Today we’ll talk about microcontrollers and their application.
Microcontroller is a chip to control electronic devices.
Any device, including the most basic, requires a microcontroller (MC). Any MC has an internal firmware that can be easily programmed.
If you want a blinking light source (LED strip light, clusters or regular or incandescent bulbs), an МC has to be used. In order to achieve this, a frequency and the blinking time should be specified in a program. Blinking can be set at regular intervals or according to a program, such as Morse code, for instance.
2. Connecting devices
Various measuring devices (voltmeters, ammeters, thermometers, tachometers, light meters, etc.) can be connected to a microcontroller. So why connect measuring devices? A simple example: let’s say, we have a closed space, inside of which a cooler and a temperature sensor are built, both connected to a microcontroller. A temperature threshold, turning the cooler on, is programmed. Note: any device can be used instead of the cooler:
A bulb/diode can light up upon reaching the threshold temperature mark
An electromagnetic/electromechanical lock may be set off
A display might turn on
An access to another devices might get unlocked
3. Data analysis
Microcontrollers can be set to analyse the data that is being received. For example, there is a task to determine which of the connected buttons was pressed first. The MC sensitivity is programmed for 50 milliseconds; therefore it sends a signal to the buttons with programmed frequency. Then, depending on the goal, an MC can:
Block "loosing" button or vice versa
Turn on a certain led to indicate the winner
Display data on “speed” of the reaction
And much more
One more example of data analysis
MC is able to analyse the sequence of sensors triggering. A simple example: 9 buttons are connected to the MC in the circuit, and the user has to press the buttons in the correct order. If the sequence is correct, an «action» happens:
A lot of additional programmed “functions” can be added:
The sounds from the speakers/photodynamical may transmit sounds upon pressing the button
A “delay” may be programmed. After this delay is surpassed, the pressings will be cancelled
We tried to give a simplified explanation to illustrate the capabilities of the microcontrollers. We have described only a small part of the capabilities that we use in our production (constructions and props for the interactive quests).
To be continued!