Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Oren Hargreaves - Summer STEM Work Placement - Weekly Reports

The STEM placement students are sending us weekly blogs all about their experience in the world of work! 

Work experience is great and it provides students with many benefits whilst gaining skills and helping choose the right future career path for pupils. Having work experience on a Curriculum Vitae will make a person stand out to employers as they will notice they have motivation and a real passion for work. It will also help to boost a students confidence in themselves!

See how Oren is getting on with his STEM placement! 

Week One

"The first week at the University was largely spent researching my project and the different avenues it could go down. My open brief of "Arduino Open Day Project" left plenty of for exploration and expansion. Eventually, I settled on the idea that I would make a gesture controlled interactive game. After fighting with some software that utilised machine learning I decided that it would be easier to use my own software to recognise the data from the accelreometer sensor. Towards the end of the week, I ordered the parts that I would need for the project and began 3D modelling of the robot." 

Week Two

"At the end of the second week, I am very happy with the progress I have made. I managed to get the wireless transmitter and receiver working, allowing communication between the controller and the robot. I also developed the idea of the project deciding to attempt to emulate the popular tank trouble game. This involves attaching a laser and light sensors to each robot. I have had particular fun using tools and machines that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to use such as the 3D printer and laser cutter to quickly manufacture prototypes." 

Week Three

"At the end of the second week, the first prototype is almost ready. both the controller and tank are communicating well and allow for movement. The hurdles over come this week were having to buy new motors and hence redesign the motor housing. This resulted in the motors having enough torque to move the tank. Furthermore I had redesigned the electronics, making circuit schematics and transferring them onto Vero board."

Week Four

"The fourth week ended with a few frustrating days where the electronics were playing up, working very intermittently. Finally I found the resulting problem, the batteries had run a little flat. After further inspection the reason for this I believe is because I used 9V batteries which have very low current. This meant that the motors would often draw all of the current, causing the Arduino to loose power and turn off. Fixing this required a second battery and ordering of better suited batteries for the future. 

By the end of the week however the two sets of controller and tanks were working well and allowed for an emulation of the online game ‘tank trouble’ as planned."

- Oren Hargreaves

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