Project ideas

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by dougp01, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
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    Looking to exchange ideas for arduino. Not looking to repeat those ideas from a thousand times before. You know the ones: light dimmers, robots that go in circles around the living room, LED light show, indoor/outdoor thermometer that opens and closes curtains, automatic turn off of your multimedia center when the music stops, etc.

    This is meant to be a brainstorming session where no idea is considered too ridiculous. Not allowed to say "you can't do that because..."

    Here's a few to prime the pump:

    1) How about a seriously great power line monitor that reports voltage, current, harmonics, source impedance and notifies you by SMS text when something goes out of tolerance.

    2) Seismic disturbance monitor that uses a very sensitive transducer fastened to your house concrete foundation.

    3) Non-contact lie detector that senses stress levels in a speaker's voice. Must be able to distinguish between stress and distress.
     
  2. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    If you would have maybe started the project with a "real" uC, then I could throw some ideas around, but starting out with a uC that has code written by other people, would not be my idea of "inventing" or "creating" something.... since someone else has already written the bootloader code and such.....:rolleyes:
     
  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    :rolleyes:
    Really? Come on.. Someone a little jealous that we don't have to buy a separate programmer. :p
     
  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    That's great, but you haven't stated any particular goal. Having a technology in search of an application is usually disappointing compared to having a problem to solve using whatever technology is appropriate. Why limit yourself to an Arduino, unless your job is to market them?

    Just trying to clarify what you're hoping to accomplish.
     
  5. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    I don't have to buy any programmers, I have quite a few that Microchip GAVE to me for free!:D

    Plus, I am more than capable of designing my own uC based projects without relying on other peoples work:cool:

    Everyone has their own preference, thats just how I roll :)
     
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    But you use microchips programmers still.. <snip>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2012
  7. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Hey now, they were free, plus if you have them, might aswell use them :)
    and i started out programming with a home built clone of athe pic16 pro programmer :)

    And "I am what I eat", :)-
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2012
  8. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Why do people like those silly arduinos? Everytime you build something it costs like $30 or $40.

    Why not just buy a $1 or $2 PIC and write code which is pretty much the same?
     
    KJ6EAD and BMorse like this.
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Referring to post #1 and ignoring all that went before me, how about a seriously great power line monitor that detects the voltage spikes cause by an approching storm and turns off the main circuit breaker to protect a building (and its electonics) from nearby lightning strikes?

    The difficulty lies in determining how many strikes per minute is dangerous, how fast that number is increasing, and how high the voltage can be allowed to get before the device hits the panic button.
     
  10. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    27
    1
    You could look at it that way, but arduino is not my goal. I only mention it as a way of getting quickly started on development. It provides a level of programmability and interface to the outside world that you would otherwise have to develop from scratch or pay a lot. The purpose is not just the programming or even the technology. I am looking for great ideas; ideas that utilize the tools we currently have at hand. As I indicated, Arduino is an economical way to get something together quickly without the high overhead cost of the professional systems similar to something like Moxa, where an 8 channel I/O board can cost several hundred dollars. So I mentioned Arduino... it's just another tool.

    I am basically an analog guy who has learned digital over the years. I've worked with small scale logic, programmable arrays, all the way to distributed processing over ethernet and internet. And these were to control systems that dealt with either high voltage or high power. How about 200 kV at 5kW for high energy ion implant systems, or grid tied 2 megawatt photovoltaic systems? No, I'm not limiting myself.

    I am a person who likes to see entirely new ideas. For example, have you seen the SixthSense gestural interface Pranav Mistry has designed? Google Glasses were not the first.

    What are your ideas? I presented a few just to get the ball rolling and maybe get some creative juices going in the forum. Have you had any great ideas that flopped on the workbench? What were they? What potential do they have?

    <SNIP>

    It's all about the ideas.

    -doug
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2012
  11. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    27
    1
    This seems like a good one. I have had the opportunity to study power quality in the past and some events are difficult to predict, like lightning and voltage dips. Do you feel lightning will always be a series of strikes of increasing intensity? How about a cheap AM radio that looks for the specific electromagnetic profile of lighting? As you mentioned, you would have to study this to learn when to shut down, or nuisance trips could be an issue.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  12. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    27
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    My guess is the PIC codespace is much smaller than arduino. Also you get get arduino up and running with only a USB port on your computer and a free software install. Also, a few people I know who do this like ot do their projects on protoboards which can be built in.
     
  13. Danielsix-five

    Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    20
    0
    For your power monitor: ' http://www.ladyada.net/make/tweetawatt/ '. I'm sure it can be expanded upon for the more complicated math and stuff...

    I had a few ideas, the best one being...well, a controller for detecting pressure in a pressure chamber and turning on a vacuum pump to keep it at that level. Sort of a PID control for a vacuum chamber.

    That and I want to duplicate a water feature on Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem, though I would need a bunch of high-speed water valves to do it, and I haven't found a good resource for them yet. Besides, THIS idea would probably have to be preceded with the basic POV project that involves the waving wand and the high-speed flashing LEDs to make an in-air clock or message or something.

    Edit: In all, everything I can think of is based primarily off of the concept of I/O control, which is what most of the popular projects are also based off of, since they're easy to understand and design.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  14. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Shutting down a whole building is too much of a response, now that I think of it. What I was considering is that fast moving summer thunderstorms happen very often in tropical paradise land and they do seem to be predictable in that "steadily increasing intensity" way. I have connected a 'scope and a high pass filter and watched the spikes on the power line. That's the easy part. Making a decision about when it is getting dangerous is the more difficult part. That is the project. When to hit the panic button and shut off the delicates until the storm passes.
     
  15. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,447
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    How about a solar powered silent autonomous self guided robot that will mow my lawn?
     
  16. piracyer

    Member

    Jun 9, 2012
    32
    1
    I think this is a great idea. It need a nest though, so the robot can run into it when a thunderstorm is coming :D
     
  17. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    27
    1
    I once thought about this. A robot that either follows a buried wire or "learns" its way around. Alternatively it could be like the zoomba and randomly cover the entire lawn, pricey on gas.

    A mower with enough power could be a small problem if you happened to leave objects or even pets out. Ground up puppy is not too appealing.

    Come to think of it, if you lined your lawn perimeter with high quality reflective mirrors about 4" tall and made it perfectly level, you could simply sweep a high powered laser and cut everything in a couple of seconds.
    -doug
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  18. dougp01

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    27
    1
    Right now. I'm wondering if it is possible to build a low-cost audio spectrum analyzer. I can think of a few uses...
     
  19. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    If you're typing your posts here on a computer, you already have a FREE audio analyzer sitting right in front of you.
     
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