, including intellectual property rights.

Note: Policies are subjected to occasional revisions.