HTH Media Arts and Science Students Engineer a SMART Car

posted Nov 5, 2009, 10:10 AM by Unknown user

Media Arts and Science SMART Car

SMART Car Completes First C Programmed Run
By Karl R. C. Wendt

The common area between MAS-E (Media Arts and Science-Engineering), HTH Middle and HTH has become a hot bed of student driven technological development. MAS-E seniors have begun testing and refining their Autobot projects.

A few weeks ago the MAS-E RESCUE Heli project defied expectations by spinning into the MAS-E record books as the first operational C code driven helicopter rotor motor.

This week the SMART car team has stolen the spotlight. Earlier today the MAS-E SMART car used C programming to complete an "S" curve pattern and then stop moving.  When team member, Aaron Rucinski, stepped in front of the vehicle, the recently created ultra-sonic collision avoidance system reduced the vehicle's engine speed to idle and ended the programmed mission.

The team was also able to create a rotary encoder using a reed switch and a magnet. Then they used an Italian made micro-controller called an Arduino, to recognize the electrical signals coming from the reed switch and use those signals to determine when to activate the servo controlling the front wheels.

According to Rucinski, the team leader, there are still many hurdles left to overcome. Rucinski went on to say, "We need to make a few more adjustments before this car will be reliable." 

The SMART car created in a frenzy of excitement among the adults, high school students and middle school students who were taking a break during the first test run.

Team SMART Car hopes to be able to use the car to create text-on-pavement messages on a large scale.

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