Thursday, April 9, 2015

Week 2 (In Lab) - Refining Design Concept

This team meeting was spent getting feedback from our advisors on our design proposal and doing more necessary research as we continue to build our knowledge and skills. The following areas were pointed out and are in the process of being addressed:

  • the need for more details in describing technical activities, including things like size, volume, flow rate, voltage, etc. This helped the team begin to create a more precise concept of the intended final product.
  • the need for in-text citation and references. This is tied to the former point; as more specific details and numbers are added to the proposal, the more sources we will use to arrive at these decisions.

By the end of lab, the team had begun to operate in subunits of mechanical (Michelle and Le) and electrical/software (Davina and Parmpuneet). Michelle and Le looked up specific aquarium water pumps to consider using, while simultaneously assessing what kind of breadboard starter kit to order, since that will be our base for building the control system.
Davina researched about graphical user interfaces and specific methods of controlling Arduino through Qt, and Parmpuneet started familiarizing herself with the Arduino Uno rev3. Parm was able to draw up a simple schematic of a possible relay we may build, using a transistor to switch a 5V DC output to a 12V one, which can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Initial schematic for relay switch circuit including transistor.

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