In this blog post I will describe a IoT (Internet of Things) Vending Machine that I built quite some time ago with a friend of mine Sigurd Jervelund Hansen.
At Sigurd’s dorm room they got hold of an old vending machine free of charge, as it did not work. We quickly decided that we wanted to get it working and give it a overhaul as well. In the end we enabled it to take both RFID/NFC cards and coins and make funny twitter updates about it.
The video below gives a short overview on how it works.
As mentioned we reused some shift registers, relays and voltage regulators on the original mainboard. One Arduino Pro Mini is connected to the mainboard and takes care of reading and lighting up the buttons (lights up if the relevant slot is not empty), controls the 7-segment LED display, reading the output from the coin validator and returning money if the user requests it by pressing a dedicated button.
As some of you might know I have been studying in San Francisco the last semester at San Francisco State University. For that reason I have not done as much as development as I usually do, due to all my equipment being back in Denmark and also because I prioritised being social and not just sit behind my desk coding all night
Anyway I did not fully stop working. I actually started working on my own flight controller written from scratch in one of by courses. Below is the result so far:
To make our robots even more autonomous we would like to investigate the world of Laser range finding using LIDAR technology. Unfortunately for the users who want to try out LIDAR it’s a very expensive technology to get your hands on.
Throughout the years though Vacuum Clearner robots have evolved a lot, both in the algorithms gettings better but also in the use of more advanced sensors. Lately the Neato XV-11 All Floor Robotic Vacuum System included a small range (0.2m to 6m) LIDAR with 1 degree precision and a resolution of a couple of centimeters. As this vacuum cleaner only costs around $400 makes it a bargain to get hold of a LIDAR if just you could disassemble the robot and use just the LIDAR.
Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the big electronics subjects throughout the world this year.
To show the capabilities of custom IoT devices and to help a local LAN-event organisation, TheBlast, we offered the help to create an Internet enabled soccer table.
Thanks to generous donation by Tuborg Fonden we were able to buy a brand new soccer table for us to modify.
We modified the table by adding two touch displays for user interaction, a barcode scanner for user registration. Inside the table we installed two score detection IR sensors and a ball release system, made by using a motor/wheel from an old Roomba robot. Finally we installed 5 meter of RGB LED strip to light up the playfield.
When scores is detected they are immediately registered online, to be displayed on the LAN-event website, where score timetable and all previous matches can be found.
This post will describe the features of the final table and how it was developed.
It has been quite a while since my last blog post, but I am finally ready to reveal what I have been working on the last months. Ever since I made my first balancing robot: http://blog.tkjelectronics.dk/2012/03/the-balancing-robot/ and the Balanduino I wanted to build myself a full size version which I would be able to ride just like a regular Segway.
Finally I decided to make one together with a good friend of mine Mads Friis Bornebusch in a course at my university DTU (Danish Technical University/Technical University of Denmark).
The main frame is an aluminium checker plate that is 500x360x7mm which the motors are bolted onto. This width was chosen, so it would be able to go through a normal door opening. The motors used are two MY1020Z 500W, 24V, 12.6Nm brushed DC motors.
I ordered them from Germany, as I needed them right away, but you should be able to get them much cheaper by ordering them directly from China.
Below is an image of the aluminium checker plate after we have drilled the holes for the 8mm steel bolts. Note that these are countersunk, so they are flush with the surface. I would recommend using lock nuts to ensure that the bolts will stay in place – you can also use Loctite instead.
Aluminium checker plate – ready to mount the motors
After some great success with the USB Host shield development and the sales of the USB Host shield for Arduino thru our webshop, we are happy to announce that we have also started carrying the compact version of the shield, the USB Host Shield for Arduino Pro Mini.
USB Host Shield for Arduino Pro Mini
The shield is just a compact version of the well known USB Host shield for Arduino’s and it makes you able to add the USB Host functionality such as Bluetooth control with PS3, Wii or your Android phone, to any Arduino Pro Mini equipped projects. Please note that your Arduino Pro Mini must be running 3.3V though!
We will be selling the mini shield at an introductory price of $20.00 USD and it can be bought including pre-cut headers for stacking.
A lot of you probably both know the STM32 devices maybe even from our blog as we tend to use it a lot. You probably also know the mbed board that started as an NXP LPC1768 equipped microprocessor development DIP-like module.
Now ST Microelectronics has decided to join the adventure of the mbed world by making their own mbed development board series and adding support for 4 different STM32 devices in the mbed online compiler environment!
We are happy to announce a new contributor and hopefully soon consultant at TKJ Electronics, Diego Ayala.
I have been in touch with Diego for quite a while and we have been talking about his experience with the STM32 family and other ARM M0, M1 and M4 cores together with the Keil and CooCox IDE’s. So an experience like his is really usefull for ARM embedded projects.
To display some of his work we decided to go thru one of his recent projects, a color tracking device running on the STM32F103. A project that really displays what the ARM Cortex-M3 device is capable of doing, as long as you optimize well enough.
Abstract DEVELOPMENT OF AN EMBEDDED SYSTEM FOR TARGETING A COLOR OBJECT USING A VIDEO CAMERA INTEGRATED TO A MICROCONTROLLER
This project uses STM32F103 microcontroller to track an object, it gets the image from an OV7725 camera + FIFO, it is configured as rgb565 QVGA(320×240).
In the touchscreen the target object can be selected, its color defines the thereshold to binarize an image. After the segmentation is done an algorithm recognizes the contour of the image and its center, once located a PI controller moves 2 servos (pan, tilt) in order to target the objective.
A video of the system doing real-time tracking can be seen in the bottom of the post. The source code and Keil project for the STM32F103VCT device can be downloaded here: Image_Processing.zip
Designing an embedded system in a microprocessor for detection and targeting a colored object, without the need for externally processing system (PC) Read more…
It has been quite a while ago since my last post here at the Blog which is due to a lot of new things and changes that happened in the past year. So with the following post I would like to tell a bit about myself and why I haven’t been writing post so frequently.
“Who am I?”
Most of you probably don’t know a lot about either me or Kristian, but I thought it would be the right time now to give a better introduction about me and myself. I have mainly been keeping these details about myself private, due to my age and the difficulty in freelance work and consultancy when being a newly started company and now with an age of only 20 years.
“My name is Thomas Kølbæk Jespersen. I’m 20 years old and a keen electronics enthusiast, entrepreneur, R&D ‘engineer’ and now being a student at Aalborg University studying Electronics Engineering.”
A lot of things happened for me and my company TKJ Electronics in the past year, which are but not limited to: