Dot Physics

Arduino Physics

This is so awesome – an arduino controlled fan cart.

i-5b96923f84d794556a7fef8e10be3b51-2010-06-30_fancart.jpg

If you are not familiar with the arduino, basically it is just a very simple and cheap programmable chip. I have been meaning to play around with one of these, but really I am afraid. Afraid I will like it just a little too much.

In this fan cart (made by Eric Ayars – who was at NC State when I was there), the arduino tells the fan when to turn on and off by sensing magnets on the track. Who cares? I care. This allows you to do some cool demos and activities with non-constant forces.

Some other things I can think of:

  • You could make two and use it for two fans on one cart. I have always had problem putting equal strength fans on the same cart. It would be cool if you could rapidly turn one on and off to adjust the strength.
  • Or, you could have two fans that turn on at different ends of the track. This way you could make the fan ‘oscillate’ from one end to the other.
  • I wonder if you could time it so that it simulates an increasing (non-constant force). Students tend to think you need an increasing force would be needed for constant acceleration.

I, for one, welcome our arduino-powered overlords.

Comments

  1. #1 Roland
    June 30, 2010

    Use the Arduino as a general-purpose measurement and control unit via linux. Install SimpleMessageSystem from arduino.cc/playground/Interfacing/Linuxtty or my website, then use my shellscript package. AD is scaled to mV and formatted for import to spreadsheets. 100 AD readings x6chans in <40secs. Fully scriptable, see included examples. Use as proof-of-concept for your project.

  2. #2 Roland
    June 30, 2010

    This blog truncated my post at less-than. Should say “100 AD readings x6chans in less than 40secs.” Fully scriptable, with examples. See http://user.cavenet.com/rolandl for the code packages.

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