quarta-feira, 30 de abril de 2014

April 28th

On the past weeks I've been working on the Android App. I wanted to make an App that could communicate via Bluetooth with my setup. To create this application I've been using the Eclipse IDE with built-in Android Developer Tools (ADT). So far I've an application that have the calibration interface and the settings menu to setup the bluetooth. I've never had programmed in Java therefore is being a rather interesting learning process!

Last week, on Friday, my sensors have finally arrived! I got 4 Force Load Cells, 6 Force sensitive Resistors and 4 IR sensors, and their signal conditioning and acquisition board. 

Figure 1 - Phidgets InterfaceKit with 3 connected sensors and a LED for testing.

Figure 2 - Force Load Cell mounted in the pedal case.

Figure 3 - FSR with the signal conditioning board.

Figure 4 - IR Sharp sensor with the conditioning board.

The acquisition board is the InterfaceKit 8/8/8 from Phidgets, and to be able to collect all the data, it's required to create a program using the Phidget library. On this week, I've been making some changes on my ROS Package so it can read the data not only from Arduino but also from the Phidget InterfaceKit. At the moment the program get the data from the hardware asynchronously (IR sensor at 40Hz and the other sensors at 1000Hz) and publishes it on ROS. 
Next, it's required to add the GTK interface to calibrate the data, this should be capable of making the pedal calibration and save it into a file. After this the interface would be able to monitor the action on the pedals using the calibration file or not - Figure 5.

Figure 5 - Program scheme.


quinta-feira, 10 de abril de 2014

April 7th

Hello everyone!

On the meeting of the last week I've been challenged to make my project more flexible in terms of communication via Wireless. So this week I've been searching for bluetooth shields for Arduino. I've found some interesting devices like the Bluetooth Bee, that is a module with the XBEE design and size - Figure 1.
Also I've found a device that is a BLE 4.0 Module HM-10, that is smaller than the Bluetooth Bee and supports the bluetooth low energy 4.0 (BLE) - Figure 2.

Figure 1 - Bluetooth Bee.
Figure 2 - HM-10 BLE 4.0.

At last I've found the device that I think that would be the perfect one that is the BLEduino, that is a Arduino with a  built-in bluetooth module, however it's not available for sales yet!

Figure 3 - BLEduino.

To be even more easy-to-use I've started to learn and develop an android application that communicate via bluetooth with the system. At the moment the application is very simple but soon I hope that I'll be able to show you something good!


quinta-feira, 3 de abril de 2014

March 31th

On this week I've made some changes to my hardware.

As I said on my last post, I modified my acquisition board to a much more complete one. On this board I added the tension to current converter that will convert the sensor signal into current and send it to the receiving board that will have a resistor to convert this current to tension so the Arduino can process it. Also, because It's required to have the sensors isolated from the Arduino I added a DC/DC converter with isolation so I could have two different grounds.

Figure 1 - Complete acquisition board for 6 sensors (2 FSR, 2 IR, 2 Load cell) with V/I conversion.

The other changes are the JST-PH connectors that I added so that the board is prepared to install six sensors: two FSR, two load cells and two IR sensors. Also I added two RJ-45 connectors that will be responsible for supply and for sending data to the Arduino.

Also on this week I finally got my last prototype case of the sensors, with a few changes from the other drawing, and I found a pedal controller (used to play video-games) that is great to do some testing before I make it to the ATLASCAR.

That's all for now, I'll keep in touch!