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The Kart module (214_Pr1) is a Summer School module for students between 3. and 4. semester. It's a home-made car remotely controlled by a smart-phone.

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

  • design and build the chassis
  • analyse the motor driver circuits (DC and stepper)
  • configure the controlling FPGAs
  • complete and extend the GUI on the smart-phone
Summer School '12
Summer School '13
Demo Kart

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.

The control is distributed over several FPGA boards connected together via I2C:

  • An I2C master receives RS232 controls, stores them in a set of registers and dispatches them at a regular interval on the I2C. The master also reads data values from the I2C, stores them into a second set of registers and sends the corresponding information at a regular rate over the RS232.
  • A DC motor controller receives a speed value and builds a PWM and a direction control.
  • A stepper motor controller receives the desired angle and builds the coil controls signals.
  • A sensor board manages I/O comprising proximity sensors, hall sensors (for the driving speed) and LEDs.

Bluetooth communication

A Bluetooth communication transfers serial port data. A receiver chip creates the RS232 signals for the FPGA. The protocol defines how the registers are accessed.


FPGA Boards

The FPGA motherboards are equipped with an AGL125 IGLOO in a VQ100 package. They connect to daughterboards which drive different parts of the Kart. The motherboards are interconnected via an I2C link.

Existing daughterboards are:


The sensors connected to the I/O board are:

Additionally, the power supply board comprises an ADC which provides the battery level.

Getting started

In order to start the projects you should do the following:

  • Read carefully the specifications above
  • Consult the student's guide for the first steps
  • When preparing the labs, follow the setup guide

Additional Information

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