Wifi Strength Indicator Car
My project is a tool that indicates the strength of wifi around a building. The device is attached on top of a robot car that can be controlled from a mobile device.
Area of Interest
Computer Science, Gaming
Homestead High School
Demo Night / Reflection
Overall, I had lots of fun working on my Bluestamp project as it was very enjoyable to get each milestone done and see my project evolve over the last 3 weeks. A lesson I learned from working on my project is to be patient; when things don’t work out the way you expect them to don’t panic, just keep working with a cool head and things will be fine.
My third milestone consisted of attaching my wifi strength indicator to a small car that can be controlled from a mobile device. To do this I first assembled the car and then added a motor driver to my breadboard. This motor driver allows the photon to control the motors, which power the car. After attaching the motor pins to the photon analog pins, I was able to make the wheels on the car spin by turning the pins on or off. I then used an app called Blynk, which gave me an authentication token which I put in my code, connecting my photon to the app through wifi. I then added some buttons that corresponded to each analog pin, thus allowing me to control the wheels through the app.
My second milestone consisted of attaching NeoPixel RGB LEDs to my photon to give the user a better visual representation of the wifi strength. I also added a buzzer to make a sound whenever the wifi strength changes by a large amount. I used the LEDs to signal the wifi strength by converting the number returned by the Wifi.RSSI function into a red color value and a green color value on a scale of 0-255. A low wifi strength would yield a high red color value and a low green color value, and vice versa. The buzzer buzzes a lower frequency sound when the wifi strength decreases by a certain amount and buzzes a higher frequency sound when it increases by a certain amount.
My first milestone mostly consisted of learning simple concepts, such as using resistors and creating a small circuit using wires. In order to learn these concepts I created demos such as making an LED blink on an arduino after pressing a button and having a potentiometer measure voltage and using that value to determine how fast a light should blink on or off. After I learned these concepts I moved on to more project specific things. I swapped the arduino for the particle photon and hooked an OLED to the photon. I then coded the OLED to display the wifi strength using the Wifi.RSSI function included in the photon libraries. I enjoyed learning about hardware aspects of engineering as I had never built an engineering project using hardware.