CSCI 3410 Project

Each student will build a similar project. The whole class will build essentially the same thing, which includes the Z16 developer kit, a WiFi wireless communications board, a real time clock, and one input device/sensor and one output device/display/actuator. I will assign the sensor/display randomly from a list. The project assignment will be for each student to assemble the components (simple wiring with instructions and supported by the exercises and labs) and write a program that read data from the input device and the real-time clock, format the data appropriately, and sends the data to the output device. The students program will also need to publish the sensor data to either cosm.com (formerly pachube.com) or sen.se, the real time clock will provide time stamp data. In essence, the class will be building a collection of nodes on the Internet-of-Things. By design no 2 students will build the same thing, this increases variety and offers an opportunity for the students to interact and learn from each other. The project will be a practical implementation of all of the topics in the class from software design, hardware interfacing, embedded systems, debugging, and basic networking. I will provide the students with blocks of code (the WiFi radio is a good possibility) and a stubbed-out shell program for the students to start with. The in class demo of the project will give an opportunity for the students to show their work to the rest of the class and learn from the others.

The components necessary are described below. A good number of the part are reused from CSCI-4415 and a number of the sensors and output devices are ones that I have collected over the years. I am proposing a one time equipment purchase of $200 per student for the WiFi radio, additional real-time clocks, and the more interesting sensors and output devices, and I can provide a spreadsheet detailing the exact devices, prices, and source of supply.

A typical project: Using the base Z16 developer kit, Real Time Clock, and the WiFi radio, the student will connect a temperature sensor and character based liquid crystal display. The student will read the sensor data sheet and determine how to access the sensor data, then write a program to read the temperature from the sensor and display it, read the time from the clock, and publish the data (time/temp pairs) to cosm.com. To add variety, similar input devices can be paired with different output devices for different students so that no 2 students will build exactly the same node (temperature input, tone output (high pitch for higher temperature), or use a stepper motor as a simple meter-like display, or send the text temperature to the SpeakJet to speak the temperature in words).

Project Timeline

Class 1 Start thinking of a project possibilities
Class 3-10 The class labs will be the builingd blocks for the project
Class 9 Beginning of project discussions 
Class 14 Demonstrate your project to the class. All GWU hardware is turned in.
Class 14 
+ 1 week
Compete Project Final Report, Project Summary, and all project files are due.

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