Electronics for a museum exhibit

Electronics for a museum exhibit

We are working on the electronics for a hands-on museum exhibit that tests reaction time and shows how you can improve their reaction time through practice. The main components of the control unit are a BeagleBone Black, an 8-Channel Relay Board (to control a set of race track staging lights), and a custom-made protoboard with resistors and screw terminals (that take input from the start buttons and gas pedals). The exhibit consists of three race cars. Each car has a start button and a gas pedal. When someone presses a start button, then a set of large staging lights count down Ready, 3, 2, 1, Go! The staging lights are similar to what you would see at a drag racing track. The system then measures the time it takes each driver to press his/her gas pedal. The results are displayed on a large monitor (connected to the BBB’s HDMI port) that everyone can see. If anyone presses his/her pedal too early, then the “Too Early!” light goes on and the screen indicates that it was a false start. The system also includes appropriately-timed drag racing sound effects output through the BBB’s HDMI port to an amplifier and set of speakers. Here is a picture of the control board we made. It will go inside a clear acrylic box to protect it. This is a Rev C BeagleBone Black running Debian Linux. The custom software is written in Python.

 

Security Robot

Security Robot

Security V is a small security robot. It’s equipped with the following capabilities:

  • Automatic electric gun (Airsoft pellet gun) with ammunition cage
  • Pan-Tilt Gun Turret
  • Targeting laser
  • FPV Camera
  • (3) Ping sensors for object avoidance
  • LED Light Strips
  • MP3 Sound Player
  • IR Human Detection Sensor
  • Moto Controller
  • Two motors
  • Two treaded drive wheels and two omni wheels
  • Arduino Mega Microcontroller
  • Xbee Radio for remote control
  • Button panel for selecting the mode

We programmed it with five different modes:

1. Roams autonomously around the house, playing R2-D2 like sounds as it explores & avoids obstacles
2. Remote Control
3. Dance Mode (Plays the song Mr. Roboto and dances around)
4. Guard Mode (enables its infrared human detection sensor and plays a police siren if anyone tries to sneak past it)
5. Shoot (shoots the gun)

Security V Security Robot

Security V slider image

Security Robot

Security Robot

Security Robot – Top View