Tag Archives: Arduino

Arduino Tutorial 32: Understanding and Using Joysticks in a Project

In this lesson we will explain how to hook up a Joystick. The easiest way to think of a joystick is to think of it as two independent potentiometer. Moving the joystick left and right changes one potentiometer, and moving the joystick up and down changes the other potentiometer. Also, pressing the knob on the joystick will activate a simple on/off switch. In this video we show you how to hook the joystick up, and then show you code that will allow you to read from the potentiometers and the switch.

If you want to follow along at home, you can order the Arduino Kit we are using HERE.

Typically, the servos in electronics kits are not the best ones, but are suitable to learn with. Heads up that in Lesson 33 we will be using a joystick to control two servos.  If you want to get ready for that lesson, go ahead and order your  HiTEC Servos.

This is the code that we developed in the video above.

 

9-Axis IMU LESSON 8: Using Gyros for Measuring Rotational Velocity and Angle

In this lesson we explore approximating the roll and pitch of our sensor using only the gyros. The advantage of gyros is that they are not susceptible to vibration as much as the acceleromters. In the video we show you how you can simply approximate roll and pitch from the data coming from the gyroscopes. Note that while the gyros do not have the noise problem seen in the accelerometers, we now have a new problem that the gyros are susceptible to long term drift. As you play with these devices what you end up seeing is you will need to combine the data from the accelerometers and the gyros in a clever way to take advantage of the long term stability of the accelerometers and the noise immunity of they gyros. In effect, you will want to apply a high pass filter to the gyro data, and a low pass filter to the acceleromters.

To follow along at home, you will need an Arduino Nano, and an Adafruit BNO055 Inertial Measurement Sensor. We suggest using identical hardware if you want to follow along as different sensors have very different characteristics, and things will work much better for you if we are using the same sensor

This is the code which we developed in the video to demonstrate these concepts.

The code below is for demo purposes only, and should not be used in any real applications. It just demonstrates how to work with this sensor in benchtop presentations.

 

9-Axis IMU LESSON 7: Understanding Low Pass Filters


In this project, we have shown how accelerometers can be used to approximate tilt. We showed in Lesson 6 how vibration can cause a problem with such a strategy, as the system will interpret vibration to be changes in tilt. A partial solution to this problem can be to program a low pass filter into the project. The video above introduces you to the concept of a low pass filter, and shows some simple examples of programming and using a low pass filter to reduce noise.

The code below is for demo purposes only, and should not be used in any real applications. It just demonstrates how to work with this sensor in benchtop presentations.

 

Arduino Tutorial 28: Using a Pushbutton as a Toggle Switch

In lesson 27 we learned how to incorporate a pushbutton into an arduino project. We learned how to utilize pull-up and pull-down resistors in order to incorporate a button into a circuit. The operation of the button in lesson 27 was pretty simple . . . if the button was held down, the LED would come on. When the button was released, the LED would turn back off. This is an interesting demonstration, but much more interesting is the case where we make a toggle switch. If you press and release the button, the LED comes on, and then if you press and release the button again, the LED goes off. While this sounds very similar to the previous case, it turns out to require a lot more thought. This video lesson explains how to think about this problem, and how to make it work.

If you want to follow along at home, you can order the Arduino Kit we are using HERE.

Below is the code we used to achieve the toggle operation. The video gives details on how to connect up the circuit.

 

9-Axis IMU LESSON 3: Understanding How Accelerometers Work

Accelerometer
This photo shows a conceptual schematic of how an accelerometer works.

In this lesson we describe how the acceleromters on chips like the Adafruit BNO055 work. They work based on microscopic masses suspended on springs on the chip. As the chip moves, the suspended masses respond to the motion, and the gaps between the suspended masses and the substrate changes. The chips detect these changes in position by monitoring the capacitance between the suspended mass and the substrate, or between the suspended masses and carefully designed interdigitated fingers between the mass and the substrate. C=eA/d, e is the dielectric constant of the material, A is the area of the capacitor, and d is the gap between the two capacitor plates. Changes in measured capacitance come from either a change in A or a change in d. Both d and A change in response to motion, so by monitoring the capacitance of the suspended mass, acceleration can be inferred. The video below explains clearly how this works.

Code for Getting Raw Acceleration Data from the BNO055 9-axis Inertial Measurement Sensor.

The code below is for demo purposes only, and should not be used in any real applications. It just demonstrates how to work with this sensor in benchtop presentations.