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Arduino Interface Project: PC Controller

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Arduino Interface Project: PC Controller

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the use of an Arduino UNO and an MPU-6050 accelerometer as an input device in order to produce an output in the computer. It also uses skills and knowledge acquired from the previous project about ergonomics, so that the Arduino components can fit in a device that is user-friendly.

Thought Process

After several classes of the basics of Arduino UNO, I was demonstrated by the professor on how the accelerometer works together with the Arduino board. After that, prior to starting our first meeting, we were briefed by the professor about objectives and requirements for this project, which includes a wearable device. In other words, instead of using the device by hand, the goal of this project was to ensure that the device requires the user to move the whole body. Furthermore, my teammates and I were fond of driving/racing games, so we thought it would be a good idea to control a car.

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Design Process

Most of the time in working on this project was used for the initial design sketches. We came up with several components so that the pen could be used in two different ways: writing and standing mode. Firstly, we spent a good deal of time to figure out how the pen would stand up straight while the foam passes through the wire. Two options were considered for this particular part: retractable legs on the pen and a docking station. After some discussion, it was decided that the docking station would provide more stability for the pen when it comes to having the foam passing through the wire. Furthermore, the rotating part of the pen was designed in such a way that the power cord would be attached on the side of the pen rather than other conventional pens where the power cord is attached to the bottom side of the pen. With this design, it would be possible to keep the power cord on either side of the pen while it is rotated when used, therefore minimizing the need to adjust the cord position. It would also make it possible to place the pen on the docking station. Last but not least, the pen body, along with other components were created in an online CAD software using sweep. The top part of the pen was made diverging to provide a grip, thus minimizing the chance of the user’s finger to slip into the nichrome wire.

Discussion

After several classes of the basics of Arduino UNO, I was demonstrated by the professor on how the accelerometer works together with the Arduino board. After that, prior to starting our first meeting, we were briefed by the professor about objectives and requirements for this project, which includes a wearable device. In other words, instead of using the device by hand, the goal of this project was to ensure that the device requires the user to move the whole body. Furthermore, my teammates and I were fond of driving/racing games, so we thought it would be a good idea to control a car.

Conclusion

This project has further allowed me to experience a manufacturing process using a 3D printer, as well as some coding experience. I have also learned a lot more about the features of the Arduino UNO, which in this case was its ability to work with motion by using an accelerometer. I personally think this is the most fun project in this class, and I wish to pursue this project as my personal project in the future.

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