Author Topic: Design Stellaris Project Ideas  (Read 3615 times)

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Offline logictom

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Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« on: May 11, 2010, 02:41:43 AM »
I applied to enter the Design Stellaris competition a month or so back as it contains a development kit based on a ARM processor which I've been looking to try out for some time. I didn't expect to be chosen to receive a kit but one turned up a week ago ;D I haven't had much time to have a proper play around with it yet but in about two weeks plan to get stuck in.
But I don't really have a solid idea of anything I want to build with it.

I'm looking for some ideas to get me started. Last years winner built a oscilloscope, DSO Nano-esq. Another was a fuel consumption gauge, a runner up was a camera that could track coloured objects. I'm more of a that's a cool piece of hardware let's see if I can get it up and running then work out what to use it for rather than having an idea then finding out what to build it with :P Given a project or idea I can easily get on with it but I'm terrible at coming up with ideas.

From the website: "The goal of the Contest is to showcase the functionality of the LM3S9B96 and embedded SafeRTOS in ROM. Additional points will be awarded for the use of StellarisWare IEC60730 library and for applications which improve safety or reliability. Both hardware- and software-based applications are acceptable."

Some ideas but not sure if they're any good.

iPod/Phone alarm clock dock organiser thing - plug your iPod in and it uses your music on it to wake you, also pulls calendar info and displays the days tasks. Idea behind it came from stumbling across the apple accessory protocol and it has a ethernet port.

Exercise / heart rate gym thing - not sure what this idea will be but think that would be better suited to a EZ430-Chronos project.

Google Power Meter - saw the recent Microchip Google partnership announcement, thought could build something to interact with the Google software.

O2 joggler thing - same sort of thing as the joggler but my own implementation and not tied to o2 services

Can't really think of anything to "improve safety or reliability"

Let me know what you think of the ideas - happy for you to shoot them down in flames, will help me narrow down an idea.
Open to any suggestions - happy to share any winnings if anyone provides a good idea or wants to help out - I'm in it for experience and will probably take it on past the competition.
Thanks.

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 03:27:28 AM »
I don't know if this can apply, but....

A project that can read 7 segments and send the information to the computer.

So if you have a multimeter that does not have external connection to the PC, you can still interface it to the computer, of course this will apply for any instrument with a 7 segment display:

- Thermometers
- Scales
- Chronometers
- Humidity meters
- etc.

The project should be smart enough to adapt to any segment size.

Offline logictom

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 09:48:47 AM »
A project that can read 7 segments and send the information to the computer.

So if you have a multimeter that does not have external connection to the PC, you can still interface it to the computer, of course this will apply for any instrument with a 7 segment display:

- Thermometers
- Scales
- Chronometers
- Humidity meters
- etc.
Thanks for the idea, I've been looking into it. I've been studying image processing and would be nice to put some of the theory into practice. I like the idea but not sure on the use. I've been looking at image sensors, they seem reasonably priced and not to complicated to interface.
I'm going to mull over this and a few other ideas until I've got the time to start on this properly. Let me know any other ideas ;)

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 10:16:01 AM »
I think if you are actually going into image processing in that detail, you should try to match it closer to the safety/reliability theme.  Possibly use it to 'watch' machinery to look for failures, or for checking assembly line product for failures.  Something simple where you can detect a 'correct' image and an 'incorrect' warning image with edge detection.  Report the problem through a UDP packet to a master coordinator.
Mark Higgins

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 10:22:06 AM »
I got this kit too, just on the off chance I might enter, and because I'm a previous contest enterer.
These contests are notorious hard to win or place, although Robert Lacoste has won about a dozen of them, and several other names keep popping up.
I thought my uWatch project was so novel that it would at least place in the Microchip PIC24 design contest a few years back, but it didn't even get a mention from the judges, I lost out to a variable speed induction motor driver.
They tell you all about the weighting of each criteria, but it doesn't seem to matter, the judges work in mysterious ways I think.

Good luck.
Dave.

Offline rossmoffett

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 03:37:06 PM »
I'm a little stuck for ideas also, I was planning to use it for my Quartz Crystal Microbalance project, however I realized that future students (university project) wouldn't be able to modify the software so I had to switch to the Arduino platform for that.

Times ticking now.  I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
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Offline logictom

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 12:50:34 AM »
I got this kit too, just on the off chance I might enter, and because I'm a previous contest enterer.
These contests are notorious hard to win or place, although Robert Lacoste has won about a dozen of them, and several other names keep popping up.
I thought my uWatch project was so novel that it would at least place in the Microchip PIC24 design contest a few years back, but it didn't even get a mention from the judges, I lost out to a variable speed induction motor driver.
They tell you all about the weighting of each criteria, but it doesn't seem to matter, the judges work in mysterious ways I think.

Good luck.
Dave.
Yeah it's a hard choice on what to go for. Do I go for something that is more likely to rate higher with their criteria but maybe something that is solely designed to meet some specification or do I just go for something I will enjoy implementing and may have some practical use afterwards? Think I'll be going for the second because as you say it's unlikely it will make the top spot :P


I've ordered a image sensor so I can have a play about even if I don't end up doing something based on image processing. That's a nice idea TheDirty, not sure how I would go about testing that though. But like I say still running ideas round till I finish these ruddy exams ;D

Let us know what you go with Ross, any ideas at present?

Offline rossmoffett

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 03:26:31 PM »
Let us know what you go with Ross, any ideas at present?

For my other senior project last semester I designed a RADAR unit for an autonomous robot that dodges balls thrown at it (the "DodgeBot" we called it).  I made a simple amplifier/active filter circuit with two comparators to make the output go active when the signal was between two thresholds - therefore it would detect movement, but only if it was above a certain threshold, and not when the return was huge (because that would mean people were right by the unit).

The RADAR units output a signal that is the difference of the output and return frequencies - the doppler shift.  I can use the counters in the MCU with my leftover RADAR unit to get speed, but it's kind of a trivial job.

I was thinking about trying to use it to return a distance, rather than a speed.  There are industrial RADAR units used to find liquid levels in tanks by pinging them and timing the return.  Because of the speed of the MCU I'd probably need to make it perform some kind of cavity resonation, it'd be a challenge.  I'd like to have a little dish RADAR that can analyze a room, for example, and scan for activity.  The thing that worries me about this is that the contest specifies readily available components and I only found one supplier for this unit.

So I wanted to use lasers, but avalanche photodiodes are ridiculously expensive.  I think that's the only way to make a laser rangefinder, but maybe less expensive photodiodes will do the trick too?  Seems that they'd have to, for the price of some laser rangefinders on the market is less than the >$100 for an avalanche photodiode!
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Offline XynxNet

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 08:56:06 PM »
If you want something with image processing, what about these cool automotive gadgets that detect roadside pedestrians? I think that's fairly interesting and there are several ways to go about it, excluding thermal ir.

Offline rossmoffett

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 04:57:57 AM »
I wonder if I used a color filter and a PIN photodiode array I could still get some reasonable range without the expensive avalanche photodiode?  I see some minimal evidence that a PIN photodiode will work at short range, but even the high speed PIN photodiodes run about $15 apiece.
ArcAttack - A group of musical Tesla coil performers with semi-regular blog updates.

Offline logictom

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 10:44:05 PM »
If you want something with image processing, what about these cool automotive gadgets that detect roadside pedestrians? I think that's fairly interesting and there are several ways to go about it, excluding thermal ir.
Do you have any links to these gadgets? Not sure what the application is.

I wonder if I used a color filter and a PIN photodiode array I could still get some reasonable range without the expensive avalanche photodiode?  I see some minimal evidence that a PIN photodiode will work at short range, but even the high speed PIN photodiodes run about $15 apiece.
Sound's like an interesting project, I can't offer any advise, don't have any experience with photodiodes. Let us know how it goes though!

Offline TheDirty

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Re: Design Stellaris Project Ideas
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 10:57:55 PM »
Here's an interesting image processing project you might be able to get some ideas from.  Uses an NTSC video stream.

http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/ee476/FinalProjects/s2010/aip23_kaf42/aip23_kaf42/index.html
Mark Higgins


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