vb.net read barcode from camera CONSTRUCTING THE PIEZO DISC ACCELEROMETER in Software

Creating QR Code ISO/IEC18004 in Software CONSTRUCTING THE PIEZO DISC ACCELEROMETER

35.4.1 CONSTRUCTING THE PIEZO DISC ACCELEROMETER
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The disc will be used in electricity-producing mode, with the help of a steel ball or other heavy weight to provide mechanical energy. Place the ball or weight on the disc ceramic side up and tape the ball in place so it won t roll or fall off the disc. Connect the output of the disc to a fast-acting voltage meter or an oscilloscope. Lift the disc up and down rapidly, and you ll see the voltage output of the disc fluctuate, perhaps as much as a full volt or two. The faster you move the disc, the more the voltage will swing. Just as important as noting the magnitude of the voltage during a change in movement, note that the polarity of the voltage changes depending on the direction of travel. The output of the disc might be in positive volts when moving up but negative volts when moving down. To complete the construction, mount the disc either on a separate sensor board or on the robot itself. As an accelerometer that senses lateral motion, the disc can be mounted in a vertical position, though that will reduce its sensitivity since the ball or weight is being pulled off the disc by gravity. Be sure that the tape holding the ball is secure. You may wish to construct a more reliable captive mechanism, perhaps housing the disc and ball or weight in an enclosure. A 35-mm film can cut to size or a plastic bug case (like the kind used for prizes in bubble gum machines) are good options. As with a factory-made accelerometer, you can use the piezo disc accelerometer for vibration and shock detection. Sudden jolts like when the robot bumps into something will translate into larger-than-normal variations in the output of the disc. When you connect this accelerometer to the brains of your robot, this information can be used to determine the machine s proper course of action.
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35.4.2 LIMITATIONS OF THE PIEZO DISC ACCELEROMETER
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While the piezo disc makes for a cheap and easy accelerometer, it s not without its limitations. Here are three you will need to consider:
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The disc will only measure changes in momentum since it is inherently an AC device. Once the momentum of the disc normalizes, the output voltage will fall back to its nominal state. Since gravity acts like a constant DC signal, this means you will not be able to use the piezo disc as a tilt sensor very easily. The output of the piezo disc can easily exceed the input voltage of the interfacing elec-
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EXPERIMENTING WITH TILT AND GRAVITY SENSORS
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tronics. Should the disc receive the blow of a sharp impact, the voltage output can easily exceed 20, 50, and even 100 V. For this reason, you must always place a zener diode to act as a voltage clamp, as shown in Fig. 29-14 of 29. Select a zener diode voltage that is compatible with the input voltage for the interface you are using. For example, if the interface voltage is 5 vdc, use a 5.1-V zener. The piezo disc is basically a capacitor so it stores a charge over time. You can reduce the effects of the capacitive charge by placing a 50K to 250K resistor across the output leads of the disc (this will help to bleed off the charge). You may also want to feed the output of the disc to an op amp.
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35.5 From Here
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To learn more about . . . Connecting hardware to a computer or microcontroller Navigating through an Environment Read 29, Computer Peripherals 33, Navigating through Space
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CHAPTER
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HOME ROBOTS AND HOW NOT TO CHEW UP YOUR FURNITURE
n 2002, the iRobot corporation announced the availability of the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot for the home. This announcement is significant because the Roomba was the first practical robot for home use that could be used by anybody. The robot did not require any specialized programming or operation. The user was responsible for just making sure the Roomba s batteries were charged and to place a couple of electronic markers to prevent the Roomba from leaving the room that it is being tasked to clean. Since its introduction a number of copies of the Roomba have been announced. While the Roomba is a significant step forward, it is not what people think of when they envision home robots. The Honda Asimo or Sony Qiro, both humanoid-shaped robots that are able to perform a variety of different tasks, better meet people s expectations of what a home robot should look like. Unfortunately, these robots have had thousands of hours of engineering effort and many millions of dollars invested in them to get to the point where they are, and yet they are still unable to perform the most basic task that the public at large expects from a robot fetching a beverage from the kitchen refrigerator for them while they are watching TV. This chapter examines some of the more immediate problems of implementing a robot that runs around the house. There are a number of different issues, such as how the robot will find its recharging station automatically and how it will work with objects on surfaces of tables or counters, all of which are at different heights. While it is unlikely that you will come up with a robot that will rival the functionality of the Asimo or Qiro, you can definitely come up with a robot that can reproduce the capabilities of the Roomba and maybe find a new niche application that is perfect for home robotics,
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