High Level Design

Program Design

Hardware Design


What Next?

Source Code



What's Next?

Our group learned a tremendous amount during this lab in wireless communication and also in hardware debugging.  Our code behaved flawlessly, yet our hardware could not keep up because of all the noise that was generated due to the 3 dc motors powering our hovercraft.  If we were to do a final project over again, it would not have been a remote controlled hovercraft.  The noise generated from the 3 motors is beyond what we had originally envisioned, and it left us stumped and frustrated more than once while we came up with hopeful fixes to the noise.  In the end, we never came up with a solution good enough to eliminate enough of the noise so that the MCU could properly function all the time.  Because of this, we would have chosen something simpler, such as a remote controlled car which has a a single motor for propulsion and a servo to control the front wheels.  This single motor would have caused much less noise and we could focus on more matters than primarily troubleshooting.  

If we had more time/resources/money/etc.  our group would have liked to add a "turbo" feature to the hovercraft.  We envisioned some kind of "over boasting" of the motors for maybe no more than 2 seconds every minute or so.  We could have taken advantage of timer2 on the MEGA 163 to do so.  Also we would have liked to add a turbo-ready LED which would tell the user when the turbo is available to use.  Furthermore, with the LEDs we would have liked to have two lines of them which would light up indicating the speed of each motor.  Another nice use for a LED is to indicate when the hovercraft is on, and when it is off. 

Another thing we would have liked to do is make it so that the Playstation2 analog controller only moved along one axis (forward / back), instead of a full 360 degree rotation.  Since we only sample input from that axis, it makes sense to only allow that movement. 

Even farther down the line would be to add some kind of sensors to the hovercraft to make it more or less autonomous.  Maybe a sensor that could detect obstructions in front of it.  However, it would have to detect them very far in front for the hovercraft to have time to slow down.  This would be a very difficult add-on as it is, in effect, a completely new project in itself.