Week of 02/01 - 02/07
Alexa, Anais, Manohar: We are continuing to develop our project idea and proposal. One significant challenge is figuring out what our tasks will be, because we have to learn more about Arduino before we know what tasks it will involve and how to assign each task accordingly. Another significant challenge is determining what materials we will need to purchase, because we are still in the process of learning/figuring out how to create out project. This week we also struggled to figure out how to make our wiki pages, but we were eventually able to figure it out together during class.
Week of 02/05 - 02/08
Alexa, Anais, Manohar: This week we are still working on our project proposal. A major challenge has been trying to foresee what tasks and materials out project will entail, because we do not yet know how to build our project in the first place. We are starting to research the capabilities of Arduinos and of different kinds of sensors to try get a better idea of what we will be working with. With some research and brainstorming, we came up with our budget list with our initial ideas of some materials we might want to use to build our project. We have spent a considerable amount of time developing a list of tasks we will need to complete and a list of items we will need to purchase. We have also worked on developing our project's main objectives and goals, which can be found on our main project page.
Week of 02/09 - 02/15
Alexa and Anais: In this video, we demonstrated our Arduino skills by connecting an input to an output, allowing a light to flash at one-second intervals when we disconnect the jumper from ground and reconnect it to Pin 9. The light at "L" flashes for one second when the input and output are connected.
Week of 02/16 - 02/22
Alexa, Anais, Manohar: This week, we spent a lot of time putting together our project presentation for class. We also did more in-depth research on what kinds of sensors we can use. Originally, we had thought about using ultrasonic sensors, but this posed multiple issues/limitations. Ultrasonic sensors would not be effective for communication between two devices in busy environments that are not in direct line of sight, because objects between the sensors would interrupt the ultrasonic waves. Instead, we decided to use bluetooth instead. We spent a lot of time looking at different sensors, and we came across the HC-06 Bluetooth Module, which we think will suit the needs of our project.
One downside of this bluetooth module is that the range is limited to about 30 feet. However, an upside is that the bluetooth module will be better suited for busy environments, and it will be able to transmit information despite physical interference between the devices. Now that we have chosen what kind of sensor we want to use, we need to order it as soon as possible so we can get some hands-on practice with it and figure out how to use it for our specific project. One upcoming challenge will be figuring out the phone side of the system of devices. The bluetooth module product description is not exactly clear, but it seems that there are already pre-existing apps in place that we can use for the user interface on the phone side of the system.
We also spent multiple hours developing our project presentation: Link to Project Presentation
Week of 02/23 - 03/01
Alexa, Anais, Manohar: Last week Manohar ordered the HC-06 Bluetooth Module and the alarm buzzer. The buzzer still has not arrived in the mail, but we have received the Bluetooth Module. We used a breadboard to connect the bluetooth module and the Arduino, and then adjusted accordingly using resistors. Our weekly goal is to establish a connection between the bluetooth module and a cell phone. We are using the Blueterm app on an Android to verify that a connection was made between the bluetooth module and the cell phone. We also updated the code to account for misreads. For instance, if the bluetooth device were to lose connection from a faulty signal while it was still at close range, the buzzer would ring, and it would be a false alarm. We are adjusting our code, so that when there is a series of decreasingly weak signals detected, that is when the buzzer will ring.
Manohar: The first goal was to make the LED pin(pin 13) on the arduino uno light on and off using the Blueterm app on the android device. To accomplish this, we made a sketch on the arduino IDE through which we could control the arduino through the app once the bluetooth connection was established. The sketch also contained a chunk of code that would enable me to receive output messages on my phone along with the activation and deactivation of the LED pin 13. This scheme can be adjusted in our project where we can use the alarm buzzer instead of the LED pin in order to know if the bluetooth connection is still established or that data can still be read from the arduino by the phone. We also want the output message on the phone to show if the signal strength is continuously decreasing or increasing so that we can be absolutely sure that the kid is going away from the mother's phone. By creating a sketch with bunch of conditions and a loop to compare signal strength values, this can be achievable and is our next goal.
We also started to work with AutoDesk Inventor this week.
Alexa: This week I spent a few hours familiarizing myself with the 3D modeling software Autodesk Inventor. I practiced making pretty basic objects, and then I practiced making hollow objects. We are planning on using the 3D printer to create a box/case for the device that the child would presumably be holding. This case would have to hold the Arduino with the bluetooth module, wires, and speaker (which has not arrived yet). Additionally, we are most likely going to switch from using the Arduino to using the mini Arduino. Because we don't yet have the exact measurements, I did not attempt to begin drafting the final version of the case, but rather just began learning how to use the software. A tentative idea is to print a case shaped like a treasure chest, so that it can be opened and it is appealing to a child. I also realized that we will have to make small "speaker" holes in the box so that the device inside can project the noise outside the box more efficiently. I also plan on printing a loop at the top of the box so that it can be attached to a key chain.
Week of 03/02 - 03/08
Week of 03/09 - 03/15