Microprocessor Control Applications
Microprocessors (aka Micro-controllers)Â are tiny computers embedded in householdÂ Â items, such as televisions, washing machines, burglar alarms and greenhouses. Through the use of input and output connections they can monitor and control the devices in real time.
- Wired / wireless internet connectivity – so that they can be monitored, controlled and updated over the internet.
- They have a number of input ports, so that they can be connected to buttons and sensors.
- Output ports, so that they can turn on motors, devices or alarms.
- The use usually low power devices, meaning they down use a large amount of electricity, especially in standby mode.
Microprocessor control applications often use input sensors with pre-set values – these values are used to control when certain actions will happen.
Computer Controlled Glass Houses
- Temperature sensors
- Soil moisture level sensors
- Humidity Sensors
- Motors to open and close the windows to the glass house in order to control the temperature
- Motors to pump water from storage containers into the soil to water the plants
- Thermostat temperature setting to trigger the motors
Download this photo-sphere image:
Upload to this website to have a look around the Eden project, the largest computer controlled glass house in the world!
We don’t think of washing machines as computers, but modern washing machines contain a microprocessor that controls all of the complex washing cycles that modern washing machines have.
- Water sensors – to check if the watch has drained / has filled to the correct level
- Temperature sensors – to see if the water has heated up to the required temperature for the wash.
- Vibration sensors – if the machine is incorrectly loaded and vibrates too much, the machine will switch off to avoid damage to the machine and avoid a potenital leak.
- Turn on the motors that spin the machine
- Turn on the draining pumps
- Turn on the heating coil that heats the water
The dial on the front of the machine has a number of preset values:
- The washing temperature
- The cycle type (eco, intense, soak)
- The spin speed
Automatic cookers are becoming increasingly popular, especially for those people who want to eat quality home-cooked food, but work full-time.
They can be used to cook a variety of meals and foods, including:
- Slow-cooked stews
- Pies, Pastries and Bread
- The cookers have temperature sensors to detect when the cooker has reached the desired temperature
- The cookers turn on and off the heating elements
- The cookers often also output a sound or tune when the food has finished cooking
Preset values include:
- The cooking temperature
- The programme type ( what type of meal is being cooked)
- Start time / delay so food only starts cooking at a certain time.
Burglar alarm systems have become increasingly popular, and now have a vast array of different sensors and control devices.
- Heat sensors
- Pressure sensors
- Infra-red sensors
- Magnetic reed switches
- Audio and visual alarms
- Automatic text / email notifications
- Automatic police telephone calls
- Lockdown motors that protect expensive items / rooms
- Arm / disarm times
- Sensitivity levels – to cope with pets
Source – Wikimedia
Central heating systems now include increasingly complex micro-processing units. Modern systems can be controlled via an app on your phone, or even control themselves through location and behavior monitoring.
- Temperature input
- Location sensors ( central heating only activates when the owner comes home)
- Turn on the boiler
- Close automated windows and vents
- Temperature setting on the dial
- Heating on/off times
Activity – Micro-controller Control Application Slides
Create a copy of the Google Slides on the right hand side of this tab. Using the first slide as a template, complete the additional slides.
Note: You must be logged in to Google to make a copy of the slides document.
IPO card sorting activity
Venn diagram style sorting cards where you sort in to Sensor inputs, Preset values, outputs