The Micro-Controller Interface Board (MCIB)

The MCIB is an electronic interface board for mobile robots. It comprises of three 68HC11 programmable micro-controllers and support electronics.   The foremost function of the MCIB is the control of 8-16 Polaroid ultrasonic sensors using a University of Michigan-developed method called Error Eliminating Rapid Ultrasonic Firing (EERUF). With the EERUF firing method sonars can detect and reject false readings due to crosstalk or ultrasonic noise, allowing for substantially faster and safer travel. The MCIB connects to a PC-type computer via the parallel printer port and it  provides other functions listed below.

MCIB_Vers31.jpg (57864 bytes)

MCIB_Floppy.jpg (45326 bytes)

The 3.75" x 3.5" MCIB vers. 3.1

For size-comparison: A floppy disk

Here is a summary of the main features of the MCIB:

  • The MCIB has built-in control of up to 16 Polaroid ultrasonic sensors, and it implements the EERUF sonar noise rejection method. Note that the MCIB does not replace the small TI controller board that comes with each Polaroid ultrasonic sensor (see photo at right).
  • The MCIB is designed to communicate with the onboard high-level PC through the standard PC parallel port. This is much faster than the serial communication customarily build into off-the-shelf mobile robots.
  • The MCIB is designed to perform low-level motor control of up to four PWM amplifiers and motors.
  • The MCIB is designed to read up to four incremental wheel encoders.
  • Eight 8-bit A/D inputs are available on the MCIB for additional sensors.

Polaroid.jpg (8403 bytes)

The Polaroid ultrasonic sensor and the TI controller board.

Click here for the MCIB User Guide, a detailed technical document with schematics and a more detailed description of the MCIB.

Sonar Cable Assembly

The University of Michigan also offers a cable assembly for connecting 8 or 16 Polaroid ultrasonic sensors to the MCIB. The reason for offering this cable assembly is that in order to make them an extraordinarily expensive crimping tool is needed. From our own experience we know that it is a very tedious task to make these cables without the crimping tool.

MCIB v31connector.jpg (25738 bytes)
This photo shows from right to left: female sonar connector as used on the MCIB. Matching male connector. Pins that are crimped onto the cable and pushed into the male connector. Assembled cable. Below the connector parts a regular sewing needle and a match are shown, for size-comparison.

Price List


MCIB with electronic documentation and source code, 30 day warranty.
Includes license for using UM-patented EERUF method on one mobile robot
Packaging, handling and shipping (within the U.S.) $25
Printed documentation (in 3-ring binder) $25
Sonar cable assembly for 8 ultrasonic sensors $125
Prices subject to change without notice
Delivery time: 6 - 8 weeks within the U.S.


To order or inquire about the MCIB, please contact

Johann Borenstein
University of Michigan
Ph.: 734-763-1560

This file last updated on 11/26/99 by Johann Borenstein

Return to Johann Borenstein's home page.