This idea was inspired by one of our teammate's lab experiment. She needed to collect 400 sample sizes and instead of measuring each one by hand we can hook this device up to the sample sizes and a much bigger scale and conduct the experiment.
What it does
In this proof of concept, we are using resistors to show the different samples. When you run the code it will look at each of the resistors and measure the ohms coming out of it. It will use a reference resister to help us find the unknown resistor.
How we built it
We used a breadboard connected to an Arduino and used relays to control the current.
Challenges we ran into
the first challenge was to figure out how we were going to take a sample of each resistor and control which one we wanted to look at. Once we understood how we were going to control that (using relays) we were able to begin building the circuits. Another challenge we faced was that it was outputting the wrong measurement. The system wasn't outputting the correct output we wanted (still happening to a small degree). The electromagnetic interference we believe is coming from the relays. In a scaled up version of this system, we would use a multiplexer to to the switching to reduce the interference.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
It kind of works. It is just a proof of concept but we do know that it is very possible with how we wired and coded it.
What we learned
Angie- I learned a lot about Arduino and how to wire things together. I also learned a lot about how circuits are made and connected with some of the math involved. I also kind of learned a new language although the Arduino language is based on C++ (which I know).
Christian - I learned more about using Arduino and connecting circuits, as well as how to use different components in a circuit and how to diagnose problems when the inevitably occur.
Oksana - I learned a general principle about Arduino how it works and what you can do with it. I improved my skills in electronics (how no assemble device with different components).
What's next for Fast Sample Switcher
To actually test out the idea with bigger components to accommodate many different sample sizes. This project was designed as a small scale prototype for a larger system, one which can measure hundreds of components at a time.