Nathan A.

Hi, my name is Nathan and I go to The Birch Wathen Lenox School. For my year one main project I chose the NFC Computer Unlocker. I decided on doing this project because I constantly get tired of typing my computer password in. My year two intensive project is the Robotic Hand Controlled by a Glove with Arduino. I chose this because it is a much bigger challenge compared to what I did last year.

Engineer

Nathan A.

Area of Interest

Computer Science

School

The Birch Wathen Lenox School

Grade

Rising Junior

Final Milestone (2018)

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Reflection

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Third Milestone (2018)

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Second Milestone (2018)

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First Milestone (2018)

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My year two intensive project is the 3D printed robotic arm controlled by a glove. The original design is by Instructables user dschurman. A link can be found here. My first milestone was assembling the hand itself (figure 3). To do this, I had to separate all of the pieces. I then had to find which pieces went to each finger, and then screw them in. A problem I had was connecting the palm to the base, as the screws were not long enough to go all the way through. This problem was solved by the way the hand was printed. There was a little lip, holding the screws in place. Something I could have done better was the order I put the pieces in when assembling the hand. If I had switched two of the pieces, the fingers would be able to straighten out more. Specifically the piece open on two sides (figure 2) should be on the bottom, and the piece open on one side (figure 1) should be in the middle. 

During this milestone, I learned that even though the pieces are all used, the order they are used in makes a difference. My next milestone is controlling the servos with the flex sensors. To do this, I plan on testing them outside of the hand, then attempting while they are in the hand.

Figure 1: A piece open on one end

Figure 2: A piece open on both ends

Figure 3: The hand

Starter Project (2018)

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My year two starter project was the Binary Blaster by Sparkfun, a game that teaches Binary as numbers. It works by showing a number on the two displays, then a user has to press buttons to match the number. The components are the buttons, speaker, capacitors, microcontroller, and switches. The four buttons represent Bit 0, 1, 2, and 3. Bit 0 represents 1, when it is on. Bit 1 represents 2, when it is on. Bit 2 represents 4, when it is on. And bit 3 represents 8, when it is on. While any of them are on, then the system adds whatever number is represented, so having all of them off except for Bit 2 would result in 4. Normally, we organize our numbers in base 10 or decimal format, but this is just a different way of representing numbers. If you want to read more, click here. The speaker is the part that makes noise if the user gets a correct answer. The capacitors store electricity to stabilize the power output. The microcontroller holds the programming for the behavior of the system. The microcontrollers controls the numbers on the display, as well as lighting the buttons up at the correct times. One switch is the power switch, and the other switch is the sound switch, which lets users decide if they want to use sound. There are two AA batteries which power the device.

A problem I faced was the leads on the buttons were very flexible. Two of the leads did not go through the proper holes on the board, causing those two buttons to not work. I had to use tweezers to pull the leads into the correct holes. While doing this, I learned how to look for a new angle for some problems. I also learned how to count in binary.

Final Milestone (2017)

My final milestone was creating a case, adding a picture feature, and adding a joystick. To do the picture I learned how to use homebrew to install terminal addons. To do the joystick I had to learn how to wire the joystick, how to code it, how to use state machines, and how to read the readings on the joystick. I had the difficulty of not having the proper size on my case, so the case was too big.

Materials:

Code

Bill of Materials

Reflection

My favorite part was the actual coding of all of the parts. The fact that I have a working project will all of my modifications feels good, as does the fact that I did this work myself. In the future I would like to wire LEDs into the case. I learned how to solder, code in c++, and wire a circuit. I learned that I am able to focus on something I enjoy doing. The process started with soldering some header pins onto the shield. Then I actually had to code the Arduino to do my passwords, and then add more passwords. I then started the mods. My first mod was adding lights via a breadboard. I had to code the lights to turn on and off. My second mod was a log of when the card is used. For that I had to learn how to use terminal for date and time. My third mod was taking a picture whenever the card was used. For this I had to install homebrew to install another file for taking a picture. My fourth and final mod was adding a joystick which acts as a two step verification before accessing the computer. For this I had to wire the joystick and learn how to code it.

Third Milestone (2017)

For my third milestone I had created a log of whenever the scanner was used. This is important because I now can know when someone is logging into my computer. To do this I had to learn some bash and for loops to iterate arrays. I learned how to use the terminal program to actually make the log, and I had to use for loops because the codes I had to use for terminal were extremely long. For my next and final milestone I plan on taking a picture whenever the code is used.

Second Milestone (2017)

My second milestone was completing the lights. I had to use a breadboard for the lights. I soldered new header pins to the shield where I would attach the breadboard to and coded the lights to turn on for five seconds each. I then used that code for all of the bracelets and the card. I soldered and coded the lights to work how I wanted. I learned how to code LEDs to go on and off. My next milestone will be making a log of whenever a card is used.

First Milestone (2017)

My first milestone was completing the base project. To do that I had to solder the header pins into the RFID/NFC shield, cutting the connection between pin 2 and IRQ. I then had to solder a wire to connect pin 6 and IRQ. Then I had to program the Leonardo. The library required by the shield had been combined with a new library and the name was changed, so I had to change the name in the code. To do this I had to solder and do some basic debugging from the Arduino program. I learned how to install libraries and how to do some basic programming. Next I intend to set up lights to the shield to light up whenever a card is submitted.

Starter Project (2017)

For my starter project I did the TV-B-Gone. The button starts the device working. After the button is pressed and released, it starts the device running through the codes that turn the TVs off. Lithium 1.5V batteries are the best as they give the best range. LEDs on the front are IR LEDs. These are what emit the codes that turn the TVs off. The transistors behind the LEDs are controlled by two pins in the microcontroller and prevent too much power from going to the LEDs. The microcontroller has eight pins. Pin one controls the reset and the button. Pin two is the first ceramic resonator pin. Pin three is the other ceramic resonator pin. Pin four is ground. Pin five is IR emitters. Pin six is the region selector. Pin seven is for the visible LED. And finally, pin eight is for power input.

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