Embedded electronics technology has been actively and rapidly being developed to transform traditional devices into adaptive and useful ones. Whether the equipment is an automatic water heater or a GRPS-powered diesel wheelchair, embedded electronics technologies are entering all possible aspects of human life and are being used to improve them. Digitized Healthcare Healthcare is also benefiting from the development of embedded electronics technology. Advanced medical equipment is being developed to improve response to emergency medical situations. The integration of several types of medical equipment is also being done to create digitized operating rooms and diagnostics areas that can respond to medical needs more efficiently and accurately.
Once I’ve got several HQM1286404 graphical LCDs around, I decided to build a prototyping board where I could easily plug LCD to it, read data via ADC and display graphs, and plug keypad if needed for some menu functions. Earlier, I tested graphical LCD on prototype breadboard but dealing with multiple wires (GLCD needs 20) resulted in many failures. It is OK to do simple tasks, but more complex applications require a more stable platform. So here it is: This type of GLCD is a standard 128×64 pixel matrix controlled by the KS0108 LCD controller. I have a smaller non-common pin-header where pins have 2mm step, so I had to draw it for Eagle library, which you will find in project files. I decided to make a simple circuit so it could fit in 100x50mm single-sided PCB. As base MCU, I used Atmega16, which can be replaced with Atmega32, which is pin-compatible with Atmega16 have more data memory.
Embedded electronic technology is all around. One may live in a digitized house, ride a car or subway train with embedded sensors and detectors and work using an integrated company network. One can eat lunch in restaurants or play in amusement centres with integrated computers, screens and controllers. Embedded electronics technology is not limited to data transfer, sharing and storage. Many health-care related products also utilize embedded electronics to improve the quality of life. More advanced prosthetic limbs with microprocessors are being developed to bring comfort, stability and balance to be disabled but active members of society.
The autonomous flying ambulance, nicknamed the Mule, created Rafi Yoeli, who used to work for Boeing and Israeli Aerospace Industries. He later founded his own company, Urban Aeronautics, in Yavne, Israel. The Mule is the smaller version of another Urban Aeronautics product, the X-Hawk. The former vehicle has been designed to carry injured military personnel (hence the name “flying ambulance”) out of combat areas. At the same time, the latter is aimed at urban and personal use. Several of Yoeli’s patented inventions are integrated into the Mule, including his VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle technology and the hybrid drive-powered lift platform. Both the Mule and the X-Hawk, for instance, are classified as VTOL vehicles.
CTX imaging is an image capture process that integrates the traditional techniques of computed tomography (CT) scanners and X-rays. The system is still in the prototype stage and is far from small (at present, it’s still as big as one whole room), but Dr. Elizabeth Brainerd of Brown University, who heads the project, hopes that it will become commercial by the first decade of the 21st century. Problems with Previous Technology The two origin technologies of CTX imaging, CT scanner, and X-ray, each had their own problems regarding capturing images. CT scans produce high-quality images that can be viewed in three dimensions, at the cost of speed; subjects being observed have to stay still for up to an hour. X-rays use a fluoroscopy method, which takes images in quick succession, but at the cost of quality; images produced by x-rays can be pieced together to create a video, but they’re of much lower quality and are limited to two-dimensional views. New Features of CTX Imaging CTX imaging is revolutionary because it combines the features of CT scanners and X-rays without compromising either capture speed or image quality. Image capture starts with a traditional X-ray of the subject being observed. The…
During my spare time, I have been playing with graphical LCD. This time I decided to display simple signals that are stored in microcontroller memory. The idea was to read signal values from a lookup table and display waveform on Graphical LCD. To make things more interesting, I divided the LCD screen into four smaller screens to activate them separately and draw signals in them. Graphical LCD is the same old HQM1286404 with KS0108 controller. I have used Proteus simulator 128×64 graphical LCD(LGM12641BS1R), which is based on KS0108. How to implement and connect LCD there was a blog post (Simulate KS0108 graphical LCD with Proteus simulator )about it. I am just going to show main program routine. As I mentioned I have split 128×64 in to four smaller screens like this: So I get four smaller 32×63 screens where I can put different information. To do this, you can think of many ways of implementation. I have chosen a simple solution. I have created a simple structure that holds a currently active window position and size:
RFID introduction RFID tagging technology is successfully used among us. Still, we don’t notice them always and do not think about them as they are not noticeable because we do not have to take any actions to transfer or read any information from RFID tags. But probably everyone notices in big supermarkets, book stores two parallel frame antennas and thicker labels on products you buy, or maybe you have an RFID entrance card at your work. So let’s see how this technology works. RFID is a so-called Radio Frequency Identification system that consists of two main parts: transmitter and receiver. The labels, access cards, and even passports in some countries have RFID transponders integrated. These transponders are called tags. Each tag has information programmed in it. A reader can read this information via the Radio Frequency link. Tags can be very miniature, like thicker paper sheets. The simplest ones have only an antenna and diode. These tags only reflect signals incoming from transmitters. These are tags that are used in supermarkets and other places for securing goods from stealing. If the signal is reflected, an alarm is triggered. When the seller scans the tag, it is electrically destroyed to trigger…
There can be any external device that may be connected(interfaced) to the microcontroller. They may be for control input like buttons, keypads, touch, or information output, e.g., display, sound, motor, relay, and modem. Also, output devices may be further chips like transmitters, frequency generators, memory. Interfacing with chips is not that hard because most of all (especially digital ones) are TTL level compliant that allows connecting chips one to another directly. Otherwise, there are TTL level converter chips if needed â€“ like RS232 to TTL converter MAX232 chip. Let’s take a simple device LED. Probably many of you are thinking that there is nothing easier than connecting LED to the microcontroller. Yes, it’s true. Considering AVR microcontrollers, Led can be connected directly to port pin via limiting resistor either as a source either as drain because the chip can provide enough current to light diode without damaging the port. But what if you need to connect like 10 LEDs when each requires, let’s say 20mA. The total current would be 200mA. No tall microcontrollers can provide such power directly without damaging the port. The simplest way to avoid this problem is to use LED via amplifying transistor.
The biggest benefit I see when working with a pulse soldering iron is speed and effectiveness. Of course, when you don’t work, it stays cool; this means it saves energy, doesn’t evaporate poisonous steam, and there is no risk of accidentally burning yourself. Well, this one even has a light source for a better view when soldering. If you like to hack things, you may try this challenge on building a pulse soldering iron. This iron may be powered from a 220V supply and consumes about 70-100W of power. Efficiency reaches about 50%. The heating time takes 5 seconds while cooling to 50ºC takes about 15 seconds. Soldering iron may be used in various tasks, including repairing home appliances, replacing electronic parts, etc.
Probably everyone knows what logical IC’s and how to use them in the design are. But if the design is more complex, electronics enthusiasts are more likely to choose microcontrollers as they minimize the count of external components. But the problem is that not everything is possible with microcontrollers. They have many disadvantages when a fast response to input signals is needed. Microcontrollers execute operations one by one in sequence (conveyor). So output results will occur after some number of clock cycles. One way is to use hard logic IC’s. But when complexity grows – the number of IC packages also increases. This way design board becomes tremendous. So where programmable logic devices (PLD) comes to help. CPLD devices have many base elements (gates) without strict electrical interconnection. So designer can program these connections to combine any logical combination. Programmable logical devices allow the construction of any logical device, including counters, triggers, etc. The limit is only the number of base elements and connection lines. So it is better to start with learning tools that allow the construction of logical circuits, simplify them, and avoid many mistakes. One of them is MAX+plus II BASELINE and CPLD from ALTERA. This software…