In January 2020, I had the opportunity to do a road trip of both the South and North Island of New Zealand in just a week. It was one of the most beautiful country that I have ever visited. There is so much to see and the diversity of landscapes is astonishing. The itinerary that I am about to present you is quite intense, you get to see a lot but in a short time. In this post, I will show you a route that can be done in seven days along with key places and activities on the way. …

In this third article of the Getting started with Embedded Systems series we cover the prototyping of an Embedded System from an electrical point of view. Once you have been able to prototype an idea using a development kit the next step is to design a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) for your specific application. It is a three steps process:

  1. Schematic
Example of a schematic

2. Layout

Example of a layout

3. Manufacturing

Example of PCBs

1. CAD Tool (KiCad) for schematic and layout

In order to design a PCB, a CAD tool is required. I would suggest starting with KiCad as it is open source, support many different operating systems and is free. …

In this second article of the getting started with Embedded Systems, we go over one of the main component of the system, the brain, the microcontroller.

1. What is a Microcontroller?

A microcontroller is a compact integrated circuit designed to govern a specific operation in an embedded system. A typical microcontroller includes a processor, memory and input/output (I/O) peripherals on a single chip. (

The following block diagram shows what a typical microcontroller is made of.

Block diagram of Silicon Labs EFM32™ GG11 32-bit microcontroller

I will go over few of the most important components of a typical microcontroller.

CPU and Memory

The most important component of a microcontroller is without a doubt the CPU (Central Processing Unit) that is essentially the brain. All the operations go through it. ARM is nowadays the dominant architecture for CPUs. ARM has three different categories of microcontroller: A for Application processors, R for Real-Time Processors and M for Microcontrollers. In the block diagram of the Silicon Labs EFM32™ GG11 32-bit microcontroller, it shows an ARM Cortex-M4 a typical processor for simple embedded systems. …

Autonomous driving vehicles, sensor hub, smart locks, … The endless possibilities of embedded systems are truly incredible but can also make them surprisingly complex. It is a difficult subject to get started with as it encompasses a wide range of domains and therefore requires a strong set of skills. In this series of articles, I intend to go through the different components required to build an Embedded System.

The overall plan for this series will be as follow:

  1. Introduction to Embedded Systems
  2. Hardware: Microcontrollers
  3. Hardware: Schematic, PCB design, Manufacturing
  4. Networking: Bluetooth, Wifi, Zigbee
  5. Mechanical engineering: 3d printing, enclosure, thermal testing
  6. Software: Embedded specific software, RTOS…

In this article, we will show our approach to predict the number of likes of an Instagram post. We fill first go over how we collected a dataset and analyze the data. Then, we will provide a base model without looking at the image using XGBoost. The next step, will be to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract some features. Finally, a Convolutional Neural Net (CNN) is developed to extract features from the image.

Github link:

I. Motivation

  • Goal: Predict the number of likes of a given Instagram post.
  • Context: Social media influencers get paid by digital marketers to make the promotion of a product or service. …


Corentin Dugué

Software/Hardware Engineer and alum CMU, UT Austin & University of Edinburgh passionate about Embedded Systems.

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