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College project ideas,stuck for ideas!

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monkeyhead

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college project ideas

Hi there,
Basically I'm 18 and I've just started my second year of a level 3(Uk) college course. The course is known as a diploma in Electronics and microcomputing, consisting of Software development in c++,the principles,microelectronics,programmamble controllers etc etc.

This year I need to create a project, but im stuck for ideas!
I have a budget of £25 so I'm not really sure what to do. We've been told to avoid things such as using radio waves as we only have a 20 week time period to complete this project and its suggested it would be above our level of understanding.

I would like to make some sort of robot that basically has sensoring on there so if it hits a wall it does a set taskor somthing, or follows a strip. I wouldnt mind incorpating some c++ in this project because i like the idea of being able to communicate through software and hardware,even if the program will be realitlvly basic.

I just need some direction really of where to begin

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreicated,
Matt
 

Lord Banshee

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college projects ideas

If you want to do a basic robot then i say you should look up the following:

control and programing: Use an Atmel ATMega128 like chip, it is fast has tons of features and the Atmel IDE for programming and debuging is really nice and free.

For movement: Servo motors are cheap but are not efficient in terms of control unless you use encoders, same with DC motors. But They are the cheapest solutions and do work. I suggest servo if going simple and DC if going more advance movements. For encoders basic optical rotary encoders work good.

For Sensors for wall collision: simple IR transceivers work good in normal room lighting, but suck outside. a couple IR transceivers around the robot and you can make sure it never hits anything. if you use analog ones you can even determine how far an object is from it. A also you can use ultrasonic transceivers, but they are more expensive. One last and even more expensive the IR sensors would be to use something like a CCD camera and then you can do some color following and line following.

I would say if given 5 hours a week you can complete a nice robot that doesn't hit walls in one semster if you know how to program and get an already made Dev Board. Don't forget you will need to get a programmer for your MCU if it isn't on circuit of the Dev board must likely not.
 

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Thanks for that advice :D
I was wondering whether they're are microcontrollers our there, that use the BASIC language?
I've also got access to a Digiac 2000 or 3000 not quite sure on the model but that could be used to program a chip right?
Many thanks
Matt
 

jamshid.dastur

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Well you can work around for something like a line follower small robot...the things which i'll recommend you to use will be PIC Family of Microcontroller as you would be able to get the samples of PIC Microcontroller saving you a huge amount, it's also easy to understand, learn and use...so you can easily embed your logic to do what when it senses a wall...as the sensor is concerned you'll have to use photoelectric switches, also known as proximity switchs, the output of this switch is high when it senses and obstacly so you can send its output to the microcontroller for processing...rest you can use dc motors for movement which will be controlled by the microcontroller also, as the line following is concerned you'll again have to use the photo sensors in an upside down position to check for line and over the lines it will produce a high signal, hence the logic of wall detection will be to stop the robot, which the logic for line dection will be to move the robot.
Best Regards
 

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