Data acquisition – Hardware

Hello,

The fifth video is about the hardware of our project.

The Elecrow Simduino was the main part of the hardware. It combines Arduino Uno and sim808 module. The fusion between these parts enabled us to save costs and place at the beginning. Unfortunately, we changed the Elecrow for an official Arduino Mega 2560. The mega-2560 is designed for more complex projects and allowed us to have more space for the program. The memory of the elecrow was too limited.

The mega-2560 costs 35€ on the official website. It is a microcontroller board based on the Atmega2560. To get started, the user just needs to connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery. You can find all the needed information about it on their website.

The Sim808 costs approximately 40 dollars. This module is a GSM and GPS two-in-one function module. It is based on the latest GSM/GPS module SIM808 from SIMCOM. It features ultra-low power consumption in sleep mode and integrated with charging circuit for Li-Ion batteries. The module supports 3.3V and 5V logical level.

To connect our microcontroller to the car, we will need a can bus shield. There is no change on that part. CAN-BUS is a common industrial bus because of its long travel distance, medium communication speed and high reliability. It is found in cars. The shield costs approximately 20 dollars.

The 12-volt car batteries are ok to run the Arduino. However, one of the problems is the oscillatory behavior of the voltage in these batteries. To avoid problems, we decided to install a step-down switching regulators. This regulator will fix the output voltages to 7-volts. We bought it at 1 dollar on eBay.

Approximately, you will need 100 dollars to carry out this project if you decide to go for top-quality components.

Don’t hesitate to ask us your questions about our choices.

See you soon in our last videos.

Data acquisition – Future usages & applications

Hello everybody! Today, for the last video, I am going to talk about the communications between the car and the controlling base. Next, we made an interview of a potential customer and I am going to talk about the future of our project.

Currently, our project collects the data of a car using some components into a box in the car that we showed you in a previous video.

This information is sent to the SQL database and the fleet manager can control the state of each vehicle of his fleet.

If he sees some possible dysfunction, he can warn the actual driver of the vehicle about the problem and avoid the accident.

But this project can be used for other applications, more and more customers are interested in our project and we want to know why. So, to answer this question, we made an interview with a big customer:

Interviewer: « So, why are you really interested in our project?”

Customer:

” Well, I am very interested by your project because currently, our company has some logistical issues. We are having a hard time estimating accurately the time of arrival of trucks. We need to communicate a lot with our drivers to have an up-to-date ETA (estimated time of arrival). But this communication can distract them from doing their job properly.

So, this project allows us to communicate between the truck in late and the operator in logistic with the GPS can organize to take another truck which isn’t late. All this without involving and thus distracting the lorry driver. The information of the location of the trucks would allow to circulate safely in our company and would improve our logistical efficiency.

Your project could even allow us to control all components of the truck and to be informed immediately if they have an issue.

Interviewer: “Ok, thank you very much for this interview and your interest of our project.“

Customer: “you’re welcome”

So, in the future, we want to develop our project to have an interactive dialogue with the car using another libraries. For example, we would be able to send a request to the car to check if the door are closed, if the oil and fuel are correct.

For now, we hope that you enjoy our project and the possibilities than it offers. Don’t hesitate to check out our other videos and see you soon perhaps in our office to sign a contract!

Good bye!

Data acquisition – Software

Hello, i am going to talk about the program of our project. We decided to use an electrow simduino to carry out this project. It combines an Arduino uno and Sim 808 module. So with the simduino we can use the integrated development environment of arduino.

 

The program starts by importing the required libraries and the declaration of the different variables.Antoine has already presented you those libraries in the last video. Like every Arduino project, you can also find a setup part. This part allows the program to initialize the different modules we use and their communication process.

 

The next part is the loop. This part is the main part of the program and can be divided in 4 steps.The first step is about the acquisition of the position of the car. A function is used to test if the GPS connection is on. After the test, if the simduino receive a GPS signal, then this signal will be used to locate the car. Otherwise, the GPRS location will be used. It is less precise but works quite well, even inside buildings like multi-storey car park (GPS wouldn’t work in those conditions).

The second step of the program concerns the date and time acquisition. First of all, getTime() function will be used to recover the date.

 

Then, multiple functions will be used to be able to recover data from the electronics of the car. This data will contain the engine rpm and the car’s current speed.

 

The last step consists in storing all the informations acquired during the 3 other steps (location, time, rpm, speed). We use multiple means of storage. The first one is the microSD card we can find on the Arduino. Every data acquired will be stored on it.

The second one is an sms-based “storage”. It allows the Arduino to transmit the informations he is acquiring live through sms. It would be too costly to send all the data so only one sample of data will be sent upon request. That request is also a SMS sent to the Arduino.

The third mean of the storage is the more attractive but it is still in development at the moment. This mean would allow the Arduino to store Data on a SQL database through the wireless mobile telecommunications.

Data acquisition – Libraries

Hello everyone,

Here is the description of the libraries we use for our project.

1. spi.h : Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) is a serial data protocol used by microcontrollers for communicating with one or more peripheral devices quickly over short distances.

It can also be used for communication between two microcontrollers.

2. mcp_can.h : Library of functions for the Canbus chipset and the Canbus shield SEEDUINO.

3. sd.h : The SD library allows for reading from and writing to SD cards. The library supports FAT16 and FAT32 file systems on standard SD cards and SDHC cards. The communication between the microcontroller and the SD card uses SPI.

4. softwareserial.h : The SoftwareSerial library has been developed to allow serial communication on other digital pins of the Arduino, using software to replicate the functionality.

5. adafruit_fona.h : This is a library for the Adafruit FONA Cellular GSM. It contains the required functions to operate the SIM808 chipset we use.

6. EventManager.h : this library provides an event handling system for Arduino.

7. mstimer2.h : MsTimer2 is a small and very easy to use library to interface Timer2 with humans. It’s called MsTimer2 because it “hardcodes” a resolution of 1 millisecond on timer2.

Data acquisition – Introduction

A few words about the members of our team :

  • Tarik Akan : I am interested in new technologies and computer science. I have never practiced Arduino programming. Thus, I hope that I will increase my programming level with this project. I think that i will also learn new things about the functioning of the canbus communication in a car.
  • Hasan Cakmak : Hello ! My name is Hasan Cakmak. I’m completing my last year of studies in Electromechanical Engineering with a specialisation in automation. I hope that this project will allow me to learn new exciting and useful stuff in electronics and programing. Otherwise, I love eating and doing sport.
  • Quentin Debourse : I’m Quentin, my passions are electromechanical sciences and sport (especially badminton). I don’t know much about the project for the moment. So, I’m looking forward to starting this challenging project and discovering new things. This project will also allow me to put into practice the Arduino programming language!
  • Joyce Gallet : I am Joyce Gallet, I am a future electromechanical engineer with a specialisation in automation. I am interested in robotics, new technologies, virtual reality and my passion is scuba diving. It is an opportunity for me to practice on this project because I have always wanted to program an Arduino. So, I hope that I will learn a lot of things about this technology while we will create our model.
  • Maxime Liénard : Hello everyone, my name is Maxime. My main hobbies are the automotive world and programming. I spend most of my free time as a race engineer and I like developping small softwares for my own entertainment.
  • Antoine Piette : Hey there! I am Antoine and I am an automation engineering student as well. I was interested in the project as soon as we mentioned it because I do like cars and electronics. Mixing these two fields was thus a great idea to me. When I am out of school, I play badminton, do some climbing and I like spending time on the internet in order to learn new things .