Engineering Projects/HoverCraft/Howard Community College/Spring2012/p2550JW

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Project documentation focuses on how the team organized itself to tackle the unknown. This is a creative process. The details learned should be captured in tutorials. Project documentation should focus on how the team organized itself to step out into the unknown. Failure is common. The single most effective way to increase engineering respect is to document failures in a creative way that stimulates, inspires and helps others continue the project. Projects are never done. There are always loose ends. There are always decisions that might have been made more clearly. There are always other alternatives that might have been considered. None of this stuff appears in a tutorial. It does appear in the team documentation.

Electronic Sections Expected

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Problem Statement

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Get Hovercraft to react based on infrared sensor input.

Team Members

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The goal was to use the arduino with the hovercraft and control it with an infrared sensor. We were to use the Arduino and IR sensor in place of the RC controller, but to start we used the RC controller with the arduino instead of the IR sensor.


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This rotation was full of frustration. Near the begginning, we were having some trouble figuring out exactly what the goal was. Once we divided the work, we then got started. At first things went well, but near the end of the project cycle, the circuit was destroyed. While we were waiting for the new one to come in, we spent time using different sensors an motor systems to learn more about how they worked. most of the time was spent using the printer head IR sensors, which went well.

Decision List

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  • Wendell decided to look up an Infrared Sensor that was known to work with the Arduino.
  • Wendell decided take the printer home while waiting for the sensors to come in and use it with the arduino. the IR sensor on the printer was recorded by the serial counter on the arduino program.

Material List

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  • 1 Arduino Uno
  • 1 Toy Hovercraft
  • Motor Shield
  • Infrared Sensor
  • Touch Sensor
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Camera
  • Scanning Head from a Printer

Software List

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Total team time spent: 29 Hours


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Next Steps

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The biggest next step is to integrate the IR sensor that comes in with the Arduino software