Ethical Considerations

From IEEE Code of Ethics

1. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action;

When testing the dartboard, it was required that plastic tipped darts be thrown into the board to register a hit and to simulate game play. This has the potential to injury someone else in the lab with an errant dart. Thus, special consideration were made for the others in the lab by making sure individuals or their projects were behind or next to the dartboard. This usually required sitting in a corner of the lab. If anyone expressed their concern for our darts, we would immediately stop throwing the darts and test each region by hand.

Chan and I were also very conscious of everyone's projects and would not even consider damaging them. This included watching where we stepped in lab, ensuring electrical lines from our project were not interfering with anyone else, and storing our design in a safe location when we left lab.

2. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the contributions of others;

Throughout the design we would demonstrate the current working dartboard to the TA's and fellow students. Many times they would comment on the graphical set up, the functionality, or errors they perceive within the design. Their comments were noted and weighed against the initial specifications and functions to see if they had made a point we had missed. In some cases people did not understand the display for a game, and this helped create a video display that someone could decipher easily. In other cases someone would notice a dart region was not working properly, and this would be promptly fixed. And in a few cases suggestions would be made for added functions such as sound or high score memory. When time provided these suggestions were attempted.

Proper credit has been given throughout this website/report for the contributions of the video generation code, and help with the stand alone setup.


3. to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations;

When deciding on a project, Chan and I had to weigh our technical abilities against our proposed designs. In some cases our proposal went far beyond our current knowledge to the point it would be difficult designing a project in that area. This helped us chose a project that would teach, but not overwhelm.

The dartboard with video display is a unique project that had not been attempted in previous years. Its design included knowledge of how to poll 62 distinct regions and controlling game play, while generating video code in a very short period of time. It could also serve as an example to future people on generating video while polling for an external event when time limitations are a major issue. The design also demonstrates the potential for a low cost consumer dartboard with video output.


4. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data;

Given the actual results of the dartboard, this report makes realistic claims to performance, features, and design. Cornell has installed principles of honesty and integrity over the years, and there was no discussion on how to exaggerate results. With a project that displays the results on a video screen, it would be very difficult to fake data, or hide flicker. This report contains a full disclosure of the results and design so that anyone can carry out the design. It would be a testament to our work of other individuals were to construct their own electronic dartboard with video displays based on our work.

This ethic code pertains to lab conduct with other students. Sometimes a TA or student would ask for assistance with a specific issue such as video generation with the M32. Our responses were an answered to the best of our knowledge to assist the person. They sometimes returned the favor by helping us in another issue.


5. to accept responsibility in making engineering decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;

During the design a high degree of responsibility was taken with the project. We had worked so hard and put many hours into a design we felt we owned. The dartboard is a fairly safe device, however, issues can arise with dart throws bouncing off the board or flying to an unintended location. Thus, decisions were made to ensure that no individuals or projects were in any danger when darts were thrown at the board. When anyone else would throw the darts we made sure they were aligned with the board properly and know the dangers of throwing a sharp projectile in the lab. This usually came in the manner or, "Aim for the board", "Watch out for this person who wants to get by", "Be careful, these things are dangerous." If the lab was full then darts would not be thrown, even at the persistence of some people to want to throw darts.

Review and Next Time

A tremendous amount of time was placed into the design of the dartboard with video display. We estimated that between the two of us, 75 hours of work was completed. The work was a lot of fun, and every moment in lab was enjoyable. The basic goal was to make a game we could play at home, so testing and coding were creating a result of pleasure. The result was extra time put into the project, attention to detail, and thinking outside the lab environment on design issues. This translated into a very nice working design capable of being placed on a wall and connected to any television. We were very impressed with the results. We met most of the initial specifications in the project proposal. It would have been nice to implement sound, however the lack of pins dictated that decision. We were able to add extra features such as game graphics, four complete working games with the option of up to four players, and a very robust design.

The design did require the use of Bruce Land's Mega 32 video generation code which saved us a tremendous amount of time with video. The dartboard and pressure sensor map were designed by Halex, this saved time designing a dart hit region, and the purchase of expensive force sensors. With these contributions, we have been able to create a low cost electronic dartboard with video display. While the idea is not able to be patented since electronic dartboards already exist, we hope we have shown the potential for a new consumer product variation.

If we had more time we would have tried to create a more efficient pressure sensor map, add sound, and add more games.

A scheme was devised early on that with 62 regions, and 1 input voltage line, only 6 output pins on the microcontroller would have to be used. This could be accomplished by tying a single dart hit region to multiple lines to get a type of binary 6 bit map. Thus, each region would have a corresponding 6 bit word. This would require a more complicated pressure sensor map design.

It was suggested by many people that sound be incorporated into the design. Many home electronic dartboards have some sort of simple sound scheme. The Mega 32 could generate sound while polling for a dart hit and generating video. This was attempted, but there were not enough pins available. With the before mentioned design change, more pins would become available for sound. Thus, sounds could be played for dart hit, special dart hit, misses, pushing the buttons, and winner.

The fun element of the design is the games. With the time limitations the design was held to 4 games. If additional time was available, variations on the games could be constructed, such as Crazy Cricket, No Score Cricket, 401, 501, 601, and 901. Other games could also be designed to take advantage of the video code such as dart baseball, dart golf, dart bowling, dart football, steeple chase, around the clock, all fives and high score. We could even continue to design our own games, or make a dart trainer that would tell the player which region to hit, and then calculate his throwing characteristics. Given enough memory the possibilities for games are endless, especially with the video display.

Thank You

In closing, we would like to thank Andre and Paul for being our TA's this year, Bruce Land for his video generation code and help during the final weeks. We would also like to thank Steve for donating the dartboard.