Open Radiation Detector

Quickly identify radioactive materials with a pocket-sized ion chamber. Built from standard parts for easy manufacture and low cost. by Carlos Garcia Saura:

Nuclear radiation is invisible and can be harmful to life. The goal of this project is to provide a simple device that could prevent cases of radiation poisoning. Professional radiation meters can be very accurate, but are also expensive, complex and fragile (most use vacuum discharge tubes made of glass). However in many occasions we only want to determine whether an object is radioactive or not.

Open Radiation Detector – [Link]

Role Of Vision Processing With Artificial Neural Networks In Autonomous Driving

In next 10 years, the automotive industry will bring more change than we have seen in the last 50, due to technological advancement. One of the largest changes will be the move to autonomous vehicles, usually known as the self-driving car. Scientists from many universities are striving to implement vision processing with the artificial neural network to provide driver assistance in self-driving cars.

vision processing
Vision processing using convolutional artificial neural networks

Vision processing, as well as artificial neural networks, have been around for many years. Convolutional artificial neural networks (CNN) are sets of algorithms that extract meaningful information from sensor input. CNN’s are very computationally efficient at analyzing a scene. They are also able to identify objects as cars, people, animals, road signs, road junctions, road marking etc. enabling them to determine the relevant reality of the scene. As this system runs in real-time, the decision can be made as soon as the sensing part is complete.

One of the major steps in visual environment understanding for automotive applications is key points tracking and estimating ego-motion and environment structure subsequently from the trajectories of these key points. A propagation based tracking (PBT) method is popularly used to obtain the 2D trajectories from a sequence of images in a monocular camera setup.

The inputs from one or all of the sensors like LIDAR, RADAR, camera, IR, etc. are evaluated and decisions are taken accordingly. For example, if a car in the front suddenly brakes, the onboard computer would instantly verify the distance and calculate the speed with help of the existing sensors. Then it would apply the brakes faster than any human would be able to do. This method helps to prevent an accident with 90% efficiency.

The use of vision processing with CNN is rapidly increasing in automotive applications to enable camera-based autonomous driving. This technology sets a new driving standard. With this technology in our hand, fewer accidents, fewer fatalities, and less pollution are experienced. Vision processing in autonomous driving also enables efficient journeys, reduced crowding, car sharing, and packing cars in more tightly via vehicle to vehicle communication.

PICKit 3 Mini

Reviahh has published a new project, the PICKit 3 Mini:

Previously, I made a Pickit 3 clone – (see previous blog post). It works well, but I have often wondered just how little of its circuitry was needed to program and debug the boards I make. For instance – I primarily use the newer 3.3V PIC32 processors, so I really don’t need the ability to alter the voltage like the standard Pickit 3 can. I also have no real need for programming on the go, or even to provide power to the target MCU to program. Knowing this – I decided to see what I could do to remove the circuitry I didn’t need, yet still have a functioning programmer/debugger.

PICKit 3 Mini – [Link]

BeanDuino Attiny85 – super small Digispark clone

The BeanDuino is an ATtiny85 based microcontroller development board similar to the Arduino line highly inspired by DigiSpark , BeanDuino is hardware compatible with Adafruit Trinket / Gemma.

Specifications:

  • Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0 and later (OS X, Windows, and Linux)
  • Built-in USB
  • 5 I/O pins (2 are used for USB only if your program actively communicates over USB, otherwise you can use all 5 even if you are programming via USB) or 6 I/O pins if you dissable reset fuse
  • 8 KB flash memory (about 6 KB after bootloader)
  • I2C and SPI (vis USI)
  • PWM on 3 pins (more possible with software PWM)
  • ADC on 4 pins
  • Internal temperature sensor
  • On-board PB1 led – no shield required !!!
  • Keyboard or other HID devices emulation (mouse, gamepad …)
  • reset is enabled you can program this board with USBASP or Arduino via ISP you can easy replace/repair/remove bootloader
  • slim design 11×20 mm
  • breadboard compatible

BeanDuino Attiny85 – super small Digispark clone – [Link]

10A 400V DC Intelligent Power Module (IPM)

10 Amp 400V DC Intelligent power module board has been designed using ON Semiconductors STK544UC62K. This Inverter IPM module includes the output stage of a 3-phase inverter, pre-drive circuits, bootstrap circuits, protection circuits, op-amp based current sense circuit, comparator circuit for fault/Over current output, Bus voltage output, onboard 5V DC regulator for op-amp circuit. This board can be used to drive AC Induction, BLDC, PMSM motors and Brushed DC Motors. The module integrates optimized gate drive of the built-in IGBTs to minimize EMI and losses, while also providing multiple on-module protection features including under-voltage or over voltage , over-current , and fault reporting. The built-in, high-speed HVIC requires only a single supply voltage and translates the incoming logic-level gate inputs to the high-voltage, high-current drive signals required to properly drive the module’s internal IGBTs. Separate negative IGBT terminals are connected to shunt resistor to provide the current feedback to the micro-controller. This IPM module helps to develop various power applications and also can be used as H-Bridge for brushed DC motor. The module mainly helps to drive Hall sensor based, encoder based motors and 3 Phase AC Motors. The IC has Built-in dead-time for shoot-thru protection. Internal substrate temperature is measured with an internal pulled up thermistor. PWM frequency is up to 20 KHz. The board can be used in application like small machines as speed controller, washing machine, refrigerator, Air condition, automation, AC motor speed controller, dc motor speed controller, brushless dc motor driver, ac servo driver.

10A 400V DC Intelligent Power Module (IPM) – [Link]

Attiny Programmer (using Arduino UNO)

by @ instructables.com:

The Arduino UNO is small, but if you require your project to be in a small enclosure, the UNO might be way too big. You could try using a NANO or MINI, but if you really want to go small, you go tiny, Attiny to be precise.

They are quite small, cheap chips (basically small Arduinos) and can be programmed in the Arduino IDE, however you might notice that there is no USB connection. So how do we program it???

Attiny Programmer (using Arduino UNO) – [Link]

Windows PC Lock/Unlock Using RFID

by kksjunior @ instructables.com:

How often have you felt tired of typing in the password to unlock your PC/laptop every time it got locked? I’m used to locking it down quite a number of times, everyday, and nothing is more annoying than typing the password/pin over and over again, every-time I want to unlock it. When the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting it. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”, the lazy mind in me started to think of an easy and a cheap way to unlock my personal Computer/Laptop every time I had to lock it. As I went through my stuff I found a RC522 RFID module. That’s when I decided to make an RFID system

Windows PC Lock/Unlock Using RFID – [Link]

Researchers Developed Hybrid 3D Printing Method To Make Flexible Wearable Devices

Wearable electronic devices that intend to track and measure the body’s movements must be soft enough to flex and stretch to accommodate every body-movement. But, integrating rigid electronics on skin-like flexible materials has proven to be challenging. Clearly, Such components cannot stretch like soft materials can, and this mismatch frequently causes wearable devices to fail. Recently scientists solved this problem by developing a new method called hybrid 3D printing.

Making wearble devices using Hybrid 3D Printing method
Making wearable devices using Hybrid 3D Printing method

A collaboration between the Wyss Institute, Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Air Force Research Laboratory, has resulted in developing hybrid 3D printing method. It combines soft, electrically conductive inks, and matrix materials with rigid electronics into a uniformly stretchable device. Alex Valentine, a Staff Engineer at the Wyss Institute says,

With this technique, we can print the electronic sensor directly onto the material, digitally pick-and-place electronic components, and print the conductive interconnects that complete the electronic circuitry required to ‘read’ the sensor’s data signal in one fell swoop.

To make the circuits and the flexible layers, the researchers use thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), both pure and with silver flakes. The method is quite easy to understand. As both the substrate and the electrodes contain TPU, they firmly adhere to one another while they are co-printed layer-by-layer. After the solvent evaporates completely, both of the inks harden, forming an integrated system that is both flexible and stretchable.

As the ink and substrate are 3D-printed, the scientists have complete control over where and how the conductive features are patterned. Thus they can design circuits to create soft electronic devices of nearly every size and shape. The hybrid 3D printing method enables development of flexible, durable wearable devices that move with the body.

A ring that is made using flexible conductingmaterial
A ring that is made using flexible conducting materials

Conductive materials exhibit changes in their electrical conductivity when stretched. Soft sensors, that detect movements, are made of those materials and are coupled with a programmable microcontroller to process those data. The microcontroller also transmits the data to communicate in a human-understandable way. As a proof-of-concept, the team created two devices – a wearable device that indicates how much the wearer’s arm is bending and a pressure sensor in the shape of a person’s left foot.

Watch the video to know about them,

Dual Channel Inductive Loop Vehicle Detector

Muris @ elektronika.ba tipped us with his latest project. It’s a revision of their single channel loop detector published some time ago and it come with some nice features.

There are two PCB versions available, one is a standalone version (PCB v1.2) with DIPs and relays on board and another one is a digital version (PCB v1.3) without DIPs and relays where it requires PC or another microcontroller system to be connected in order to configure the operating parameters. Here we will be focusing on the standalone version.

Dual Channel Inductive Loop Vehicle Detector – [Link]