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20. Project Development


  • Complete your final project, tracking your progress:

2019/06/06 Status

What tasks have been completed, and what tasks remain?

This was my weekly planning for Applications and Implications

Week 11 - Finish past weeks assignments
Week 12 - Define all components of the project
Week 13 - Produce final board
Week 14 - Make app and device communicate
Week 15 - Print enclosure
Week 16 - Program iOS app
Week 17 - Test and adjustments
Week 18 - Improvements
Week 19 - Production (Last week frenzy)
Week 20 - Presentation

Looking back to this, I believe I kept a good pace and made most of it. But still there is a lot to do and I’ll definitely run out of time.

So I’ll try to lower the expectations for the presentation and at least meet the requirements.

I’ve finished the assignments, missing now only the evaluation updates and followup questions.

The components of the project have been defined.

I’ve made a final board version 1 that could be improved a lot. But probably there won’t be time for it.

Got the iOS app and board talking with an Arduino and HC-08 module. Now I need to do it with my own board and BLE chip.

The first version of the enclosure was printed but still need updates to fit.

At this moment I’m using a display with I2C. I’d love to be able to use it directly to save space.

Since I’ve burned my accelerometer board while playing with it. I haven’t implemented it’s function to the project. I believe this is a super interesting component and I need to manage to get it working.

What has worked? what hasn’t?

A big setback was putting the project a bit to the side while waiting for an E-Ink display. That turned out not useful for the project at all. With this, I stopped the enclosure and interface development because I didn’t now how everything would fit or be wired. So now I’m back with a 16x2 char display. But now, I got a 3.3v version so my circuit doesn’t need a step-up which is great.

In contrast, when I thought about this project I had absolutely no idea how to do the navigation logic. That could have taken ages to develop if I had chosen the wrong path. Luckily I got in contact with a developer that introduced me to Mapbox Navigation SDK. It still took me a week to get around it, but if I had to do it by myself, it could have taken ages and still not be so useful.

I though this was silly, but now I really appreciate my decision to make a different board for every assignment. This made me improve considerably my PCB design, mill and solder skills. While other students struggled for days with their boards, I got most of them on my first try.

What questions need to be resolved?

Even though I have bluetooth communication, it is not working with my own BLE board. There is some issue with the baudrate probably. When I send something, I get gibberish on the other side. This need to be fixed.

As I mentioned, my accelerometer is not working. I still need to implement it.

Now that I’ve got the energy management done, there still the issue of charging the device while being water resistant. I need to either add a USB lid or wireless charging to the project.

What will happen when?

Since we are one of the firsts to present the projects on Wednesday. There is not much time left to tweak or change the project. My goal is to just put everything together by the end of the weekend and produce the presentation Tuesday (Monday is a holiday in Barcelona and the Lab will be closed)

What have you learned?

This words are overly used and it may even seem silly to say this. But the technological knowledge of designing, using the machines and programming is obvious. I really started to appreciate the soft skills developed throughout the course. They were actually one of my big motivations to take this course and I truly believe they were fulfilled.

Learning how to document project development as you go was a big one. I’ve been working with digital fabrication for the past three years and the difference of my documentation from 6 months ago to now is huge.

Other than just spiral development, learning to build things only from known blocks makes it possible to learn difficult things. Instead of trying to make everything work at once, I’d start with each component individually and then put it all together.

Another interesting thing is how work adds up and becomes a lot if you keep doing little by little every week. I always struggled with keeping focus and motivation with a project. And seeing my 180 commits during this 5 months really showed me how much I can do if I maintain this pace.