This  Notice Board is quite smart. It is a re-purposed  unused old LCD monitor. The messages to be displayed on the notice board ( an old LCD monitor) can be sent from any mobile phone. The user should also provide an authentication code for the message to be displayed. The video below shows it.

Automatic Curtain Controller

This curtain controller uses a microcontroller to control the opening of  curtain veils, thus enabling the control of light intensity in the room. It features both automatic mode and manual override mode. In the automatic mode, we can set the preferred intensity level in the room using a pot and the control system will adjust the veils suitably to maintain the user set intensity level always. As the name indicates, in the manual override mode the user is free to choose any opening of the veils.
Circuit Diagram

Chippu gets new Hardware

Chippu has now upgraded its hardware, and is now much smarter. The Atmega32 is replaced by a more powerful and feature rich Atmega128 based Wiring Board. It has  53 I/O pins, 8 analog inputs, 2 hardware serial ports, 6 PWM (analog outputs), SPI, TWI, 8 external interrupts pins. Also it can drive a maximum of 24 servo motors. Quite impressive. A motor control board based on L293D was also added. Here are a few shots.

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WIRING: a low cost alternative to Arduino

I was using an Atmega32 based Arduino  clone for the low level hardware control of  my personal robot Chippu. But soon ran  into problems  as the code size increased and  the inbuilt RAM of 2kb overflowed often, and it caused the ROS node running on Arduino to go out of sync. Also I needed to drive about 16 servo motors , and my Arduino permitted only a maximum of 12.  So the only alternative was to go for a powerful Arduino Mega 2560.

Wiring Board V1.0

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Arduino IDE for programming Atmega Microcontrollers

Arduino IDE is designed to program Arduino boards featuring an AVR microcontroller with an Arduino bootloader. But Do you know that the same Arduino IDE can be used to program other Atmega microcontrollers, even without a bootloader?.

Arduino Mega
Arduino Mega

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USBASP – A USB programmer for AVR Microcontrollers

One of the most important things you must have to get into microcontroller programming is a good programmer. AVR microcontrollers are programmed using its SPI port. So the simplest AVR programmers are the direct parallel port or serial port programmers, in which SPI protocol is bitbanged using the serial port or parallel port. But modern PCs and laptops does not have parallel ports and serial ports. They only have USB ports. So here comes the role of USB based programmers. One of the simplest USB based programmer is USBASP. It uses an Atmega 8 and a few passive components, and is well supported in Linux, Windows ans Mac. More details of the USBASP can be found here.


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Self Parking Robot Car

Self Parking is a automatic parking system found in modern cars. It makes use of various sensors like cameras, sonars, infrared rangefinders etc. to gather information about the surroundings of a car and then use complex processing algorithms to park the car without the help of the driver. It is different from parking assistant systems which helps  the actual human driver by providing information about the surroundings. Automatic parking is thus a marvel which we are going to see in almost all the cars of tomorrow. Automatic parking is less error prone than human and can make better utilization of scarce and tight parking spaces.

The self parking car
The self parking car
Rear view
Rear view

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DIY Open Source IVRS System

This project is an Interactive Voice Response System based on a personal computer. The data of an institution or firm is stored in a computer as a MySQL database, the world’s most popular open source database.Parents or students can then access and retrieve data from this database just by making a call to a predetermined mobile number. The user should provide the student details like admission number, semester number, exam code etc. when requested by the computer. The computer will then speak back the data requested, using a speech synthesizer. The Block diagram is given below:


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