Laser Turret

My starter project was the Binary Blaster, which tests your abilities at binary by having you change numbers into binary using buttons at the bottom. My intensive project is a laser turret based on the ones from sci-fi movies. It sweeps an area for enemies, and when it finds some, it fires at them.

Engineer

AnnaNia P

Area of Interest

Aerospace Engineering

School

Brooklyn Technical High School

Grade

Incoming 9th grader

    Reflection

       In Bluestamp, I had a great time. I was surrounded by people with similar interests as me, and instructors that were helpful when they needed to be, but stepped back and had you do the work when you could. It got me more interested in turning my career in the more physical engineering side rather than the scientific side.

Final Milestone

Hi my name is Nia, I am a rising 9th grader and I am going to Brooklyn Tech in the fall. I just completed my final milestone in my laser turret. My final milestone was assembling my laser turret and uploading the code so it randomizes the number of shots, time between shots, and the position of the turret before and after the shots. My next step is modifying it, like adding potentiometers so you can control where the laser turret goes or adding a cardboard cover to make it look cooler. I assembled my turret using zip-ties, and I used the online Arduino IDE to create the code to control the turret. I also worked on organizing my wires, so the parts will not move a lot in the future. My biggest problem was that one of the wires on my laser emitting diode broke, and I had to solder it back into place. To do this, I took my laser emitting diode out of the zip-ties, but when I had fixed it, I could not get the zip-ties to hold it in place, and I was out of zip-ties. I got more zip-ties and they held it in place better, as they were thinner. I noticed that an end of a zip-tie was blocking the horizontal motor from moving past a point in both directions, so I clipped it even shorter. Another good thing that happened because of this was I was able to salvage 2 zip-ties to use to help organize my wires. I learned that not all setbacks have immediate bad outcomes, and you can notice and gain things from even something that seems like a waste of time. One of the great things about BlueStamp is they allow you to make mistakes and try to fix them yourself so that learning moments like this are possible. Thank you.

Second Milestone

Hi, my name is Nia, I am a rising 9th grader, and I am going to Brooklyn Tech in the fall. I have completed my second milestone while continuing to build my laser turret. This milestone I connected my laser diode and piezo buzzer to my Arduino. I have them fire once at the start of every sweep, but in my final milestone I will have them fire while it turning. When first testing the laser and buzzer, my code had the buzzer and laser running all the time, but I lowered it to once per cycle to keep my sanity. While testing my components, I found that it was hard to hear the buzzer if it was only on for 10 milliseconds, so I increased it to 100 milliseconds and it was a better length of time. This information will be helpful later, as I will have to select a time for a shot. I now know that 100 milliseconds is a good time for each shot. The difference between a piezo buzzer and a regular buzzer is that a piezo buzzer can work on an oscillating input. For this project I do not use a oscillating current, but it is an extra functionality. The laser diode produces a laser, but can only be powered one way. The greatest challenge I experienced was the computer I borrowed. The computer did not have Arduino on it, which I use to program my project, and the online version was not able to upload. I looked back through the pages, and found a pop-up I had ignored earlier was saying I needed to download a file so I could connect to my Arduino. After I downloaded it, I was able to to upload to my board. I learned that you should not ignore information because, at a glance, it looks like an ad. A topic I learned about was how to  interpret code when you do not know exactly what it does. I had been basing my code off of the code provided with the instructions. I had to interpret and understand the code to tell the laser to fire only once each cycle. Thank you.

First Milestone

My first milestone was to turn multiple servos at the same time from my Arduino Uno. I used the 5 volt pin, and connected both servos to it using a breadboard. I also connected both servos to the ground pin using the negative wire on the breadboard. A problem I encountered was that the Arduino only had one 5V pin, but I needed to plug two things in to it. I re-read the instructions, and it said to connect the wires to the 5V rail, which meant connect them to a breadboard, not directly to the servos. I connected everything to a breadboard, and now both servos can spin at once using 5Vs. One thing I learned is to read instructions carefully, and even if you think a confusing instruction is a typo, make sure it does not have a relevant meaning you didn’t know about. My next steps are to attach and program the laser and buzzer.

Binary Blaster

My Starter Project is the Binary Blaster, a game that helps you learn and practice binary up to 15. It displays a number on the two seven segment displays in the middle of the device, which then you need to translate and re-input using the four buttons on the bottom of face of the Binary Blaster.

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