My second milestone was to get the tank to move when certain inputs were given from the playstation controller. I had to do three major things to get this to work properly, coding the motor shield to move the motors, coding the Arduino to communicate with the PS2 controller’s wireless dongle and to wire everything together properly.
First, I hardcoded the motor shield to move the motors a set distance to make sure it would work with the controller. Here I had to learn how the code in Arduino and also to download the right libraries to make it a whole lot easier.
Then, I found a library on the internet which linked the wireless dongle to the Arduino. After days of coding, I finally achieved contact between the controller and the Arduino. I confirmed the right inputs were being detected by using the serial monitor Arduino to see that the inputs being read were the correct ones and not random buttons on the controller.
Finally, I coded both parts to work in unison so that when a button was pressed on the controller, the motor shield moved the motor accordingly. I also had to research on how to wire everything together properly as every port has a specific purpose. but once I got everything working, the work was all worth it!
My First Milestone is completing the chassis of the tank and getting my battery to power the motor shield thus directly powering the motors. I had to put together the chassis from many different parts and did not have reliable instructions as they were in a foreign language. The gearbox especially took a long time to setup correctly as it involved many small rotating parts and could be setup in 4 different ways with each one having a different torque to RPM ratio. I ended up calculating what the right amount of torque would yield the best results for my tank.
To get the battery to power the motors, I had to research a lot on the specific motor shield I had (L298N) and understand what each port did. I actually fried two motors in the process, but in the end the contraption worked as intended.
My Starter Project is the electronic die. This is a set of 7 LEDs soldered to a board that are turned off and on to model the different faces of a real die. The die is activated when you put pressure on the base by either tapping it or touching it to a solid surface. The pressure activates a piezo located on the base and will slightly compress it. The act of the piezo compressing is what turn the device on and off.