For our final project in ECE 4760: Design with Microcontrollers, we decided to explore the concept of controlling a vehicle with the user’s hand orientation relative to the ground. By the end of the semester, we designed a cheap and effective hand controlled vehicle using the PIC32 microcontroller. This project is comprised of two main parts, the physical vehicle and the user controls. The physical vehicle consists of two rear wheels on the chassis which are controlled by a single motor, and the front wheel is controlled by a servo. The rear wheels serve to control forwards and backwards motion while the front wheel enables the user to move side to side. Attached to the top of the chassis is the slave mode bluetooth module, which will receive the hand orientation data from the accelerometer, and transmits to the PIC32 board will output the appropriate movement commands.

High Level Design:

Our group decided to pursue this project as our final design because it not only a culmination of many of the concepts that we have learned throughout the semester, such as output compare units, and using PWM signals to run motors or servos, it also incorporates new concepts, such as the bluetooth communication protocol.

The vehicle component of this hand-controlled system is broken into three important parts:

controlling the orientation of vehicle using the servo attached to the front wheel
controlling the forward or backward direction of the vehicle
receiving information of the orientation of the hand using bluetooth”