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By Sparkfun Electronics

SparkFun Inventor's Kit Experiment Guide - v4.0

Courtesy of SparkFun

Introduction

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit (SIK) is your map for navigating the waters of beginning embedded electronics. This guide contains all the information you will need to build five projects encompassing the 16 circuits of the SIK. At the center of this guide is one core philosophy: that anyone can (and should) play around with electronics. When you’re done with this guide, you will have built five projects and acquired the know-how to create countless more. Now enough talk — let’s start something!

The print version of this guide is available as a PDF as well. Click the following link to view it.

SIK V4.0A GUIDE PDF

Notice: This online guide is kept up to date with all the most recent improvements and corrections. For users following along with the printed version of this guide, please visit sparkfun.com/SIKerrata for any and all changes that may affect your experience while using the printed guide.

Choosing a Kit

You should have one of the two following versions of the SIK. If you need an overview of the parts included in your kit, please click on the product link below.

SparkFun Inventor

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0

SparkFun Inventor

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Uno - v4.0

The primary difference between the two kits is the microcontroller included in the kit. The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit includes a SparkFun RedBoard, while the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino Uno includes an Arduino Uno R3. At the heart of each is the ATmega328p microcontroller, giving both the same functionality underneath the hood. Both development boards are capable of taking inputs (such as the push of a button or a reading from a light sensor) and interpreting that information to control various outputs (like a blinking LED light or an electric motor). And much, much more!

Note: The Arduino Uno version of the kit does not include a carrying case or printed copy of this manual to decrease weight and cost for international shipping.

Note: You can complete all 16 experiments in this guide with either kit.

If you need more information to determine which microcontroller is right for you, please check out the following tutorials.

Open Source!

At SparkFun, our engineers and educators have been improving this kit and coming up with new experiments for a long time now. We would like to give attribution to Oomlout, since we originally started working off their Arduino Kit material many years ago. The Oomlout version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License.

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit V4.0 is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

Baseplate Assembly

Before you can build circuits, you’ll want to fist assemble the breadboard baseplate. This apparatus makes circuit building easier by keeping the breadboard and the RedBoard microcontroller connected together without the worry of disconnecting or damaging your circuit. The larger the circuit, the more wires needed to build it. The more wires there are, the easier it is for one of those wires to come undone.

To begin, grab all the parts: the RedBoard, the breadboard, the included screwdriver, the baseplate and the two baseplate screws.

To begin, grab all the parts

If the screwdriver end is a flathead screwdriver, pull the shaft out, rotate it around to the Phillips head screwdriver side, and reinsert the shaft.

Next, peel the adhesive backing off the breadboard.

Peel the adhesive backing off the breadboard

Carefully align the breadboard over its spot on the baseplate. The text on the breadboard should face the same direction as the text on the baseplate. Firmly press the breadboard to the baseplate to adhere it.

Carefully align breadboard over its spot on baseplate

Align the RedBoard with its spot on the baseplate. The text on it should face the same direction as the text on the breadboard and the baseplate. Grab on of the two included screws, and firmly screw it into one of the four stand-off holes found on the RedBoard. The plastic holes are not threaded, so you will need to apply pressure as you twist the screwdriver.

Align the RedBoard with its spot on the baseplate

Screw the second screw in the stand-off hole diagonally across from the first. With that, your baseplate is now assembled. 

Screw second screw in hole across from first

Arduino Uno Baseplate Assembly

Newer versions of the Arduino Uno come with a clear, plastic baseplate of their own. It will need to be removed before the Uno can be attached to the breadboard baseplate. To remove it, pull it from the Uno.

To remove it, pull it from the Uno

You may now attach the Uno to the baseplate as shown in the instructions above.

Attach the Uno to the baseplate

Please Note: The Arduino Uno and the SparkFun RedBoard are pin-for-pin identical. Though the circuits in this guide show the SparkFun RedBoard, the Arduino Uno can be interchanged and used with all the same circuit diagrams and hookup tables. All the pin names and locations are the same on both development platforms.

The SparkFun RedBoard

The SparkFun RedBoard is your development platform. At its roots, the RedBoard is essentially a small, portable computer, also known as a microcontroller. It is capable of taking inputs (such as the push of a button or a reading from a light sensor) and interpreting that information to control various outputs (like blinking an LED light or spinning an electric motor). That’s where the term “physical computing” comes in; this board is capable of taking the world of electronics and relating it to the physical world in a real and tangible way.

The SparkFun RedBoard is one of a multitude of development boards based on the ATmega328 microprocessor. It has 14 digital input/output pins (six of which can be PWM outputs), six analog inputs, a 16MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, and a reset button. You’ll learn more about each of the RedBoard’s features as you progress through this guide.

Check out the guide below to learn more about the SparkFun RedBoard.

Understanding Breadboards

A breadboard is a circuit-building platform that allows you to connect multiple components without using a soldering iron.

If you have never seen or used a breadboard before, it is highly recommended you read the following guide that explains the breadboards anatomy and how to use one.

Install the Arduino IDE and SIK Code

The following steps are a basic overview of getting started with the Arduino IDE. For more detailed, step-by-step instructions for setting up the Arduino IDE on your computer, please check out the following tutorial.

Download the Arduino IDE

In order to get your microcontroller up and running, you’ll need to download the newest version of the Arduino software first (it’s free and open source!).

DOWNLOAD THE ARDUINO IDE

This software, known as the Arduino IDE, will allow you to program the board to do exactly what you want. It’s like a word processor for writing code.

Download Arduino Code

You are so close to being done with setup! Download the SIK Guide Code. Click the following link to download the code:

SIK V4.0A CODE

You can also download the code from GitHub.

Place the SIK-Guide-Code folder in the Arduino IDE examples directory:

  • Windows: drag the SIK-Guide-Code-V4.0a folder into C:\program files\Arduino-x\examples
  • MacOS: Right-click on the Arduino IDE app and click “Show Package Contents…”. Drag the SIK-Guide-Code-V4.0a folder into Contents/Resources/Java
  • Linux: see http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/Linux

Connect the Microcontroller to your Computer

Use the USB cable provided in the SIK kit to connect the included microcontroller (RedBoard or Arduino Uno) to one of your computer’s USB inputs.

Install FTDI Drivers

Depending on your computer’s operating system, you will need to follow specific instructions. Please go to How to Install FTDI Drivers, for specific instructions on how to install the FTDI drivers onto your RedBoard.

Select your Board: Arduino/Genuino Uno

Before we can start jumping into the experiments, there are a couple adjustments we need to make. This step is required to tell the Arduino IDE which of the many Arduino boards we have. Go up to the Tools menu. Then hover over Board and make sure Arduino Uno is selected.

Please note: Your SparkFun RedBoard and the Arduino UNO are interchangeable but you won’t find the RedBoard listed in the Arduino Software. Select “Arduino/Genuino Uno” instead.

Select a Serial Port

Next up we need to tell the Arduino IDE which of our computer’s serial ports the microcontroller is connected to. For this, again go up to Tools, then hover over Port (Serial Port in older Arduino versions) and select your RedBoard or Arduino’s serial port. This will be the same serial port seen when installing FTDI drivers.

With that, you’re now ready to begin building your first circuit!

Project 1: Light

Welcome to your first SparkFun Inventor’s Kit project. Each project is broken up into several circuits, each designed to help you learn about new technologies and concepts. The knowledge gained from each circuit will play a part in building each project. This first project will set the foundation for the rest of the projects in the guide and will aid in helping you understand the basic fundamentals of circuit building and electricity!

In Project 1, you will learn about light-emitting diodes (LEDs), resistors, inputs, and sensors — using all of those technologies to build and program your own multicolored night-light! The night-light uses a sensor to turn on an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) LED when it gets dark, and you will be able to change the color using an input knob.

build and program your own multicolored night-light

New Components Introduced in This Project

Each of the components listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each project.

  • LEDs
  • Resistors
  • Potentiometers
  • Photoresistors

New Concepts Introduced in This Project

Each of the concepts listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each project.

  • Polarity
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Digital Output
  • Analog vs. Digital
  • Analog Input
  • Analog to Digital Conversion
  • Voltage Divider
  • Pulse-width Modulation
  • Functions

You Will Learn

  • How to upload a program to your RedBoard or Arduino Uno
  • Circuit building basics
  • How to control LEDs with digital outputs
  • How to read sensors you analog inputs

Circuit 1A: Blink an LED

Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs (pronounced el-ee-dees), are small, powerful lights that are used in many different applications. You can find LEDs in just about any source of light nowadays, from the bulbs lighting your home to the tiny status lights flashing on your home electronics. Blinking an LED is the classic starting point for learning how to program embedded electronics. It’s the “Hello, World!” of microcontrollers.

In this circuit, you’ll write code that makes an LED flash on and off. This will teach you how to build a circuit, write a short program and upload that program to your RedBoard.

Circuit 1A: Blink an LED

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components and Concepts: Each circuit will introduce new components or parts that will be used in the circuit. Each circuit will also introduce a few new concepts that will help you understand what your circuit and code is doing and why.

New Components

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are small lights made from a silicon diode. They come in different colors, brightnesses, and sizes. LEDs have a positive (+) leg and a negative (-) leg, and they will only let electricity flow through them in one direction. LEDs can also burn out if too much electricity flows through them, so you should always use a resistor to limit the current when you wire an LED into a circuit.

Light Emitting Diode

Resistors

Resistors resist the flow of electricity. You can use them to protect sensitive components like LEDs. The strength of a resistor (measured in ohms) is marked on the body of the resistor using small colored bands. Each color stands for a number, which you can look up using a resistor chart.

Resistors

New Concepts

Polarity

Many electronics components have polarity, meaning electricity can only flow through them in one direction. Components like resistors do not have polarity; electricity can flow through them in either direction. However, components like an LED that do have polarity only work when electricity flows through them in one direction.

Ohm’s Law

Ohm’s law describes the relationship between the three fundamental elements of electricity: voltage, resistance, and current. This relationship can be represented by the following equation:

Ohm’s Law

Where

  • V = Voltage in volts
  • I = Current in amps
  • R = Resistance in ohms (Ω)

This equation is used to calculate what resistor values are suitable to sufficiently limit the current flowing to the LED so that it does not get too hot and burn out.

Digital Output

When working with microcontrollers such as the RedBoard, there are a variety of pins to which you can connect electronic components. Knowing which pins perform which functions is important when building your circuit. In this circuit, we will be using what is known as a digital output. There are 14 of these pins found on the RedBoard and Arduino Uno. A digital output only has two states: ON or OFF. These two states can also be thought of as HIGH or LOW or TRUE or FALSE. When an LED is connected to one of these pins, the pin can only perform two jobs: turning the LED on and turning the LED off. We’ll explore the other pins and their functions in later circuits.

The 14 digital pins highlighted

The 14 digital pins highlighted.

Hardware Hookup

We recommend familiarizing yourself with each of the components used in each circuit first.

Polarized Components

Pay close attention to the LED. It is polarized. The negative side of the LED is the short leg, marked with a flat edge.

Negative side of LED has short leg

Components like resistors need to have their legs bent into 90° angles in order to correctly fit the breadboard sockets.

Resistor legs bent into 90° angles to fit breadboard

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below, to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagrams: SparkFun uses a program called Fritzing to draw the circuit diagrams you see throughout this guide and throughout all of our online guides. Fritzing allows us to create diagrams that make it easier for you to see how your circuit should be built.

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Tables: Many electronics beginners find it helps to have a coordinate system when building their circuits. For each circuit, you'll find a hookup table that lists the coordinates of each component and where it connects to the RedBoard, the breadboard, or both. The breadboard has a letter/number coordinate system, just like the game Battleship.

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open Your First Sketch

Open the Arduino IDE software on your computer. Open the code for Circuit 1A by accessing the SIK Guide Code you downloaded and placed into your examples folder earlier.

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_1A-Blink

Open Your First Sketch

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 1A-Blink

Turns an LED connected to pin 13 on and off. Repeats forever.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

void setup()
{
pinMode(13, OUTPUT);
}

void loop()
{
digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // Turn on the LED
delay(2000); // Wait for one second
digitalWrite(13, LOW); // Turn off the LED
delay(2000); // Wait for one second
}
/*
/ Try changing the 2000 in the above delay() functions to
/ different numbers and see how it affects the timing. Smaller
/ values will make the loop run faster. (Why?)
/
/ Other challenges:
/ * Decrease the delay to 10 ms. Can you still see it blink?
/ Find the smallest delay that you can still see a blink. What is this frequency?
/ * Modify the code above to resemble a heartbeat.
*/

What You Should See

The LED will flash on for two seconds, off for two seconds, then repeat. If it doesn’t, make sure you have assembled the circuit correctly and verified and uploaded the code to your board, or see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this section.

What You Should See

Program Overview

  1. Turn the LED on by sending power to Pin 13.
  2. Wait 2 seconds (2000 milliseconds).
  3. Turn the LED off by cutting power to Pin 13.
  4. Wait 2 seconds (2000 milliseconds).
  5. Repeat.

One of the best ways to understand the code you just uploaded is to change something and see how it affects the behavior of your circuit. For this first circuit, try changing the number found in these lines of code: delay(2000);. What happens if you change both to 100? What happens if you change both to 5000? What happens if you change just one delay and not the other?

Onboard LED PIN 13: You may have noticed a second, smaller LED blinking in unison with the LED in your breadboard circuit. This is known as the onboard LED, and you can find one on almost any Arduino or Arduino-compatible board including the RedBoard. In most cases, this LED is connected to digital pin 13 (D13), which is the same pin used in this circuit. This LED is useful for troubleshooting, as you can always upload the Blink sketch to see if that LED lights up. If so, you know your board is functioning properly. If you do not want this LED to blink with other LEDs in your circuits, simply use any of the other 12 digital pins (D0-D12).

Onboard LED PIN 13

Code to Note

Code to Note: The sketches that accompany each circuit introduce new programming techniques and concepts as you progress through the guide. The Code to Note section highlights specific lines of code from the sketch and explains them in further detail.

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges: The Coding Challenges section is where you can find suggestions for changes to the circuit or code that will make the circuit more challenging. If you feel underwhelmed by the tasks in each circuit, visit the Coding Challenges section to push yourself to the next level.

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting: Last, each circuit has a Troubleshooting section with helpful tips and tricks to aid you in any problems you encounter along the way.

Troubleshooting

Circuit 1B: Potentiometer

Potentiometers (also known as “pots” or “knobs”) are one of the basic inputs for electronics devices. By tracking the position of the knob with your RedBoard, you can make volume controls, speed controls, angle sensors and a ton of other useful inputs for your projects. In this circuit, you’ll use a potentiometer as an input device to control the speed at which your LED blinks.

Circuit 1B: Potentiometer

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Potentiometer

A potentiometer (trimpot for short) is a variable resistor. When powered with 5V, the middle pin outputs a voltage between 0V and 5V, depending on the position of the knob on the potentiometer. Internal to the trimpot is a single resistor and a wiper, which cuts the resistor in two and moves to adjust the ratio between both halves. Externally, there are usually three pins: two pins connect to each end of the resistor, while the third connects to the pot’s wiper.

Potentiometer

New Concepts

Analog vs. Digital

Understanding the difference between analog and digital is a fundamental concept in electronics.

We live in an analog world. There is an infinite number of colors to paint an object (even if the difference is indiscernible to our eye), an infinite number of tones we can hear, and an infinite number of smells we can smell. The common theme among all of these analog signals is their infinite possibilities.

Digital signals deal in the realm of the discrete or finite, meaning there is a limited set of values they can be. The LED from the previous circuit had only two states it could exist in, ON or OFF, when connected to a Digital Output.

Analog Inputs

So far, we’ve only dealt with outputs. The RedBoard also has inputs. Both inputs and outputs can be analog or digital. Based on our definition of analog and digital above, that means an analog input can sense a wide range of values versus a digital input, which can only sense two states.

You may have noticed some pins labeled Digital and some labeled Analog In on your RedBoard. There are only six pins that function as analog inputs; they are labeled A0–A5.

The six analog pins highlighted

The six analog pins highlighted.

Voltage Divider

A voltage divider is a simple circuit that turns some voltage into a smaller voltage using two resistors. The following is a schematic of the voltage divider circuit. Schematics are a universally agreed upon set of symbols that engineers use to represent electric circuits.

Schematic of the voltage divider circuit

A potentiometer is a variable resistor that can be used to create an adjustable voltage divider.

potentiometer schematic

A potentiometer schematic symbol where pins 1 and 3 are the resistor ends, and pin 2 connects to the wiper

If the outside pins connect to a voltage source (one to ground, the other to Vin), the output (Vout) at the middle pin will mimic a voltage divider. Turn the trimpot all the way in one direction, and the voltage may be zero; turned to the other side, the output voltage approaches the input. A wiper in the middle position means the output voltage will be half of the input.

Voltage dividers will be covered in more detail in the next circuit.

Hardware Hookup

The potentiometer has three legs. Pay close attention into which pins you’re inserting it on the breadboard, as they will be hard to see once inserted.

Potentiometers are not polarized. You can attach either of the outside pins to 5V and the opposite to GND. However, the values you get out of the trimpot will change based on which pin is 5V and which is GND.

Pay attention to which pins you’re inserting

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_1B-Potentiometer

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 1B-Potentiometer

Changes how fast an LED connected to pin 13 blinks, based on a potentiometer connected to pin A0

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

int potPosition; //this variable will hold a value based on the position of the potentiometer

void setup()
{
Serial.begin(9600); //start a serial connection with the computer

pinMode(13, OUTPUT); //set pin 13 as an output that can be set to HIGH or LOW
}

void loop()
{
//read the position of the pot
potPosition = analogRead(A0); //set potPosition to a number between 0 and 1023 based on how far the knob is turned
Serial.println(potPosition); //print the value of potPosition in the serial monitor on the computer

//change the LED blink speed based on the trimpot value
digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // Turn on the LED
delay(potPosition); // delay for as many miliseconds as potPosition (0-1023)

digitalWrite(13, LOW); // Turn off the LED
delay(potPosition); // delay for as many miliseconds as potPosition (0-1023)
}

What You Should See

You should see the LED blink faster or slower in accordance with your potentiometer. The delay between each flash will change based on the position of the knob. If it isn’t working, make sure you have assembled the circuit correctly and verified and uploaded the code to your board, or see the Troubleshooting section.

LED blinks faster/slower with potentiometer

Program Overview

  1. Read the position of the potentiometer (from 0 to 1023) and store it in the variable potPosition.
  2. Turn the LED on.
  3. Wait from 0 to 1023 milliseconds, based on the position of the knob and the value of potPosition.
  4. Turn the LED off.
  5. Wait from 0 to 1023 milliseconds, based on the position of the knob and the value of potPosition.
  6. Repeat.

The Serial Monitor: The Serial Monitor is one of the Arduino IDE's many great built-in tools. It can help you understand the values that your program is trying to work with, and it can be a powerful debugging tool when you run into issues where your code is not behaving the way you expected it to. This circuit introduces you to the Serial Monitor by showing you how to print the values from your potentiometer to it. To see these values, click the Serial Monitor button, found in the upper-right corner of the IDE in most recent versions. You can also select Tools > Serial Monitor from the menu.

Serial Monitor, one of Arduino IDE

You should then see numeric values print out on the monitor. Turn the potentiometer, and you should see the values change as well as the delay between each print.

You should see numeric values print out on monitor

If you are having trouble seeing the values, ensure that you have selected 9600 baud in the drop-down menu and have auto scroll checked.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 1C: Photoresistor

In circuit 1B, you got to use a potentiometer, which varies resistance based on the twisting of a knob. In this circuit, you’ll be using a photoresistor, which changes resistance based on how much light the sensor receives. Using this sensor, you can make a simple night-light that turns on when the room gets dark and turns off when it is bright.

Circuit 1C: Photoresistor

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Photoresistor

Photoresistors, or photocells, are light-sensitive, variable resistors. As more light shines on the sensor’s head, the resistance between its two terminals decreases. They’re an easy-to-use component in projects that require ambient-light sensing.

Photoresistor

New Concepts

Analog to Digital Conversion

The world we live in is analog, but the RedBoard lives in a digital world. In order to have the RedBoard sense analog signals, we must first pass them through an Analog to Digital Converter (or ADC). The six analog inputs (A0–A5) covered in the last circuit all use an ADC. These pins “sample” the analog signal and create a digital signal for the microcontroller to interpret. The “resolution” of this signal is based on the resolution of the ADC. In the case of the RedBoard, that resolution is 10-bit. With a 10-bit ADC, we get 2 ^ 10 = 1024 possible values, which is why the analog signal varies between 0 and 1023.

Voltage Divider Continued

Since the RedBoard can’t directly interpret resistance (rather, it reads voltage), we need to use a voltage divider to use our photoresistor, a part that doesn’t output voltage. The resistance of the photoresistor changes as it gets darker or lighter. That changes the amount of voltage that is read on the analog pin, which “divides” the voltage, 5V in this case. That divided voltage is then read on the analog to digital converter.

Regular voltage divider/variable voltage divider

Left: A regular voltage divider circuit. Vout will be a constant voltage. Right: A variable voltage divider circuit. Vout will fluctuate as the resistance of the photoresistor changes.

The voltage divider equation assumes that you know three values of the above circuit: the input voltage (Vin), and both resistor values (R1 and R2). Given those values, we can use this equation to find the output voltage (Vout):

Equation to find the output voltage (Vout)

If R1 is a constant value (the resistor) and R2 fluctuates (the photoresistor), the amount of voltage measured on the Vout pin will also fluctuate.

Hardware Hookup

Note that the photoresistor is not polarized. It can be inserted in either direction.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_1C-Photoresistor

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 1C-Photoresistor

Use a photoresistor to monitor how bright a room is, and turn an LED on when it gets dark.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

int photoresistor = 0; //this variable will hold a value based on the position of the knob
int threshold = 750; //if the photoresistor reading is below this value the light will turn on

void setup()
{
Serial.begin(9600); //start a serial connection with the computer

pinMode(13, OUTPUT); //set pin 13 as an output that can be set to HIGH or LOW
}

void loop()
{
//read the position of the knob
photoresistor = analogRead(A0); //set photoresistor to a number between 0 and 1023 based on how far the knob is turned
Serial.println(photoresistor); //print the value of photoresistor in the serial monitor on the computer

//if the photoresistor value is below the threshold turn the light on, otherwise turn it off
if (photoresistor < threshold){
digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // Turn on the LED
} else{
digitalWrite(13, LOW); // Turn off the LED
}

delay(100); //short delay to make the printout easier to read
}

What You Should See

The program stores the light level in a variable, photoresistor. Then, using an if/else statement, the program checks to see what it should do with the LED. If the variable is above the threshold (it’s bright), turn the LED off. If the variable is below the threshold (it’s dark), turn the LED on. You now have just built your own night-light!

You now have just built your own night-light

Open the Serial Monitor in Arduino. The value of the photoresistor should be printed every so often. When the photoresistor value drops below the threshold value set in the code, the LED should turn on (you can cover the photoresistor with your finger to make the value drop).

Note: If the room you are in is very bright or dark, you may have to change the value of the “threshold” variable in the code to make your night-light turn on and off. See the Troubleshooting section for instructions.

Program Overview

  1. Store the light level in the variable photoresistor.
  2. If the value of photoresistor is above the threshold (it’s bright), turn the LED off.
  3. If the value of photoresistor is below the threshold (it’s dark), turn the LED on.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 1D: RGB Night-Light

In this circuit, you’ll take the night-light concept to the next level by adding an RGB LED, which is three differently colored Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) built into one component. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue, and these three colors can be combined to create any color of the rainbow!

Circuit 1D: RGB Night-Light

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

RGB LED

An RGB LED is actually three small LEDs — one red, one green, and one blue — inside a normal LED housing. The RGB LED included in this kit has all the internal LEDs share the same ground wire, so there are four legs in total. To turn one color on, ensure the ground is connected, then power one of the legs just as you would a regular LED. If you turn on more than one color at a time, you will see the colors start to blend together to form a new color.

An RGB LED is actually three small LEDs

New Concepts

Analog Output (Pulse-width Modulation)

You can use the digitalWrite() command to turn pins on the RedBoard on (5V) or off (0V), but what if you want to output 2.5V? The RedBoard doesn’t have an Analog Output, but it is really good at switching some digital pins on and off fast enough to simulate an analog output. analogWrite() can output 2.5 volts by quickly switching a pin on and off so that the pin is only on 50 percent of the time (50% of 5V is 2.5V). By changing the percent of time that a pin is on, from 0 percent (always off) to 100 percent (always on), analogWrite() can output any voltage between 0 and 5V. This is what is known as pulse-width modulation (or PWM). By using PWM, you can create many different colors with the RGB LED.

Digital (PWM~): Only a few of the pins on the RedBoard have the circuitry needed to turn on and off fast enough for PWM. These are pins 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11. Each PWM pin is marked with a ~ on the board. Remember, you can only use analogWrite() on these pins.

 

Digital (PWM~)

Creating Your Own Simple Functions

When programmers want to use a piece of code over and over again, they write a function. The simplest functions are just chunks of code that you give a name to. When you want to run that code, you can “call” the function by typing its name, instead of writing out all of the code. More complicated functions take and return pieces of information from the program (we call these pieces of information parameters). In this circuit, you’ll write functions to turn the RGB LED different colors by just typing that color’s name.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Just like a regular LED, an RGB LED is polarized and only allows electricity to flow in one direction. Pay close attention to the flat edge and to the different length leads. Both are indicators to help orient the LED correctly.

LEDs are polarized/allow electricity to flow one way

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_1D-RGBNightlight

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 1D-RGB Nightlight

Turns an RGB LED on or off based on the light level read by a photoresistor.
Change colors by turning the potentiometer.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

int photoresistor; //variable for storing the photoresistor value
int potentiometer; //variable for storing the photoresistor value
int threshold = 700; //if the photoresistor reading is lower than this value the light wil turn on

//LEDs are connected to these pins
int RedPin = 9;
int GreenPin = 10;
int BluePin = 11;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600); //start a serial connection with the computer

//set the LED pins to output
pinMode(RedPin,OUTPUT);
pinMode(GreenPin,OUTPUT);
pinMode(BluePin,OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {

photoresistor = analogRead(A0); //read the value of the photoresistor
potentiometer = analogRead(A1);

Serial.print("Photoresistor value:");
Serial.print(photoresistor); //print the photoresistor value to the serial monitor
Serial.print(" Potentiometer value:");
Serial.println(potentiometer); //print the photoresistor value to the serial monitor

if(photoresistor < threshold){ //if it's dark (the photoresistor value is below the threshold) turn the LED on
//These nested if staments check for a variety of ranges and
//call different functions based on the current potentiometer value.
//Those functions are found at the bottom of the sketch.
if(potentiometer > 0 && potentiometer <= 150)
red();
if(potentiometer > 150 && potentiometer <= 300)
orange();
if(potentiometer > 300 && potentiometer <= 450)
yellow();
if(potentiometer > 450 && potentiometer <= 600)
green();
if(potentiometer > 600 && potentiometer <= 750)
cyan();
if(potentiometer > 750 && potentiometer <= 900)
blue();
if(potentiometer > 900)
magenta();
}
else { //if it isn't dark turn the LED off

turnOff(); //call the turn off function

}

delay(100); //short delay so that the printout is easier to read
}

void red (){

//set the LED pins to values that make red
analogWrite(RedPin, 100);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 0);
analogWrite(BluePin, 0);
}
void orange (){

//set the LED pins to values that make orange
analogWrite(RedPin, 100);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 50);
analogWrite(BluePin, 0);
}
void yellow (){

//set the LED pins to values that make yellow
analogWrite(RedPin, 100);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 100);
analogWrite(BluePin, 0);
}
void green (){

//set the LED pins to values that make green
analogWrite(RedPin, 0);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 100);
analogWrite(BluePin, 0);
}
void cyan (){

//set the LED pins to values that make cyan
analogWrite(RedPin, 0);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 100);
analogWrite(BluePin, 100);
}
void blue (){

//set the LED pins to values that make blue
analogWrite(RedPin, 0);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 0);
analogWrite(BluePin, 100);
}
void magenta (){

//set the LED pins to values that make magenta
analogWrite(RedPin, 100);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 0);
analogWrite(BluePin, 100);
}
void turnOff (){

//set all three LED pins to 0 or OFF
analogWrite(RedPin, 0);
analogWrite(GreenPin, 0);
analogWrite(BluePin, 0);
}

What You Should See

This sketch is not dissimilar from the last. It reads the value from the photoresistor, compares it to a threshold value, and turns the RGB LED on or off accordingly. This time, however, we’ve added a potentiometer back into the circuit. When you twist the pot, you should see the color of the RGB LED change based on the pot’s value.

twist the pot/see color of RGB LED change

Open the Serial Monitor. The value being read by the light sensor should be printed several times a second. When you turn out the lights or cover the sensor, the LED will shine whatever color you programmed in your color function. Next to the light value, you’ll see the potentiometer value print out as well.

Note: If the room you are in is very bright or dark, you may have to change the value of the “threshold” variable in the code to make your night-light turn on and off. See the Troubleshooting section for instructions.

Program Overview

  1. Store the light level from pin A0 in the variable photoresistor.
  2. Store the potentiometer value from pin A1 in the variable potentiometer.
  3. If the light level variable is above the threshold, call the function that turns the RGB LED off.
  4. If the light level variable is below the threshold, call one of the color functions to turn the RGB LED on.
  5. If potentiometer is between 0 and 150, turn the RGB LED on red.
  6. If potentiometer is between 151 and 300, turn the RGB LED on orange.
  7. If potentiometer is between 301 and 450, turn the RGB LED on yellow.
  8. If potentiometer is between 451 and 600, turn the RGB LED on green.
  9. If potentiometer is between 601 and 750, turn the RGB LED on cyan.
  10. If potentiometer is between 751 and 900, turn the RGB LED on blue.
  11. If potentiometer is greater than 900, turn the RGB LED on magenta.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Project 2: Sound

In Project 2, you will venture into the world of buttons and buzzers while building your own Simon Says game! Simon Says is a game in which the LEDs flash a pattern of red, green, yellow and blue blinks, and the user must recreate the pattern using color-coded buttons before the timer runs out.

building your own Simon Says game!

New Components Introduced in This Project

Each of the components listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Buzzer
  • Buttons

New Concepts Introduced in This Project

Each of the concepts listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Arrays
  • Binary
  • Digital Inputs
  • Pull-up Resistors
  • For Loops
  • Measuring Elapsed Time

You Will Learn

  • How to make tones with a buzzer
  • How to read a button using digital inputs
  • How to program a game

Circuit 2A: Buzzer

In this circuit, you’ll use the RedBoard and a small buzzer to make music, and you’ll learn how to program your own songs using arrays.

use the RedBoard and a small buzzer to make music

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Buzzer

The buzzer uses a small magnetic coil to vibrate a metal disc inside a plastic housing. By pulsing electricity through the coil at different rates, different frequencies (pitches) of sound can be produced. Attaching a potentiometer to the output allows you to limit the amount of current moving through the buzzer and lower its volume.

Buzzer

New Concepts

Reset Button

The RedBoard has a built-in reset button. This button will reset the board and start the code over from the beginning, running what is in setup() and then loop().

Reset Button

Tone Function

To control the buzzer, you will use the tone function. This function is similar to PWM in that it generates a wave that is of a certain frequency on the specified pin. The frequency and duration can both be passed to the tone() function when calling it. To turn the tone off, you need to call noTone() or pass a duration of time for it to play and then stop. Unlike PWM, tone() can be used on any digital pin.

Arrays

Arrays are used like variables, but they can store multiple values. The simplest array is just a list. Imagine that you want to store the frequency for each note of the C major scale. We could make seven variables and assign a frequency to each one, or we could use an array and store all seven in the same array, as shown below. To refer to a specific value in the array, an index number is used. Arrays are indexed from 0. For example, to call the first element in the array, use array_name0; ; to call the second element, use array_name1; and so on.

Arrays are like variables, but store multiple values

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

The buzzer is polarized. To see which leg is positive and which is negative, flip the buzzer over and look at the markings underneath. Keep track of which pin is where, as they will be hard to see once inserted into the breadboard. There is also text on the positive side of the buzzer, along with a tiny (+) symbol.

The buzzer is polarized

Volume Knob

All of the circuits in Project 2 make use of a potentiometer as a rudimentary volume knob. Notice that only two of the potentiometer’s legs are used in these circuits. In these instances, the potentiometer is acting as a variable resistor, limiting the amount of current flowing to the speaker and thus affecting the volume as you turn the knob. This is similar to the current-limiting resistor used to limit current to the LED in circuit 1A — only this time the resistance is variable.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_2A-Buzzer

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 2A - Buzzer

Play notes using a buzzer connected to pin 10

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/


int speakerPin = 10; //the pin that buzzer is connected to

void setup()
{
pinMode(speakerPin, OUTPUT); //set the output pin for the speaker
}

void loop()
{

play('g', 2); //ha
play('g', 1); //ppy
play('a', 4); //birth
play('g', 4); //day
play('C', 4); //to
play('b', 4); //you

play(' ', 2); //pause for 2 beats

play('g', 2); //ha
play('g', 1); //ppy
play('a', 4); //birth
play('g', 4); //day
play('D', 4); //to
play('C', 4); //you

play(' ', 2); //pause for 2 beats

play('g', 2); //ha
play('g', 1); //ppy
play('G', 4); //birth
play('E', 4); //day
play('C', 4); //dear
play('b', 4); //your
play('a', 6); //name

play(' ', 2); //pause for 2 beats

play('F', 2); //ha
play('F', 1); //ppy
play('E', 4); //birth
play('C', 4); //day
play('D', 4); //to
play('C', 6); //you

while(true){} //get stuck in this loop forever so that the song only plays once
}


void play( char note, int beats)
{
int numNotes = 14; // number of notes in our note and frequency array (there are 15 values, but arrays start at 0)

//Note: these notes are C major (there are no sharps or flats)

//this array is used to look up the notes
char notes = { 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f', 'g', 'a', 'b', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F', 'G', 'A', 'B', ' '};
//this array matches frequencies with each letter (e.g. the 4th note is 'f', the 4th frequency is 175)
int frequencies = {131, 147, 165, 175, 196, 220, 247, 262, 294, 330, 349, 392, 440, 494, 0};

int currentFrequency = 0; //the frequency that we find when we look up a frequency in the arrays
int beatLength = 150; //the length of one beat (changing this will speed up or slow down the tempo of the song)

//look up the frequency that corresponds to the note
for (int i = 0; i < numNotes; i++) // check each value in notes from 0 to 14
{
if (notesi == note) // does the letter passed to the play function match the letter in the array?
{
currentFrequency = frequenciesi; // Yes! Set the current frequency to match that note
}
}

//play the frequency that matched our letter for the number of beats passed to the play function
tone(speakerPin, currentFrequency, beats * beatLength);
delay(beats* beatLength); //wait for the length of the tone so that it has time to play
delay(50); //a little delay between the notes makes the song sound more natural

}

/* CHART OF FREQUENCIES FOR NOTES IN C MAJOR
Note Frequency (Hz)
c 131
d 147
e 165
f 175
g 196
a 220
b 247
C 262
D 294
E 330
F 349
G 392
A 440
B 494
*/

What You Should See

When the program begins, a song will play from the buzzer once. To replay the song, press the reset button on the RedBoard. Use the potentiometer to adjust the volume.

When program begins, a song plays from buzzer once

Program Overview

Inside the main loop:

  1. Play the first note for x number of beats using the play function.
    1. (Inside the play function:) Take the note passed to the play function and compare it to each letter in the notes array. When you find a note that matches, remember the index position of that note (e.g., 6th entry in the notes array).
    2. Get a frequency from the frequency array that has the same index as the note that matched (e.g., the 6th frequency).
    3. Play that frequency for the number of beats passed to the play function.
  2. Play the second note using the play function…and so on.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 2B: Digital Trumpet

Learn about digital inputs and buttons as you build your own digital trumpet!

Build your own digital trumpet

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Buttons

Buttons, also known as momentary switches, are switches that only remain in their on state as long as they’re being actuated, or pressed. Most often momentary switches are best used for intermittent user-input cases: reset button and keypad buttons. These switches have a nice, tactile, “clicky” feedback when you press them.

Buttons

Note that the different colors are just aesthetic. All of the buttons included behave the same no matter their color.

New Concepts

Binary Number System

Number systems are the methods we use to represent numbers. We’ve all been mostly operating within the comfy confines of a base-10 number system, but there are many others. The base-2 system, otherwise known as binary, is common when dealing with computers and electronics. There are really only two ways to represent the state of anything: ON or OFF, HIGH or LOW, 1 or 0. And so, almost all electronics rely on a base-2 number system to store and manipulate numbers. The heavy reliance electronics places on binary numbers means it’s important to know how the base-2 number system works.

Digital Input

In circuit 1A, you worked with digital outputs. This circuit focuses on digital inputs. Digital inputs only care if something is in one of two states: TRUE or FALSE, HIGH or LOW, ON or OFF. Digital inputs are great for determining if a button has been pressed or if a switch has been flipped.

Pull-up Resistors

A pull-up resistor is a small circuit that holds the voltage HIGH (5V) on a pin until a button is pressed, pulling the voltage LOW (0V). The most common place you will see a pull-up resistor is when working with buttons. A pull-up resistor keeps the button in one state until it is pressed. The RedBoard has built-in pull-up resistors, but they can also be added to a circuit externally. This circuit uses the internal pull-up resistors, covered in more detail in the Code to Note section.

Hardware Hookup

Buttons are not polarized. However, they do merit a closer look. Buttons make momentary contact from one connection to another, so why are there four legs on each button? The answer is to provide more stability and support to the buttons in your breadboard circuit. Each row of legs is connected internally. When the button is pressed, one row connects to the other, making a connection between all four pins.

Buttons aren

If the button’s legs don’t line up with the slots on the breadboard, rotate it 90 degrees.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_2B-ButtonTrumpet

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 2B-DigitalTrumpet

Use 3 buttons plugged to play musical notes on a buzzer.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

//set the pins for the button and buzzer
int firstKeyPin = 2;
int secondKeyPin = 3;
int thirdKeyPin = 4;

int buzzerPin = 10;


void setup() {
//set the button pins as inputs
pinMode(firstKeyPin, INPUT_PULLUP);
pinMode(secondKeyPin, INPUT_PULLUP);
pinMode(thirdKeyPin, INPUT_PULLUP);

//set the buzzer pin as an output
pinMode(buzzerPin, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {

if(digitalRead(firstKeyPin) == LOW){ //if the first key is pressed
tone(buzzerPin, 262); //play the frequency for c
}
else if(digitalRead(secondKeyPin) == LOW){ //if the second key is pressed
tone(buzzerPin, 330); //play the frequency for e
}
else if(digitalRead(thirdKeyPin) == LOW){ //if the third key is pressed
tone(buzzerPin, 392); //play the frequency for g
}
else{
noTone(buzzerPin); //if no key is pressed turn the buzzer off
}
}

/*
note frequency
c 262 Hz
d 294 Hz
e 330 Hz
f 349 Hz
g 392 Hz
a 440 Hz
b 494 Hz
C 523 Hz
*/

What You Should See

Different tones will play when you press different keys. Turning the potentiometer will adjust the volume.

Different tones will play when different keys pressed

Program Overview

  1. Check to see if the first button is pressed.
    1. If it is, play the frequency for c.
    2. If it isn’t, skip to the next else if statement.
  2. Check to see if the second button is pressed.
    1. If it is, play the frequency for e.
    2. If it isn’t, skip to the next else if statement.
  3. Check to see if the second button is pressed.
    1. If it is, play the frequency for g.
    2. If it isn’t, skip to the next else if statement.
  4. If none of the if statements are true
    1. Turn the buzzer off.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 2C: Simon Says Game

The Simon Says game uses LEDs to flash a pattern, which the player must remember and repeat using four buttons. The classic Simon game has been a hit since the 1980s. Now you can build your own!

Simon Says Game

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Concepts

For Loops

For loops repeat a section of code a set number of times. The loop works by using a counter (usually programmers use the letter “i” for this variable) that increases each loop until it reaches a stop value. Here’s an example of a simple for loop:

Copy Code
for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++){
Serial.print(i);
}

The for loop takes three parameters in the brackets, separated by semicolons. The first parameter is the start value. In this case, integer i starts at 0. The second value is the stop condition. In this case, we stop the loop when i is no longer less than 5 (i < 5 is no longer true). The final parameter is an increment value. i++ is shorthand for increase i by 1 each time, but you could also increase i by different amounts. This loop would repeat five times. Each time it would run the code in between the brackets, which prints the value of i to the serial monitor.

Measuring Durations of Time With millis()

The RedBoard has a built-in clock that keeps accurate time. You can use the millis() command to see how many milliseconds have passed since the RedBoard was last powered. By storing the time when an event happens and then subtracting the current time, you can measure the number of milliseconds (and thus seconds) that have passed. This sketch uses this function to set a time limit for repeating the pattern.

Custom Functions

This sketch uses several user-defined functions. These functions perform operations that are needed many times in the program (for example, reading which button is currently pressed or turning all of the LEDs off). Functions are essential to make more complex programs readable and compact.

Hardware Hookup

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_2C-SimonSays

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 2C-Simon Says

The Simon Says game flashes a pattern using LED lights, then the player must repeat the pattern.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

//set the pins where the butons, LEDs and buzzer connect
int button = {2,4,6,8}; //red is button0, yellow is button1, green is button2, blue is button3
int led = {3,5,7,9}; //red is led0, yellow is led1, green is led2, blue is led3
int tones = {262, 330, 392, 494}; //tones to play with each button (c, e, g, b)

int roundsToWin = 10; //number of rounds the player has to play before they win the game (the array can only hold up to 16 rounds)
int buttonSequence16; //make an array of numbers that will be the sequence that the player needs to remember

int buzzerPin = 10; //pin that the buzzer is connected to

int pressedButton = 4; //a variable to remember which button is being pressed. 4 is the value if no button is being pressed.
int roundCounter = 1; //keeps track of what round the player is on


long startTime = 0; //timer variable for time limit on button press
long timeLimit = 2000; //time limit to hit a button

boolean gameStarted = false; //variable to tell the game whether or not to play the start sequence

void setup(){

//set all of the button pins to input_pullup (use the builtin pullup resistors)
pinMode(button0, INPUT_PULLUP);
pinMode(button1, INPUT_PULLUP);
pinMode(button2, INPUT_PULLUP);
pinMode(button3, INPUT_PULLUP);

//set all of the LED pins to output
pinMode(led0, OUTPUT);
pinMode(led1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(led2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(led3, OUTPUT);

pinMode(buzzerPin, OUTPUT); //set the buzzer pin to output
}

void loop(){

if (gameStarted == false){ //if the game hasn't started yet
startSequence(); //flash the start sequence
roundCounter = 0; //reset the round counter
delay(1500); //wait a second and a half
gameStarted = true; //set gameStarted to true so that this sequence doesn't start again
}

//each round, start by flashing out the sequence to be repeated
for(int i=0; i <= roundCounter; i++){ //go through the array up to the current round number
flashLED(buttonSequencei); //turn on the LED for that array position and play the sound
delay(200); //wait
allLEDoff(); //turn all of the LEDs off
delay(200);
}

//then start going through the sequence one at a time and see if the user presses the correct button
for(int i=0; i <= roundCounter; i++){ //for each button to be pressed in the sequence

startTime = millis(); //record the start time

while(true){ //loop until the player presses a button or the time limit is up (the time limit check is in an if statement)

pressedButton = buttonCheck(); //every loop check to see which button is pressed

if (pressedButton < 4){ //if a button is pressed... (4 means that no button is pressed)

flashLED(pressedButton); //flash the LED for the button that was pressed

if(pressedButton == buttonSequencei){ //if the button matches the button in the sequence
delay(250); //leave the LED light on for a moment
allLEDoff(); //then turn off all of the lights and
break; //end the while loop (this will go to the next number in the for loop)

} else{ //if the button doesn't match the button in the sequence
loseSequence(); //play the lose sequence (the loose sequence stops the program)
break; //when the program gets back from the lose sequence, break the while loop so that the game can start over
}

} else { //if no button is pressed
allLEDoff(); //turn all the LEDs off
}

//check to see if the time limit is up
if(millis() - startTime > timeLimit){ //if the time limit is up
loseSequence(); //play the lose sequence
break; //when the program gets back from the lose sequence, break the while loop so that the game can start over
}
}
}

roundCounter = roundCounter + 1; //increase the round number by 1

if (roundCounter >= roundsToWin){ //if the player has gotten to the 16th round
winSequence(); //play the winning song
}

delay(500); //wait for half a second between rounds


}

//----------FUNCTIONS------------

//FLASH LED
void flashLED (int ledNumber){
digitalWrite(ledledNumber, HIGH);
tone(buzzerPin, tonesledNumber);
}

//TURN ALL LEDS OFF
void allLEDoff (){
//turn all the LEDs off
digitalWrite(led0,LOW);
digitalWrite(led1,LOW);
digitalWrite(led2,LOW);
digitalWrite(led3,LOW);
//turn the buzzer off
noTone(buzzerPin);
}

//CHECK WHICH BUTTON IS PRESSED
int buttonCheck(){
//check if any buttons are being pressed
if(digitalRead(button0) == LOW){
return 0;
}else if(digitalRead(button1) == LOW){
return 1;
}else if(digitalRead(button2) == LOW){
return 2;
}else if(digitalRead(button3) == LOW){
return 3;
}else{
return 4; //this will be the value for no button being pressed
}
}

//START SEQUENCE
void startSequence(){

randomSeed(analogRead(A0)); //make sure the random numbers are really random

//populate the buttonSequence array with random numbers from 0 to 3
for (int i=0;i<=roundsToWin;i++){
buttonSequencei = round(random(0,4));
}

//flash all of the LEDs when the game starts
for(int i=0; i<=3; i++){

tone(buzzerPin, tonesi, 200); //play one of the 4 tones

//turn all of the leds on
digitalWrite(led0,HIGH);
digitalWrite(led1,HIGH);
digitalWrite(led2,HIGH);
digitalWrite(led3,HIGH);

delay(100); //wait for a moment

//turn all of the leds off
digitalWrite(led0,LOW);
digitalWrite(led1,LOW);
digitalWrite(led2,LOW);
digitalWrite(led3,LOW);

delay(100); //wait for a moment

} //this will repeat 4 times
}

//WIN SEQUENCE
void winSequence(){

//turn all the LEDs on
for(int j=0; j<=3; j++){
digitalWrite(ledj, HIGH);
}

//play the 1Up noise
tone(buzzerPin, 1318, 150); //E6
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 1567, 150); //G6
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2637, 150); //E7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2093, 150); //C7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2349, 150); //D7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 3135, 500); //G7
delay(500);

//wait until a button is pressed
do {
pressedButton = buttonCheck();
} while(pressedButton > 3);
delay(100);

gameStarted = false; //reset the game so that the start sequence will play again.

}

//LOSE SEQUENCE
void loseSequence(){

//turn all the LEDs on
for(int j=0; j<=3; j++){
digitalWrite(ledj, HIGH);
}

//play the 1Up noise
tone(buzzerPin, 130, 250); //E6
delay(275);
tone(buzzerPin, 73, 250); //G6
delay(275);
tone(buzzerPin, 65, 150); //E7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 98, 500); //C7
delay(500);

//wait until a button is pressed
do {
pressedButton = buttonCheck();
} while(pressedButton > 3);
delay(200);

gameStarted = false; //reset the game so that the start sequence will play again.
}

What You Should See

The circuit will flash all of the LEDs and play a melody. After a few seconds, it will flash the first light in the pattern. If you repeat the pattern correctly by pressing the corresponding colored button, then the game will move to the next round and add another color to the pattern sequence. If you make a mistake, the loss melody will play. If you get to round 10, the win melody will play. Press any button to start a new game.

The circuit will flash all the LEDs and play a melody

Program Overview

  1. Check if a new game is starting. If it is, play the start sequence. Reset the counter that keeps track of rounds, and randomly generate a sequence of numbers from 0 to 3 that control which LEDs the user will have to remember.
  2. The game works in rounds that progress from 0 to 10. Each round the game will flash LEDs in a pattern, then the player has to recreate the pattern by pressing the button(s) that match the LED(s). In the first round, one LED will flash, and the player will have to press one button. In the eighth round, eight LEDs will flash, and the player will have to press eight buttons.
  3. Use a loop to flash LEDs from the sequence until you have flashed the number of LEDs that matches the round number (1 for round 1, 2 for round 2, etc).
  4. Start a timer, and wait for the player to press a button. The player has 1.5 seconds to press the correct button.
    1. If the time limit runs out before a button is pressed, the player loses.
    2. If the player presses the wrong button, the player loses.
    3. If the player presses the right button, move on to the next number in the sequence.
    4. Repeat this process until the player has lost or correctly repeated the sequence for this round.
  5. If the player repeats the entire sequence for that round. Increase the round number by one (this will add one extra item to the end of the pattern). Then go back to step 3.
  6. Keep incrementing the round until the player loses or the player finishes 10 rounds. If the player finishes 10 rounds, play the winning sequence.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

 

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Project 3: Motion

Tired of your cat walking all over the kitchen counter? How about the dog getting into the garbage? Need a way to stop your little brother from sneaking into your bedroom? Learn how to protect against all of these annoyances as you build a multipurpose alarm. The alarm detects distance and motion using an ultrasonic distance sensor, and creates motion using a servo motor.

Alarm detects distance/motion using an distance sensor

New Components Introduced in This Project

Each of the components listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Servo Motor
  • Ultrasonic Distance Sensor

New Concepts Introduced in This Project

Each of the concepts listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • PWM Duty Cycle
  • Arduino Libraries
  • Objects and Methods
  • Datasheets
  • Digital Sensors
  • Servo Mechanisms

You Will Learn

  • How to control a servo motor
  • How to use an ultrasonic distance sensor
  • How to move objects using servo mechanisms

Circuit 3A: Servo Motors

In this circuit, you will learn how to wire a servo and control it with code. Servo motors can be told to move to a specific position and stay there. Low-cost servo motors were originally used to steer remote-controlled airplanes and cars, but they have become popular for any project where precise movement is needed.

learn how to wire a servo and control it with code

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

Additional Materials

  • Scissors (NOT INCLUDED)

New Components

Servo Motors

Regular DC motors have two wires. When you hook the wires up to power, the motor spins around and around. Servo motors, on the other hand, have three wires: one for power, one for ground, and one for signal. When you send the right signal through the signal wire, the servo will move to a specific angle and stay there. Common servos rotate over a range of 0° to 180°. The signal that is sent is a PWM signal, the same used to control the RGB LED in Project 1.

Servo Motors

New Concepts

Duty Cycle

The Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) hardware available on a microcontroller is a great way to generate servo control signals. When talking about how long a PWM signal is on, this is referred to as duty cycle. Duty cycle is measured in percentage. The percentage of duty cycle specifically describes the percentage of time a digital signal is on over an interval or period of time. The variation in the duty cycle tells the servo which position to go to in its rotation.

50%, 75% and 25% duty cycle examples

50%, 75% and 25% duty cycle examples

Arduino Libraries

Writing code that sends precise PWM signals to the servo would be time consuming and would require a lot more knowledge about the servo. Luckily, the Arduino IDE has hundreds of built-in and user-submitted containers of code that are called libraries. One of the built-in libraries, the Servo Library, allows us to control a servo with just a few lines of code!

To use one of the built-in Arduino libraries, all you have to do is “include” a link to its header file. A header file is a smaller code file that contains definitions for all the functions used in that library. By adding a link to the header file in your code, you are enabling your code to use all of those library functions. To use the Servo Library, you would add the following line to the top of your sketch.

Copy Code
#include <Servo.h>

Objects and Methods

To use the Servo Library, you will have to start by creating a servo object, like this:

Copy Code
Servo myServo;

Objects look a lot like variables, but they can do much more. Objects can store values, and they can have their own functions, which are called methods.

The most used method that a servo object has is .write().

Copy Code
myServo.write(90);

The write method takes one parameter, a number from 0 to 180, and moves the servo arm to the specified position (in this case, degree 90).

Why would we want to go to the trouble of making an object and a method instead of just sending a servo control signal directly over a pin? First, the servo object does the work of translating our desired position into a signal that the servo can read. Second, using objects makes it easy for us to add and control more than one servo.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Servo motor connectors are polarized, but there is no place to attach them directly. Instead, connect three jumper wires to the female 3-pin header on the servo. This will make it so you can connect the servo to the breadboard.

Servo motor connectors are polarized

The servo wires are color coded to make hookup simple. The pin-out is as follows:

Servo wires pin-out

Included with your servo motor you will find a variety of motor mounts that connect to the shaft of your servo. You may choose to attach any mount you wish for this circuit. It will serve as a visual aid, making it easier to see the servo spin. The mounts will also come in handy at the end of this project.

Various motor mounts included with servo motor

The various motor mounts included with your servo motor

Affix the Servo (optional)

Included in your SIK is a strip of Dual Lock™. Cut a piece off the strip that is about ⅝ inch or 1.6cm. Then cut that strip in half to get two pieces that are roughly ⅝ inch x ½ inch or 1.6cm x 1.3cm.

Cut a piece of Dual Lock™

Peel off the adhesive backing, and stick one half on the bottom of the servo motor.

Peel off adhesive/stick one half on bottom of servo

Stick the other half anywhere on the breadboard baseplate you want. Firmly press the bottom of the servo to the baseplate to temporarily adhere the two pieces of Dual Lock together. This will help stabilize the servo motor as it moves about.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the Fritzing diagram below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole column highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_3A-Servo.

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 3A-Servo

Move a servo attached to pin 9 so that it's angle matches a potentitometer attached to A0.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

#include <Servo.h> //include the servo library

int potPosition; //this variable will store the position of the potentiometer
int servoPosition; //the servo will move to this position

Servo myservo; //create a servo object

void setup() {

myservo.attach(9); //tell the servo object that its servo is plugged into pin 9

}

void loop() {



potPosition = analogRead(A0); //use analog read to measure the position of the potentiometer (0-1023)

servoPosition = map(potPosition, 0,1023,20,160); //convert the potentiometer number to a servo position from 20-160
//Note: its best to avoid driving the little SIK servos all the
//way to 0 or 180 degrees it can cause the motor to jitter, which is bad for the servo.

myservo.write(servoPosition); //move the servo to the 10 degree position
}

What You Should See

Turning the potentiometer will cause the servo to turn.

Turning the potentiometer will cause the servo to turn

Program Overview

  1. Read the value of the potentiometer.
  2. Convert the potentiometer value (0–1023) to an angle (20–160).
  3. Tell the servo to go to this angle.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 3B: Distance Sensor

Distance sensors are amazing tools with all kinds of uses. They can sense the presence of an object, they can be used in experiments to calculate speed and acceleration, and they can be used in robotics to avoid obstacles. This circuit will walk you through the basics of using an ultrasonic distance sensor, which measures distance using sound waves!

Distance sensors are amazing tools with many uses

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Ultrasonic Distance Sensor

Distance sensors work by sending pulses of light or sound out from a transmitter, then timing how long it takes for the signals to bounce off an object and return to a receiver (just like sonar). Some sensors use infrared light, some use lasers, and some, like the HC-SR04 included in your kit, use ultrasonic sound (sound so high-pitched that you can’t hear it).

Ultrasonic Distance Sensor

New Concepts

Datasheets

When working with electronics, datasheets are your best friend. Datasheets contain all the relevant information needed to get you up and running with a part. In this circuit, we are calculating distance based on the time it takes sound waves to be transmitted, bounce off an object and then be received. But, how can we tell the distance from that information? The answer lies in the datasheet for the distance sensor. In it, you can find the equation the program needs to interpret distance from the time it takes the sound wave to travel.

Else If Statement

In the night-light circuit, you used an if/else statement to run one set of code when a logic statement was true, and a different set of code when it was false. What if you wanted to have more than two options? Else if statements let you run as many logical tests as you want in one if statement. For example, in the code for this circuit, there is an if statement that flows like this:

  1. If the distance is less than 10, make the RGB LED red.
  2. Else if the distance is more than 10 but less than 20, make the RGB LED yellow.
  3. Else make the RGB LED green.

If you wanted to have four or five colors for different distances, you could add more else if statements.

Else if statements are different from nested if statements in that only one of the statements above can be true, whereas you could have multiple nested if statements that could true.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

The distance sensor is polarized. Take note of the pin labels when connecting your circuit.

Take note of the pin labels

The following table describes the function of each pin on the distance sensor:

function of each pin on the distance sensor

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the Fritzing diagram below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_3B-DistanceSensor

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 3B-Distance Sensor

Control the color of an RGB LED using an ultrasonic distance sensor.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

const int trigPin = 11; //connects to the echo pin on the distance sensor
const int echoPin = 12; //connects to the trigger pin on the distance sensor

const int redPin = 3; //pin to control the red LED inside the RGB LED
const int greenPin = 5; //pin to control the green LED inside the RGB LED
const int bluePin = 6; //pin to control the blue LED inside the RGB LED

float distance = 0; //stores the distance measured by the distance sensor

void setup()
{
Serial.begin (9600); //set up a serial connection with the computer

pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT); //the trigger pin will output pulses of electricity
pinMode(echoPin, INPUT); //the echo pin will measure the duration of pulses coming back from the distance sensor

//set the RGB LED pins to output
pinMode(redPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(greenPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(bluePin, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
distance = getDistance(); //variable to store the distance measured by the sensor

Serial.print(distance); //print the distance that was measured
Serial.println(" in"); //print units after the distance

if(distance <= 10){ //if the object is close

//make the RGB LED red
analogWrite(redPin, 255);
analogWrite(greenPin, 0);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);

} else if(10 < distance && distance < 20){ //if the object is a medium distance

//make the RGB LED yellow
analogWrite(redPin, 255);
analogWrite(greenPin, 50);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);

} else{ //if the object is far away

//make the RGB LED green
analogWrite(redPin, 0);
analogWrite(greenPin, 255);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);
}

delay(50); //delay 50ms between each reading
}

//------------------FUNCTIONS-------------------------------

//RETURNS THE DISTANCE MEASURED BY THE HC-SR04 DISTANCE SENSOR
float getDistance()
{
float echoTime; //variable to store the time it takes for a ping to bounce off an object
float calcualtedDistance; //variable to store the distance calculated from the echo time

//send out an ultrasonic pulse that's 10ms long
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds(10);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

echoTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); //use the pulsein command to see how long it takes for the
//pulse to bounce back to the sensor

calcualtedDistance = echoTime / 148.0; //calculate the distance of the object that reflected the pulse (half the bounce time multiplied by the speed of sound)

return calcualtedDistance; //send back the distance that was calculated
}

What You Should See

Move your hand or a large, flat object closer and farther away from the distance sensor. As the object approaches, the light will change from green to yellow to red.

As object approaches, light changes colors

Open the Serial Monitor, and you should see the distance printed to the window.

Troubleshooting Warning: HVAC systems in offices and schools have been known to interfere with the performance of the ultrasonic distance sensor. If you are experiencing sporadic behavior from your circuit, check your surroundings. If there are numerous air ducts in the room you are using, try moving to a different room that does not have ducts. The airflow from these ducts can interfere with the waves sent from the sensor, creating noise and resulting in bad readings.

Program Overview

  1. Check what distance the sensor is reading.
    1. If the distance is less than 10 inches, make the RGB LED red.
    2. If the distance is between 10 and 20 inches, make the RGB LED yellow.
    3. If the distance value is not equal to the first two conditions, make the RGB LED green.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 3C: Motion Alarm

Time to take your distance sensor project to the next level. Let’s imagine that you want to stop your cat from prowling around your countertop. This circuit will use light, sound, and motion to scare away your cat when it is detected by the distance sensor. Using a servo motor, you can add a moving pop-up to animate your alarm.

Don’t have a cat? No problem! This circuit can be adapted for a variety of projects such as a room alarm, an automated pop-up story, an automatic treat dispenser and so much more. Let your imagination run wild with this project.

Motion Alarm

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

Additional Materials (NOT INCLUDED)

The following materials are optional. The circuit can be completed without these items.

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch™ Tape
  • Markers/Pen
  • Paper Clip
  • Needle-Nose Pliers

New Concepts

Getting Creative With Mechanisms

This circuit gets really fun when you start to use your servo to animate the world around you. To do this, you’ll need to connect your servo to some physical mechanisms. Tape and hot glue are easy ways to connect things to your servo. You can also loop a paper clip through the small holes in the servo arm to serve as a linkage. See the Hardware Hookup section below for more information.

Getting Creative With Mechanisms

Linkage rods are found on many RC airplanes, which use servo motors to control the ailerons, elevators, and rudder.

Hardware Hookup

If you have opted for the extra materials, use the following instructions to create the moving pop-up for your cat alarm.

To begin, attach your servo to the baseplate using Dual Lock, as described in Circuit 3A.

Attach the servo mount of your choice. It is recommended you wait until after you have uploaded your code to ensure the mount is in the best position before screwing on the mount. The screw is optional, but it will make for a more robust mechanism.

Attach the servo mount of your choice

Next, use needle-nose pliers to bend the paper clip straight. Imagine a 3D space. The straight clip is the X-axis. Bend one end of the paper clip 90 degrees along the Y-axis. The bent segment should be about 1 inch or 2.5cm long. Then bend the other end along the Z-axis. This bend should be about 1/8 inch or 3mm long. Repeat this bend once more back toward the X-axis, making a hook shape. You should now have a linkage rod that looks something like this:

use needle-nose pliers to bend the paper clip straight

Attach the hook end of the linkage rod to the end hole on your servo mount.

Attach hook end of linkage rod to end hole on servo

Cut out the pop-up image of your choice. We chose this public domain menacing cat image. The image you choose should be about 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches and can be drawn or printed. Leave a rectangular strip of paper under the image that is about 2 inches long. Fold along the bottom of the image. Tape the pop-up to the underside of the breadboard baseplate on the same side to which the servo is connected.

Fold along the bottom of the image

Last, tape the free end of the rod to the back of your pop-up image.

tape free end of rod to back of your pop-up image

Once you have the rest of the circuit built and the code uploaded, you can fine-tune your moving pop-up and make any necessary adjustments. Remember to wait until these adjustments have been made before you screw the servo mount onto the motor.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the Fritzing diagram below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row or whole column highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_3C-CatAlarm

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 3C-Motion Alarm

Control the color of an RGB LED using an ultrasonic distance sensor. When an object is close to the sensor, buzz the buzzer and wiggle the servo motor.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

#include <Servo.h> //include the servo library

const int trigPin = 11; //connects to the echo pin on the distance sensor
const int echoPin = 12; //connects to the trigger pin on the distance sensor

const int redPin = 3; //pin to control the red LED inside the RGB LED
const int greenPin = 5; //pin to control the green LED inside the RGB LED
const int bluePin = 6; //pin to control the blue LED inside the RGB LED

const int buzzerPin = 10; //pin that will drive the buzzer

float distance = 0; //stores the distance measured by the distance sensor

Servo myservo; //create a servo object

void setup()
{
Serial.begin (9600); //set up a serial connection with the computer

pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT); //the trigger pin will output pulses of electricity
pinMode(echoPin, INPUT); //the echo pin will measure the duration of pulses coming back from the distance sensor

//set the RGB LED pins to output
pinMode(redPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(greenPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(bluePin, OUTPUT);

pinMode(buzzerPin, OUTPUT); //set the buzzer pin to output

myservo.attach(9); //use pin 9 to control the servo

}

void loop() {
distance = getDistance(); //variable to store the distance measured by the sensor

Serial.print(distance); //print the distance that was measured
Serial.println(" in"); //print units after the distance

if(distance <= 10){ //if the object is close

//make the RGB LED red
analogWrite(redPin, 255);
analogWrite(greenPin, 0);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);

//this code wiggles the servo and beeps the buzzer
tone(buzzerPin, 272); //buzz the buzzer pin
myservo.write(45); //move the servo to 45 degrees
delay(100); //wait 100 milliseconds

noTone(buzzerPin); //turn the buzzer off
myservo.write(135); //move the servo to 135 degrees
delay(100); //wait 100 milliseconds


} else if(10 < distance && distance < 20){ //if the object is a medium distance

//make the RGB LED yellow
analogWrite(redPin, 255);
analogWrite(greenPin, 50);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);

} else{ //if the object is far away

//make the RGB LED green
analogWrite(redPin, 0);
analogWrite(greenPin, 255);
analogWrite(bluePin, 0);
}

delay(50); //delay 50ms between each reading
}

//------------------FUNCTIONS-------------------------------

//RETURNS THE DISTANCE MEASURED BY THE HC-SR04 DISTANCE SENSOR
float getDistance()
{
float echoTime; //variable to store the time it takes for a ping to bounce off an object
float calcualtedDistance; //variable to store the distance calculated from the echo time

//send out an ultrasonic pulse that's 10ms long
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds(10);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

echoTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); //use the pulsein command to see how long it takes for the
//pulse to bounce back to the sensor

calcualtedDistance = echoTime / 148.0; //calculate the distance of the object that reflected the pulse (half the bounce time multiplied by the speed of sound)

return calcualtedDistance; //send back the distance that was calculated
}

What You Should See

The RGB LED will behave as in your last circuit. It will be green when objects are far, yellow when they are midrange and red when they are close. When an object is close the buzzer will also beep, and the servo will rotate back and forth.

The RGB LED will behave as in your last circuit

Troubleshooting Warning: HVAC systems in offices and schools have been known to interfere with the performance of the ultrasonic distance sensor. If you are experiencing sporadic behavior from your circuit, check your surroundings. If there are numerous air ducts in the room you are using, try moving to a different room that does not have ducts. The airflow from these ducts can interfere with the waves sent from the sensor, creating noise and resulting in bad readings.

Program Overview

  1. Check what distance the sensor is reading.
    1. If the distance is less than 10 inches, make the RGB LED red. Then make the servo rotate back and forth and make the buzzer beep.
    2. If the distance is between 10 and 20 inches, make the RGB LED yellow.
    3. If the distance value is not equal to the first two conditions, make the RGB LED green.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Project 4: Display

Printing data to the Arduino Serial Monitor is a great way to see data from the RedBoard. But, what if you want to make your project mobile and see sensor values away from your computer? This project will show you how to do exactly that. You’ll learn about liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and how to print things like sensor data and strings of words to the display.

Display

New Components Introduced in This Project

Each of the components listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
  • TMP36 Digital Temperature Sensor
  • 4xAA Battery Holder

New Concepts Introduced in This Project

Each of the concepts listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Contrast
  • Pixels
  • Algorithms
  • Button Debouncing
  • Strings
  • Pointers

You Will Learn

  • How to print simple messages to an LCD
  • How to use a temperature sensor
  • How to print sensor data to an LCD
  • How to make an interactive game that incorporates the LCD

Circuit 4A: LCD "Hello, World!"

Printing “Hello, world!” is usually the first thing that programming tutorials will have you do in a new language. This guide starts by blinking an LED, but now we’re going to print out real text using a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).

LCD "Hello, World!"

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Character Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Character LCDs are designed to show a grid of letters, numbers and a few special characters. This makes them great for printing data and showing values. When current is applied to this special kind of crystal, it turns opaque. This is used in a lot of calculators, watches and simple displays. Adding an LCD to your project will make it super portable and allow you to integrate up to 32 characters (16 x 2) of information.

Character Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

New Concepts

Contrast

Pin 3 on the LCD controls the contrast and brightness of the LCD. Using a simple voltage divider with a potentiometer, the contrast can be adjusted. As you rotate the knob on the potentiometer, you should notice that the screen will get brighter or darker and that the characters become more visible or less visible. The contrast of LCDs is highly dependent on factors such as temperature and the voltage used to power it. Thus, external contrast knobs are needed for displays that cannot automatically account for temperature and voltage changes.

Pixels

If you look closely at the characters on the LCD, you will notice that they are actually made up of lots of little squares. These little squares are called pixels. The size of displays is often represented in pixels. Pixels make up character space, which is the number of pixels in which a character can exist.

Here is a capital letter B as created in pixels

Here is a capital letter B as created in pixels. The character space in this example is 6 pixels x 8 pixels.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

The LCD has 16 pins, and it is polarized. The pins are numbered from left to right, 1 through 16. The LCD utilizes an extremely common parallel interface LCD driver chip from Hitachi called the HD44780. Thankfully, the Arduino community has developed a library to handle a great deal of the software-to-hardware interface. Below is a list of each of the pins on the LCD.

list of each of the pins on the LCD

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_4A-LCDHelloWorld

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 4A-HelloWorld

The LCD will display the words "Hello World" and show how many seconds have passed since
the RedBoard was last reset.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

#include <LiquidCrystal.h> //the liquid crystal libarry contains commands for printing to the display

LiquidCrystal lcd(13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8); // tell the RedBoard what pins are connected to the display

void setup() {

lcd.begin(16, 2); //tell the lcd library that we are using a display that is 16 characters wide and 2 characters high
lcd.clear(); //clear the display
}

void loop() {

lcd.setCursor(0,0); //set the cursor to the 0,0 position (top left corner)
lcd.print("Hello, world!"); //print hello, world! starting at that position

lcd.setCursor(0,1); //mvoe the cursor to the first space of the bottom row
lcd.print(millis()/1000); //print the number of seconds that have passed since the last reset
}

What You Should See

The LCD screen will show “Hello, world!” On the row below, a counter will count every second that passes.

LCD screen will show “Hello, world!”

Contrast Adjust

If you are not seeing any characters, are seeing barely visible characters, or see just white rectangles, then you need to adjust the contrast. Twist the potentiometer very slowly until you can clearly read the display. If you reach the end of the potentiometer’s rotation, try twisting in the opposite direction.

Contrast Adjust

A display that needs the contrast adjusted. Note the white rectangles.

Program Overview

  1. Import the LCD library.
  2. Make an LCD object called “lcd” that will be controlled using pins 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
  3. “Begin” the LCD. This sets the dimensions of the LCD that you are working with (16 x 2). It needs to be called before any other commands from the LCD library are used.
  4. Clear the display.
  5. Set the cursor to the top left corner lcd.setCursor(0,0);, then print “Hello, world!"
  6. Move the cursor to the first space of the lower line lcd.setCursor(0,1);, then print the number of seconds that have passed since the RedBoard was last reset.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 4B: Temperature Sensor

Want to create a DIY environmental monitor or weather station? You can use a small, low-cost sensor like the TMP36 to make devices that track and respond to temperature. In this activity, you will also use the LCD screen to display sensor readings, a common use for LCDs in electronics projects.

Temperature Sensor

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

TMP36 Temperature Sensor

This temperature sensor has three legs. One connects to 5V, one to ground, and the voltage output from the third leg varies proportionally to changes in temperature. By doing some simple math with this voltage we can measure temperature in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

TMP36 Temperature Sensor

New Concepts

Algorithms

An algorithm is a process used in order to achieve the desired result. Often, the information needed to create an algorithm lives in the part’s datasheet. This sketch uses a few formulas to turn a voltage value into a temperature value, making them all part of the larger temperature-retrieving algorithm. The first formula takes the voltage read on analog pin 0 and multiplies it to get a voltage value from 0V–5V:

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voltage = analogRead(A0) * 0.004882814;

The number we are multiplying by comes from dividing 5V by the number of samples the analog pin can read (1024), so we get: 5 / 1024 = 0.004882814.

The second formula takes that 0–5V value and calculates degrees Centigrade:

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degreesC = (voltage - 0.5) * 100.0;

The reason 0.5V is subtracted from the calculated voltage is because there is a 0.5V offset, mentioned on page 8 of the TMP36 datasheet. It’s then multiplied by 100 to get a value that matches temperature.

The last formula takes the Centigrade temperature and converts it to a Fahrenheit temperature using the standard conversion formula:

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degreesF = degreesC * (9.0/5.0) + 32.0;

Together, these three formulas make up the algorithm that converts voltage to degrees Fahrenheit.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

The temperature sensor is polarized and can only be inserted in one direction. See below for the pinouts of the temperature sensor. Pay very close attention to the markings on each side as you insert it into your circuit.

Temp sensor is polarized/can only be inserted one way

Heads up! Double check the polarity of the TMP36 temperature sensor before powering the RedBoard. It can become very hot if it is inserted backward!

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_4B-TemperatureSensor

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 4B - Temperature Sensor

The LCD will display readings from a temperature sensor in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

#include <LiquidCrystal.h> //the liquid crystal libarry contains commands for printing to the display
LiquidCrystal lcd(13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8); // tell the RedBoard what pins are connected to the display

float voltage = 0; //the voltage measured from the TMP36
float degreesC = 0; //the temperature in Celsius, calcuated from the voltage
float degreesF = 0; //the temperature in Farenheit, calcuated from the voltage

void setup() {

lcd.begin(16, 2); //tell the lcd library that we are using a display that is 16 characters wide and 2 characters high
lcd.clear(); //clear the display
}

void loop() {

voltage = analogRead(A0) * 0.004882814; //convert the analog reading, which varies from 0 to 1023, back to a voltage value from 0-5 volts
degreesC = (voltage - 0.5) * 100.0; //convert the voltage to a temperature in degrees Celsius
degreesF = degreesC * (9.0/5.0) + 32.0; //convert the voltage to a temperature in dgrees Fahrenheit

lcd.clear(); //clear the LCD

lcd.setCursor(0,0); //set the cursor to the top left position
lcd.print("Degrees C: "); //print a label for the data
lcd.print(degreesC); //print the degrees Celsius

lcd.setCursor(0,1); //set the cursor to the lower left position
lcd.print("Degrees F: "); //print a label for the data
lcd.print(degreesF); //print the degrees Fahreheit

delay(1000); //delay for 1 second between each reading (this makes the display less noisy)
}

What You Should See

The LCD will show the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit. The temperature readings will update every second. An easy way to see the temperature change is to press your finger to the sensor.

The LCD will show temp in Celsius and Fahrenheit

Program Overview

  1. Get the analog value from the TMP36 and convert it back to a voltage between 0 and 5V.
  2. Calculate the degrees Celsius from this voltage.
  3. Calculate the degrees Fahrenheit from this voltage.
  4. Clear the LCD.
  5. Print the Degrees C with a label on the first row.
  6. Print the Degrees F with a label on the second row.
  7. Wait for a second before taking the next reading.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 4C: DIY Who Am I? Game

“DIY Who Am I?” is based on the popular Hedbanz game or HeadsUp! app. It’s a fun party game in which a player holds an LCD screen to his/her forehead so that the player can’t see the word(s) that appear on the screen. Other players have to give hints, act out charades or make noises that will make the player with the LCD guess the word(s).

DIY Who Am I? Game

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

4xAA Battery Holder

Included in your kit is a 4-cell AA battery holder. The 5-inch cable is terminated with a standard barrel jack connector. The connector mates with the barrel jack on the RedBoard, allowing you to easily make your project battery powered.

4xAA Battery Holder

New Concepts

Button Debounce

When working with momentary buttons, it is usually necessary to add button debouncing to your code. This is because the code that is meant to execute when the button is pressed may execute faster than you can press and release the button (microcontrollers are fast!). The simplest way to debounce a button is to add a small delay to the end of your code. This sketch adds a 500-millisecond delay at the end of loop() to account for this. This simple addition will prevent a word from getting skipped when you press the button for the game.

For a more complex example of button debouncing, in the Arduino IDE click File > Examples > 02.Digital > Debounce.

Strings

Strings are used to print words and even sentences to an LCD or the Serial Monitor. Strings are actually just an array of characters with a null character at the end to let the program know where the end of the string is.

Arrays of Strings

In circuit 2A you used an array of characters to represent musical notes. In this program, you’ll want to make an array of strings. Strings use multiple characters to make words, so you’ll need to use a little trick to put them in an array. The trick is to use a pointer. When you declare your array, you’ll use an asterisk after the char data type, as follows:

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const char* arrayOfStrings = {“Feynman” “Sagan”, “Tyson”, “Nye”};

Pointers

Pointers are an advanced programming topic. They can be difficult to understand the first time you’re introduced to them. For now, think of pointers as a variable that “points” to the value contained in a certain address in memory. In this sketch, the char* variable points to arrayOfStrings address and returns the character values to create a list of strings.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Batteries are polarized. They have a positive end and a negative end. The battery holder has images indicating which end goes in which orientation for each cell.

Batt. holders have images showing which way they face

Ensure all the batteries are inserted correctly before plugging the battery holder into the RedBoard.

Battery Holder Attachment

To attach the battery holder to the breadboard baseplate, first cut two strips of Dual Lock that are roughly 1 inch x 1 inch each, or 2.5cm x 2.5cm. Remove the adhesive backing and attach one piece to the back of the battery holder.

attach one piece to the back of the battery holder

Adhere the second piece to the bottom of the breadboard baseplate (directly in the middle is recommended, as this will come into play in Project 5).

Adhere second piece to bottom of breadboard

Last, press the battery holder to the baseplate so that the two pieces of Dual Lock snap together. Insert the batteries into the holder if you have not done so already. Remember that batteries are polarized and can only go in one way.

Press battery holder to baseplate/Dual Lock connects

Insert the batteries into the holder

Remove the battery pack while building your circuit.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_4C-DIYWhoAmI

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 4C - Heads Up Game

This is a DIY version of the popular Heads Up party game. To play, one person resets the RedBoard and holds the LCD
facing away from them so that they cannot see it (usually on their forehead). The display will show a short countdown
then display random words. The other player(s) who can see the screen must yell out clues until time runs out or the player
guesses what word is on the screen. If they guess correctly, they can press the button on the breadboard and another word
will be displayed.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/


#include <LiquidCrystal.h> //the liquid crystal libarry contains commands for printing to the display
LiquidCrystal lcd(13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8); // tell the RedBoard what pins are connected to the display

int buttonPin = 2; //pin that the button is connected to
int buzzerPin = 6; //pin for driving the buzzer
int buttonPressTime = 0; //variable to show how much time the player has left to guess the word (and press the button)

long timeLimit = 15000; //time limit for the playe to guess each word
long startTime = 0; //used to measure time that has passed for each word
int roundNumber = 0; //keeps track of the roundNumber so that it can be displayed at the end of the game
const int arraySize = 25;

const char* wordsarraySize = {"moose", "beaver", "bear", "goose", "dog", "cat", "squirrel", "bird", "elephant", "horse",
"bull", "giraffe", "seal", "bat", "skunk", "turtle", "whale", "rhino", "lion", "monkey",
"frog", "alligator", "kangaroo", "hippo", "rabbit"};

int sequence = {0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0}; //start with an array full of 0s

void setup() {

pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT_PULLUP); //set the button pin as an input

lcd.begin(16, 2); //tell the LCD library the size of the screen

generateRandomOrder(); //generate an array of random numbers from 1-25 that will determine which order the words are shown in

showStartSequence(); //print the start sequence text

}

void loop() {

for(int i=0; i<arraySize; i++){ //for each of the 25 words in the sequence

lcd.clear(); //clear off the array

roundNumber = i+1; //the array starts at 0, but the roundNumber will start counting from 1
lcd.print(roundNumber); //print the roundNumber (this is the current round number)
lcd.print(": "); //spacer between the number and the word
lcd.print(wordssequence[i]); //print a random word from the word array

startTime = millis(); //record the time that this round started

while(digitalRead(buttonPin) == HIGH){ //do this until the button is pressed...

int roundedTime = round((timeLimit - (millis() - startTime))/1000); //calculate the time left in the round (dividing by 1000 converts the number to seconds
lcd.setCursor(14,1); //set the cursor in the lower right corner of the screen
lcd.print(" ");
lcd.setCursor(14,1); //set the cursor in the lower right corner of the screen
lcd.print(roundedTime); //print the time left in the time limit
delay(15);

if(millis() - startTime > timeLimit){ //if the time limit is up before the button is pressed
gameOver(); //end the game
}

if(digitalRead(buttonPin) == LOW){
tone(buzzerPin, 272, 1);
}

} //exit this loop when the button is pressed

delay(500); //delay for a moment before giong on to the next ruond, so that the button press doesn't get registered twice

}
//if you finish all 25 words
winner(); //show the you win message
}


//--------------FUNCTIONS------------------------------

//DISPLAYS A COUNTDOWN TO START THE GAME
void showStartSequence(){

lcd.clear(); //clear the screen

lcd.setCursor(0,0); //move the cursor to the top left corner
lcd.print("Category:"); //print "Category:"

lcd.setCursor(0,1); //move the cursor to the bottom left corner
lcd.print("Animals"); //print "Animals:"

delay(2000); //Wait 2 seconds

lcd.clear(); //clear the screen
lcd.print("Get ready!"); //print "Get ready!"
delay(1000); //wait 1 second

lcd.clear(); //clear the screen
lcd.print("3"); //print "3"
delay(1000); //wait 1 second

lcd.clear(); //clear the screen
lcd.print("2"); //print "3"
delay(1000); //wait 1 second

lcd.clear(); //clear the screen
lcd.print("1"); //print "3"
delay(1000); //wait 1 second
}

//GENERATES A RANDOM ORDER FOR THE WORDS TO BE DISPLAYED
void generateRandomOrder(){

randomSeed(analogRead(0)); //reset the random seed (Arduino needs this to generate truely random numbers

for (int i = 0; i < 24; i++){ //do this until all 25 positions are filled

int currentNumber = 0; //variable to hold the current number
boolean match = false; //does the currentNumber match any of the previous numbers?

//generate random numbers until you've generated one that doesn't match any of the other numbers in the arary
do {
currentNumber = random(0,arraySize); //generate a random number from 1-25
match = false; //we haven't checked for matches yet, so start by assuming that it doesn't match
for (int i = 0; i < arraySize; i++){ //for all 25 numbers in the array
if (currentNumber == sequencei){ //does the currentNumber match any of the numbers?
match = true; //if so, set the match variable to true
}
}
} while(match == true); //if the match variable is true, generate another random number and try again
sequencei = currentNumber; //if the match variable is false (the new number is unique) then add it to the sequence
}
}

//GAME OVER
void gameOver(){
lcd.clear(); //clear the screen

lcd.setCursor(0,0); //move the cursor the top left corner
lcd.print("Game Over"); //print "Game Over"

lcd.setCursor(0,1); //move to the bottom row
lcd.print("Score: "); //print a label for the score
lcd.print(roundNumber); //print the score (the round number is the same as the score)

//play the losing fog horn
tone(buzzerPin, 130, 250); //E6
delay(275);
tone(buzzerPin, 73, 250); //G6
delay(275);
tone(buzzerPin, 65, 150); //E7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 98, 500); //C7
delay(500);

while(true){} //get stuck in this loop forever
}

//WINNER
void winner(){
lcd.clear(); //clear the screen

lcd.setCursor(7,0); //move the cursor to the top center of the screen
lcd.print("YOU"); //print "You"

lcd.setCursor(7,1); //move the cursor to the bottom center of the screen
lcd.print("WIN!"); //print "WIN!"

//play the 1Up noise
tone(buzzerPin, 1318, 150); //E6
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 1567, 150); //G6
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2637, 150); //E7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2093, 150); //C7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 2349, 150); //D7
delay(175);
tone(buzzerPin, 3135, 500); //G7
delay(500);

while(true){} //get stuck in this loop forever
}

What You Should See

The game will begin with a prompt telling you the category of words. Then it will run through a short countdown. When the first round starts, the word to be guessed will be displayed in the top left, and a countdown will be displayed in the bottom right of the LCD screen. Each time the button is pressed (before the timer expires) a new word will be displayed. If you win or lose, a short song will play and text will be displayed.

Game begins with a prompt telling you a category

Program Overview

  1. Generate a random order for the words to be displayed.
  2. Show the starting countdown on the LCD.
  3. Start a loop that will run 25 times (there are 25 words total). For each round:
    1. Print the round number and the word to be guessed.
    2. Display a countdown timer in the lower right-hand corner of the screen that counts down the time limit for each round.
    3. If the time limit runs out, play the losing song, print “Game Over” and show the player’s final score.
    4. If the player presses the button before the time limit is up, advance to the next word.
  4. If the player gets through all 25 words, play the winning song and print “YOU WIN!”

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Project 5: Robot

Ah, robots. One of the most iconic and exciting electronics applications. In this project, you will learn all about DC motors and motor drivers by building your own robot! You’ll learn how to control a tethered robot first by sending it commands over serial. Then you will unleash your robot by removing the tether and making it autonomous.

Robot

New Components Introduced in This Project

Each of the components listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • TB6612FNG Motor Driver
  • Switch
  • DC Gearmotor
  • Wheel

New Concepts Introduced in This Project

Each of the concepts listed below will be described in more detail as you progress through each circuit.

  • Input Voltage
  • Integrated Circuits
  • H-Bridge Motor Driver
  • ASCII Characters
  • Converting Strings
  • Autonomous Vehicles

You Will Learn

  • How to control two motors using a motor driver
  • How to send serial commands to create a remote-controlled robot
  • How to build a robot that uses sensors to react to its environment

Circuit 5A: Motor Basics

In this circuit, you will learn the basic concepts behind motor control. Motors require a lot of current, so you can’t drive them directly from a digital pin on the RedBoard. Instead, you’ll use what is known as a motor controller or motor driver board to power and spin the motor accordingly.

learn the basic concepts behind motor control

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

New Components

Switch

A switch is a component that controls the open-ness or closed-ness of an electric circuit. Just like the momentary buttons used in earlier circuits, a switch can only exist in one of two states: open or closed. However, a switch is different in that it will stay in the position it was last in until it is switched again.

Switch

DC Gearmotors

The motors in your Inventor’s Kit have two main parts: a small DC motor that spins quickly and a plastic gearbox that gears down that output from the hobby motor so that it is slower but stronger, allowing it to move your robot. The motors have a clever design so that you can attach things that you want to spin fast (like a small fan or flag) to the hobby motor, and things that you want to be strong (like a wheel) to the plastic axle sticking out the side of the motor. The included wheels just so happen to fit on the plastic axles.

DC Gearmotors

Inside the hobby motor are coils of wire that generate magnetic fields when electricity flows through them. When power is supplied to these electromagnets, they spin the drive shaft of the motor.

TB6612FNG Motor Driver

If you switch the direction of current through a motor by swapping the positive and negative leads, the motor will spin in the opposite direction. Motor controllers contain a set of switches (called an H-bridge) that let you easily control the direction of one or more motors. The TB6612FNG Motor Driver takes commands for each motor over three wires (two wires control direction, and one controls speed), then uses these signals to control the current through two wires attached to your motor.

TB6612FNG Motor Driver

New Concepts

Voltage In (VIN)

This circuit utilizes the VIN pin found with the other power pins. The VIN pin outputs a voltage that varies based on whatever voltage the RedBoard is powered with. If the RedBoard is powered through the USB port, then the voltage on VIN will be about 4.6–5V. However, if you power the RedBoard through the barrel jack (highlighted in the picture below), the VIN pin will reflect that voltage. For example, if you were to power the barrel jack with 9V, the voltage out on VIN would also be 9V.

Voltage In (VIN)

Integrated Circuits (ICs) and Breakout Boards

An Integrated Circuit (IC) is a collection of electronic components — resistors, transistors, capacitors, etc. — all stuffed into a tiny chip and connected together to achieve a common goal. They come in all sorts of flavors, shapes, and sizes. The chip that powers the RedBoard, the ATMega328, is an IC. The chip on the motor driver, the TB6612FNG, is another IC, one designed to control motors, referred to as an H-bridge.

Guts of an integrated circuit

The guts of an integrated circuit, visible after removing the top.

Integrated circuits are often too small to work with by hand. To make working with ICs easier and to make them breadboard-compatible, they are often added to a breakout board, which is a printed circuit board that connects all the IC’s tiny legs to larger ones that fit in a breadboard. The motor driver board in your kit is an example of a breakout board.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Most ICs have polarity and usually have a polarity marking in one of the corners. The motor driver is no exception. Be sure to insert the motor driver as indicated in the circuit diagrams. The motor driver pins are shown in the image below.

motor driver pins

Each pin and its function is covered in the table below.

Each pin and its function is covered in the table

When you’re finished with Project 5, removing the motor driver from the breadboard can be difficult due to its numerous legs. To make this easier, use the included screwdriver as a lever to gently pry it out. Be careful not to bend the legs as you remove it.

Use included screwdriver as a lever to pry it out

The motors are also polarized. However, motors are unique in that they will still work when the two connections are reversed. They will just spin in the opposite direction when hooked up backward. To keep things simple, always think of the red wire as positive ( + ) and the black wire as negative ( - ).

The motors are polarized, but work if reversed

Last, the switch is not polarized. It works the same no matter its orientation.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_5A-MotorBasics.

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 5A - Motor Basics

Learn how to control one motor with the motor driver.

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/

//PIN VARIABLES
//the motor will be controlled by the motor A pins on the motor driver
const int AIN1 = 13; //control pin 1 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int AIN2 = 12; //control pin 2 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int PWMA = 11; //speed control pin on the motor driver for the right motor

int switchPin = 7; //switch to turn the robot on and off

//VARIABLES
int motorSpeed = 0; //starting speed for the motor

void setup() {
pinMode(switchPin, INPUT_PULLUP); //set this as a pullup to sense whether the switch is flipped

//set the motor contro pins as outputs
pinMode(AIN1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(AIN2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PWMA, OUTPUT);

Serial.begin(9600); //begin serial communication with the computer

Serial.println("Enter motor speed (0-255)... "); //Prompt to get input in the serial monitor.
}

void loop() {

if (Serial.available() > 0){ //if the user has entered something in the serial monitor
motorSpeed = Serial.parseInt(); //set the motor speed equal to the number in the serial message

Serial.print("Motor Speed: "); //print the speed that the motor is set to run at
Serial.println(motorSpeed);
}

if(digitalRead(7) == LOW){ //if the switch is on...
spinMotor(motorSpeed);
} else{ //if the switch is off...
spinMotor(0); //turn the motor off
}


}

/********************************************************************************/
void spinMotor(int motorSpeed) //function for driving the right motor
{
if (motorSpeed > 0) //if the motor should drive forward (positive speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, HIGH); //set pin 1 to high
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
else if (motorSpeed < 0) //if the motor should drive backwar (negative speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, HIGH); //set pin 2 to high
}
else //if the motor should stop
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
analogWrite(PWMA, abs(motorSpeed)); //now that the motor direction is set, drive it at the entered speed
}

 

What You Should See

When you flip the switch, the motor will turn on and spin at the speed set by the motor speed variable (default is 0). By opening the serial monitor and sending numbers, you can change the speed of the motor. Any number from about 130 to 255 or -130 to -255 will work, though changes in the speed will be hard to notice. Send the number 0 to stop the motor. Adding a piece of tape to the motor shaft makes it easier to see it spinning.

Motor will turn on/spin at speed set by motor

Program Overview

  1. Check to see if a command has been sent through the Serial Monitor. If a command has been sent, then set the motor speed to the number that was sent over the Serial Monitor.
  2. Check to see if the switch is ON or OFF.
    1. If the switch is ON, drive the motor at the motor speed.
    2. If the switch is OFF, stop the motor.

Code to Note

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Serial/Available

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 5B: Remote-Controlled Robot

It’s remote control time! In this circuit, you’ll use a motor driver to control the speed and direction of two motors. You will also learn how to read multiple pieces of information from one serial command so that you can use the Serial Monitor to tell the robot what direction to move in and how far to move.

Remote-Controlled Robot

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

Additional Materials

  • Scissors

New Concepts

ASCII Characters

ASCII is a standard formalized in the 1960s that assigns numbers to characters. This is a method of character encoding. When typing on a computer keyboard, each character you type has a number associated with it. This is what allows computers to know whether you are typing a lowercase “a,” an uppercase “A” or a random character such as ampersand (&). In this experiment, you will be sending characters to the Serial Monitor to move your remote control robot. When you send a character, the microcontroller is actually interpreting that as a specific number. There are tons of ASCII tables available online. These tables make it easier to know which character is represented by which number.

Converting Strings to Integers

String variables hold words like “dog” or “Robert Smith” that are made up of multiple characters. Arduino has a set of special built-in methods for string variables that you can call by putting a period after the variable name, as follows:

string_variable_name. toInt();

The .toInt() method converts the string to a number, and there are a dozen other methods that can do things like tell you the length of a word or change all of the characters in a string to uppercase or lowercase.

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Before you build this circuit, you’ll need to make a few modifications to the breadboard baseplate to make it more robot-like!

Assembling the Robot

Using scissors, cut two strips of Dual Lock that are 1.25 inches (3.175cm) long and 1 inch (2.5cm) wide. Remove the adhesive backing, and attach the two pieces to the very corners of the baseplate on the side located under the breadboard.

Attach 2 pieces to corners of baseplate

Note: You will likely have a piece of Dual Lock in the center of your baseplate from Project 4. Leave it if so. It will be used in the next circuit.

Cut two more strips that are 1.25 inches (3.175cm) long and ¾ inch (1.9cm) wide. Remove the adhesive backing, and attach the strips to the two motors. Be sure that your motors are mirror images of each other when you attach the Dual Lock.

Attach the strips to the two motors

Press the motors to the baseplate, connecting the two Dual Lock surfaces. Try to get the motors as straight as possible so your robot will drive straight.

Press the motors to the baseplate

The bottom of your baseplate should look like the image below. Remember that the two motors should be mirror images of each other.

bottom of your baseplate

Note: The direction in which the motor wires face is arbitrary. Having them face out makes the circuit easier to build. Having them face in makes the circuit more robust against wires getting ripped out.

Attach the wheels by sliding them onto the plastic shafts on the gearmotor. The shaft is flat on one side, as is the wheel coupler. Align the two, and then press to fit the wheel onto the shaft.

Attach wheels by sliding them onto plastic shafts

Last, clip the binder clip onto the back end of the robot. This will act as a caster as the robot drives around.

Clip the binder clip onto the back end of the robot

Once you’re finished, it’s time to build the circuit. You may choose to remove the motors or leave them on while you build the circuit.

Ready to start hooking everything up? Check out the circuit diagram and hookup table below to see how everything is connected.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_5B-RemoteControlRobot

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 5B - Remote Control Robot

Control a two wheeled robot by sending direction commands through the serial monitor.
This sketch was adapted from one of the activities in the SparkFun Guide to Arduino.
Check out the rest of the book at
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14326

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/


//the right motor will be controlled by the motor A pins on the motor driver
const int AIN1 = 13; //control pin 1 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int AIN2 = 12; //control pin 2 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int PWMA = 11; //speed control pin on the motor driver for the right motor

//the left motor will be controlled by the motor B pins on the motor driver
const int PWMB = 10; //speed control pin on the motor driver for the left motor
const int BIN2 = 9; //control pin 2 on the motor driver for the left motor
const int BIN1 = 8; //control pin 1 on the motor driver for the left motor

int switchPin = 7; //switch to turn the robot on and off

const int driveTime = 20; //this is the number of milliseconds that it takes the robot to drive 1 inch
//it is set so that if you tell the robot to drive forward 25 units, the robot drives about 25 inches

const int turnTime = 8; //this is the number of milliseconds that it takes to turn the robot 1 degree
//it is set so that if you tell the robot to turn right 90 units, the robot turns about 90 degrees

//Note: these numbers will vary a little bit based on how you mount your motors, the friction of the
//surface that your driving on, and fluctuations in the power to the motors.
//You can change the driveTime and turnTime to make them more accurate

String botDirection; //the direction that the roobt will drive in (this change which direction the two motors spin in)
String distance; //the distance to travel in each direction

/********************************************************************************/
void setup()
{
pinMode(switchPin, INPUT_PULLUP); //set this as a pullup to sense whether the switch is flipped

//set the motor contro pins as outputs
pinMode(AIN1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(AIN2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PWMA, OUTPUT);

pinMode(BIN1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(BIN2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PWMB, OUTPUT);

Serial.begin(9600); //begin serial communication with the computer

//prompt the user to enter a command
Serial.println("Enter a diretion followed by a distance.");
Serial.println("f = forward, b = backward, r = turn right, l = turn left");
Serial.println("Example command: f 50");
}

/********************************************************************************/
void loop()
{
if(digitalRead(7) == LOW)
{ //if the switch is in the ON position
if (Serial.available() > 0) //if the user has sent a command to the RedBoard
{
botDirection = Serial.readStringUntil(' '); //read the characters in the command until you reach the first space
distance = Serial.readStringUntil(' '); //read the characters in the command until yuo reach the second space

//print the command that was just received in the serial monitor
Serial.print(botDirection);
Serial.print(" ");
Serial.println(distance.toInt());

if(botDirection == "f") //if the entered direction is forward
{
rightMotor(200); //drive the right wheel forward
leftMotor(200); //drive the left wheel forward
delay(driveTime * distance.toInt()); //drive the motors long enough travel the entered distance
rightMotor(0); //turn the right motor off
leftMotor(0); //turn the left motor off
}
else if(botDirection == "b") //if the entered direction is backward
{
rightMotor(-200); //drive the right wheel forward
leftMotor(-200); //drive the left wheel forward
delay(driveTime * distance.toInt()); //drive the motors long enough travel the entered distance
rightMotor(0); //turn the right motor off
leftMotor(0); //turn the left motor off
}
else if(botDirection == "r") //if the entered direction is right
{
rightMotor(-200); //drive the right wheel forward
leftMotor(255); //drive the left wheel forward
delay(turnTime * distance.toInt()); //drive the motors long enough turn the entered distance
rightMotor(0); //turn the right motor off
leftMotor(0); //turn the left motor off
}
else if(botDirection == "l") //if the entered direction is left
{
rightMotor(255); //drive the right wheel forward
leftMotor(-200); //drive the left wheel forward
delay(turnTime * distance.toInt()); //drive the motors long enough turn the entered distance
rightMotor(0); //turn the right motor off
leftMotor(0); //turn the left motor off
}
}
}
else
{
rightMotor(0); //turn the right motor off
leftMotor(0); //turn the left motor off
}
}
/********************************************************************************/
void rightMotor(int motorSpeed) //function for driving the right motor
{
if (motorSpeed > 0) //if the motor should drive forward (positive speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, HIGH); //set pin 1 to high
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
else if (motorSpeed < 0) //if the motor should drive backwar (negative speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, HIGH); //set pin 2 to high
}
else //if the motor should stop
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
analogWrite(PWMA, abs(motorSpeed)); //now that the motor direction is set, drive it at the entered speed
}

/********************************************************************************/
void leftMotor(int motorSpeed) //function for driving the left motor
{
if (motorSpeed > 0) //if the motor should drive forward (positive speed)
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, HIGH); //set pin 1 to high
digitalWrite(BIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
else if (motorSpeed < 0) //if the motor should drive backwar (negative speed)
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(BIN2, HIGH); //set pin 2 to high
}
else //if the motor should stop
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(BIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
analogWrite(PWMB, abs(motorSpeed)); //now that the motor direction is set, drive it at the entered speed
}

What You Should See

Open the Serial Monitor. It should prompt you to enter a command that contains a direction and distance. When you type a direction and distance into the serial monitor the robot will move or turn.

Direction/distance typed into monitor robot moves

Program Overview

  1. Prompt the user to enter a command and list the shortcuts for the directions.
  2. Wait for a serial command.
  3. Read the first part of the serial command and set that as the direction. Then read the second part of the command and set it as the distance:
    1. If the direction is “f”, drive both motors forward for the distance.
    2. If the direction is “b”, drive both motors backward for the distance.
    3. If the direction is “r”, drive the right motor backward and the left motor forward.
    4. If the direction is “l”, drive the left motor backward and the right motor forward.

Code to Note

Code to Note

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Circuit 5C: Autonomous Robot

Free the robots! In this circuit, you’ll unplug your robot and program it to navigate the world on its own. When the robot senses an object using the distance sensor, it will back up and change course.

Autonomous Robot

Parts Needed

Grab the following quantities of each part listed to build this circuit:

Parts Needed

Additional Materials

  • Scissors (NOT INCLUDED)
  • 4x AA Batteries (NOT INCLUDED)

New Concepts

Autonomous Vehicles

The robot that you will build uses a simple sensor to avoid obstacles. This kind of system is used in Mars rovers, autonomous cars and the bots built for all kinds of robotics competitions. Understanding this example code will set you on the path to building bigger and better autonomous vehicles!

Hardware Hookup

Polarized Components

Keep in mind that the ultrasonic distance sensor needs a clear path to avoid unwanted interruptions in your robot’s movements. Keep the distance sensor clear of any wires from your circuit.

Distance sensor needs clear path to avoid interruption

Battery Holder Attachment

It’s time to make this robot mobile by adding the battery pack.

If you did not attach the battery pack in Project 4, cut two pieces of Dual Lock that are about 1 inch x 1 inch (2.5cm x 2.5cm) each. Remove the adhesive backing and attach one piece to the back of the battery holder.

Remove adhesive backing/attach to back of holder

Adhere the second piece to the bottom of the baseplate, directly in the middle.

Adhere second piece to bottom of baseplate

Press the battery holder to the baseplate so that the two pieces of Dual Lock snap together. Insert the batteries into the holder if you have not done so already. Remember that batteries are polarized and can only go in one way.

Press the battery holder to the baseplate

Clip the binder clip back on, and you are ready to roll!

You can choose to remove the motors and battery pack while you build the circuit or leave them on. The choice is yours.

Circuit Diagram

Circuit Diagram

Hookup Table

Hookup Table

In the table, polarized components are shown with a warning triangle and the whole row highlighted yellow.

Open the Sketch

Heads up! Make sure your switch is in the OFF position. As soon as the code is finished uploading, your robot will begin driving. Make sure it cannot drive off a table or other high surface and injure itself.

To open the code, go to: File > Examples > SIK_Guide_Code-V_4 > SIK_Circuit_5C-AutonomousRobot

You can also copy and paste the following code into the Arduino IDE. Hit upload, and see what happens!

Copy Code
/*
SparkFun Inventor’s Kit
Circuit 5C - Autonomous Robot

This robot will drive around on its own and react to obstacles by backing up and turning to a new direction.
This sketch was adapted from one of the activities in the SparkFun Guide to Arduino.
Check out the rest of the book at
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14326

This sketch was written by SparkFun Electronics, with lots of help from the Arduino community.
This code is completely free for any use.

View circuit diagram and instructions at: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sparkfun-inventors-kit-experiment-guide---v40
Download drawings and code at: https://github.com/sparkfun/SIK-Guide-Code
*/



//the right motor will be controlled by the motor A pins on the motor driver
const int AIN1 = 13; //control pin 1 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int AIN2 = 12; //control pin 2 on the motor driver for the right motor
const int PWMA = 11; //speed control pin on the motor driver for the right motor

//the left motor will be controlled by the motor B pins on the motor driver
const int PWMB = 10; //speed control pin on the motor driver for the left motor
const int BIN2 = 9; //control pin 2 on the motor driver for the left motor
const int BIN1 = 8; //control pin 1 on the motor driver for the left motor


//distance variables
const int trigPin = 6;
const int echoPin = 5;

int switchPin = 7; //switch to turn the robot on and off

float distance = 0; //variable to store the distance measured by the distance sensor

//robot behaviour variables
int backupTime = 300; //amount of time that the robot will back up when it senses an object
int turnTime = 200; //amount that the robot will turn once it has backed up

/********************************************************************************/
void setup()
{
pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT); //this pin will send ultrasonic pulses out from the distance sensor
pinMode(echoPin, INPUT); //this pin will sense when the pulses reflect back to the distance sensor

pinMode(switchPin, INPUT_PULLUP); //set this as a pullup to sense whether the switch is flipped


//set the motor contro pins as outputs
pinMode(AIN1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(AIN2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PWMA, OUTPUT);

pinMode(BIN1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(BIN2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PWMB, OUTPUT);

Serial.begin(9600); //begin serial communication with the computer
Serial.print("To infinity and beyond!"); //test the serial connection
}

/********************************************************************************/
void loop()
{
//DETECT THE DISTANCE READ BY THE DISTANCE SENSOR
distance = getDistance();

Serial.print("Distance: ");
Serial.print(distance);
Serial.println(" in"); // print the units

if(digitalRead(switchPin) == LOW){ //if the on switch is flipped

if(distance < 10){ //if an object is detected
//back up and turn
Serial.print(" ");
Serial.print("BACK!");

//stop for a moment
rightMotor(0);
leftMotor(0);
delay(200);

//back up
rightMotor(-255);
leftMotor(-255);
delay(backupTime);

//turn away from obsticle
rightMotor(255);
leftMotor(-255);
delay(turnTime);

}else{ //if no obstacle is detected drive forward
Serial.print(" ");
Serial.print("Moving...");


rightMotor(255);
leftMotor(255);
}
} else{ //if the switch is off then stop

//stop the motors
rightMotor(0);
leftMotor(0);
}

delay(50); //wait 50 milliseconds between readings
}

/********************************************************************************/
void rightMotor(int motorSpeed) //function for driving the right motor
{
if (motorSpeed > 0) //if the motor should drive forward (positive speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, HIGH); //set pin 1 to high
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
else if (motorSpeed < 0) //if the motor should drive backwar (negative speed)
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, HIGH); //set pin 2 to high
}
else //if the motor should stop
{
digitalWrite(AIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(AIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
analogWrite(PWMA, abs(motorSpeed)); //now that the motor direction is set, drive it at the entered speed
}

/********************************************************************************/
void leftMotor(int motorSpeed) //function for driving the left motor
{
if (motorSpeed > 0) //if the motor should drive forward (positive speed)
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, HIGH); //set pin 1 to high
digitalWrite(BIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
else if (motorSpeed < 0) //if the motor should drive backwar (negative speed)
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(BIN2, HIGH); //set pin 2 to high
}
else //if the motor should stop
{
digitalWrite(BIN1, LOW); //set pin 1 to low
digitalWrite(BIN2, LOW); //set pin 2 to low
}
analogWrite(PWMB, abs(motorSpeed)); //now that the motor direction is set, drive it at the entered speed
}

/********************************************************************************/
//RETURNS THE DISTANCE MEASURED BY THE HC-SR04 DISTANCE SENSOR
float getDistance()
{
float echoTime; //variable to store the time it takes for a ping to bounce off an object
float calcualtedDistance; //variable to store the distance calculated from the echo time

//send out an ultrasonic pulse that's 10ms long
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
delayMicroseconds(10);
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

echoTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); //use the pulsein command to see how long it takes for the
//pulse to bounce back to the sensor

calcualtedDistance = echoTime / 148.0; //calculate the distance of the object that reflected the pulse (half the bounce time multiplied by the speed of sound)

return calcualtedDistance; //send back the distance that was calculated
}

What You Should See:

When the switch is turned off, the robot will sit still. When the switch is turned on, the robot will drive forward until it senses an object.

When the switch is turned off the robot will sit still

When it does, it will stop, back up and turn to the right before driving forward again.

When turned on robot drives until it senses an object

Troubleshooting Warning: HVAC systems in offices and schools have been known to interfere with the performance of the ultrasonic distance sensor. If you are experiencing sporadic behavior from your circuit, check your surroundings. If there are numerous air ducts in the room you are using, try moving to a different room that does not have ducts. The airflow from these ducts can interfere with the waves sent from the sensor, creating noise and resulting in bad readings.

Program Overview

  1. If the switch is turned on,
  2. Then start sensing the distance.
    1. If no obstacle is detected, then drive forward.
    2. If an obstacle is detected, stop, back up, and turn right.
    3. If no obstacle is detected, start driving forward again.

Code to Note

This code builds upon all the concepts you’ve learned in all the previous projects. There are no new functions or objects.

Coding Challenges

Coding Challenges

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Resources and Going Further

There are tons of sensors and shields you can hookup to an Arduino that will help take your projects to the next level. Here’s some further reading that may help you along in learning more about the world of electronics.

For more inspiration and ideas for working with your SIK, check out these tutorials:

Key Parts and Components

Add all Digi-Key Parts to Cart
  • 1568-1754-ND
  • 1568-1753-ND