PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest


### DESCRIPTION ( Introduce yourself and your project)

My name is Chris Collander and I am an undergraduate Computer Engineering student at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA) in Arlington, TX, USA. I will be continuing on for my PhD once I complete my degree in the Spring. My partners on this project are Arjun M. Gupta who is obtaining his Masters in Computer Engineering at UTA, and Robert Hernandez who is completing his undergraduate in Computer Engineering at UTA.

In some of our robotics work for our Senior Design course, we were extremely interested in control theory, but without the differential equations knowledge that is required for other majors (but not ours) it was hard for us to grasp exactly what was going on. We are creating this project (OpenPID) to provide a visual example for students to interact with to step students outside of the math domain and get a larger picture of how a PID controller works and how changing each value affects the overall performance. 

We will be working on the software during UTA's hackathon this year, HackUTA. This will occur September 30th. We are hoping to create the next hardware iteration by the end of the year.

### TECHNICAL DETAILS (With project photos)

The STM32F411RET6 microcontroller handles most everything on the board. There is a motor driver that connects to a 2 pin screw terminal to connect an external motor. There is a 5 pin screw terminal to connect to an external quadrature encoder, connected to the motor. These two devices will be connected and the STM32 will control them through a PID controller, with Kp, Ki, and Kd being determined through the onboard encoders.

Using the onboard switch, users can decide whether the error value represents the current position or the current rotational velocity of the motor. The exact target value can be determined through the onboard encoder.

Future features: A full graphical LCD to provide a better UI/UX, a USB connection that provides power as well as communication to the host PCB to allow interaction with software such as MATLAB.

### Words to PCBWay

We are looking for a sponser for our next iteration of PCB boards and hopefully assembly as well, due to the SMD components involved. 

The PCB is on it's 3rd iteration, a 2 layer board that is 5.5" by 3" long. There are no extremely small traces or holes, making this a fairly simple design. All components are only placed on one side of the board.

We have tested our design and have found no flaws in our current schematic or PCB, but we would like to include some extra buttons and switches for the user interface. After completion, these boards will be used in classrooms in the Computer Science department of UTA to assist with teaching students Control Theory.

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Sep 17,2017
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