Kart

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The Kart module (214_Pr1) is a Summer School module for students between the 2nd and the 3rd semester. It is a home-made model car remotely controlled by a smartphone.


The work of the students can be summarized in four main tasks:

  • design and assembly of the chassis
  • analysis of the motor driver circuits (DC and stepper)
  • configuration of the controlling FPGAs
  • completion and extension of the control GUI on the smartphone

System Architecture

The kart is controlled by a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Distributed boards

A Bluetooth receiver on the kart communicates via an RS232 serial link with the FPGA control board. This board stores the control values in a set of registers and dispatches them at a regular interval on an I2C link. The master also reads data values from the slave boards, stores them into a second set of registers and sends the corresponding information at a regular pace over the RS232 with a very simple protocol.

The control is distributed over several FPGA boards connected together via I2C. These base boards each hold a slave function board:

Tasks

The programming introduction gives an overview about the structure of the software/hardware and the students' tasks. They comprise:

  • FPGA design for driving the hardware and reading the sensors
  • Android application development for the remote control

The students receive FPGA boards preprogrammed with a functional solution and androïd phones with a demo application. This allows to start the development either with the FPGA design or the Android application development.

FPGA Design

A FPGA design environment is available, based on:


View-pim-tasks.png

Download the ELN_kart.zip and unpack it to your personal drive (U:\).

Dialog-warning.png

Make sure that there is no space character in the path to ELN_kart.

With this, the following designs have to be completed:

Android App

One goal is to implement an Android application that controls and monitors the kart.

Introduction

The installable package of the (or rather a) solution can be found here: Kart.apk

Starting point

  • You can download the Kart project with the minimal interface here: Kart.zip
  • You can find the instructions how to open the project in Android Studio in the "Programming Introduction" presentation...
  • The online documentation of all Java classes that are at your disposition is [here]
  • If you need timers, please do not use Java standard Timer and TimerTask, we provide a dedicated Timer class in the package ch.hevs.utils.Timer.
  • To be informed when a register is modified by the kart (i.e. the hall sensor counter value has changed), your application has to implement the KartStatusRegisterListener interface. This will force your application to have a method (statusRegisterHasChanged) that will be called when a register value has changed. Don't forget to register your listener to the Kart (kart.addStatusRegisterListener(...)).

Common Problems

  • Don't block the main thread with an infinite loop
  • Don't change the orientation of the display during the execution, it can crash the BT communication. Do it in the Manifest.

Components

Power supply

The power supply board provides the 5 V and the 3.3 V to the other boards. This is generated from two 6 V battery packs.

The power supply board also comprises an ADC which provides the battery level.

FPGA boards

The FPGA motherboards are equipped with an AGL125 IGLOO in a VQ100 package. The clock passed to the FPGA comes from a 10 MHz quartz.

They hold daughterboards which drive different parts of the Kart. The motherboards are interconnected via an I2C link.

The FPGA motherboards can be tested with the help of a dedicated test board which runs a signal from one I/O pin to the next.

FPGA daughterboards

Existing daughterboards are:

Sensors

The sensors connected to the I/O board are:

Additional Information

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