Completed Projects and Videos
I had a very unique experience at BlueStamp this summer as I was fortunate enough to have the time to create two main projects (as well as a laser target). Both provided interesting challenges, opportunities, and furnished me with valuable experience and lessons. While my second project, the GPS Guided Rover (http://bobulisk.github.com/GPS-Guided-Rover/) was more challenging and intricate, both in terms of constructing a car from scratch and the math involved, I learned valuable lessons about wireless telemetry and graphing from my Bike Cyclocomputer (http://bobulisk.github.com/Bike-Cyclocomputer/).
I truly enjoyed the valuable and inspiring time with the instructors and the seemingly limitless knowledge they possessed in response to every question. I received invaluable training not only on programming and in response to my project, but also on how to use a multitude of powerful and important tools, ranging from a metal file to an extremely powerful drill. It is a powerful and meaningful experience to have completed a project and broadcasted it to the world. At first a chore, the diligent notes I kept in an engineering notebook now comprise the wikis on both of my project webpages.
Throughout the year, I plan to continue to expand my knowledge of engineering and will keep in touch with my BlueStamp mentors with questions ranging from electronics experiments to questions on the gradually approaching reality of college. Enjoy my final videos, and I would like to thank Jeremy for both his immense knowledge and help as well as his expert filming skills, blatantly visible in the videos.
GPS Rover Completed
I just completed my GPS rover and successfully tested it in the street. It drove swiftly and accurately. The GitHub page explains how the project works and includes both the arduino and processing programs (http://bobulisk.github.com/GPS-Guided-Rover/). Pictures and the schematic are also available there.
The compass module adds precision to the rover. Before every movement, the rover checks its current heading and will only drive if on course. I added a ring of LEDs to display the target heading; upon startup, they play a short animation.
A final video of my project will soon be available on BlueStampEngineering’s Youtube channel.
I thoroughly enjoyed my summer at Blue Stamp and am grateful for the incredible help I received.
My GPS Rover
After completing my Bike Cyclocomputer, I moved on to creating an arduino guided rover that will drive to a GPS location. It works by finding the distance between the car’s current GPS location and a target location, sent from the computer, with the Haversine formula. Coordinates are written to the arduino’s EEPROM. To complete the path calculation, the arduino finds the heading between the current location and the target by performing some trigonometry. The GPS requires movement to calculate a heading, and, as you can see in the video below, the car must drive forward and calibrate to drive correctly. The rover itself requires some repairs, and I think a compass module would greatly increase both the accuracy of the car and its consistency in driving. I’m really enjoying this project.
Here is the first video of the project.
Completed Bike Cyclocomputer
My Bike Cyclocomputer project is completed and works properly. It acts as a pedometer and speedometer for a bike, and remotely transmits the data back to a computer from up to six miles away! A magnetic reed switch is triggered on the bike as a magnet passes by; an arduino measures the time in between magnet passes and converts it into miles per hour. As bike wheel sizes differ, one can set the radius of their bike wheel with a potentiometer for the first fifteen seconds of the program. A processing sketch I wrote graphs and writes the data to a file, including the top speed and the time it was attained.
I also completed a GitHub page for the project here: http://bobulisk.github.com/Bike-Cyclocomputer/
You can see the two videos of the project here:
I reached a significant milestone in completing my bike cyclocomputer. As demonstrated in the video, the magnetic reed switch collects data and is triggered when a magnet passes by; a bike wheel is simulated by a wheel of transistors spinning around a drill. That data is transmitted to the computer and graphed in a processing program I wrote.
A Productive First Week
After my first five days at Blue Stamp, I had completed a first iteration of my final project, a bike cycling computer. Before I had begun work on my principal project, however, I completed my starter project, a laser target and light sensor. The sensor, using power from a nine volt battery, powers an array of LEDs that become bright when a laser or bright light is shined upon a small photocell, or photoresistor. A three way switch allows an off position as well as two on forms, called “On 1″ and “On 2″. In the first, LEDs are lit when light is shown; when the switch is set to “On 2″, another indicator light is set on to indicate that the sensor is properly functioning. As this LED functions on a separate circuit, it must be differently wired than the others. Current, flowing from the LED, must be directed through a diode to ensure that it does not upset the functioning of the other circuits. Upon passing through transistors and various resistors (including a single sensitivity potentiometer), power illuminates the LEDs. Here’s a video!
To begin my cycling computer, I encountered challenges far more frustrating and seemingly insurmountable than had been anticipated. The xbee Pro modules proved exceedingly difficult to connect, but, once this milestone had been accomplished, the rest of the project was accomplished fairly easily. I look forward to testing the device further. To do so, it requires a bike wheel (upon which a magnet is mounted) to measure speed with a magnetic reed switch.