Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Project 12- Power and Internet Logger

The system I made , was due to a special request from Startup Village who recently had inaugurated their 10K building. They wanted a system where they could monitor information regarding when all the power was being supplied and when it was not, also where they could monitor the status of the internet whenever it comes and goes, also to monitor the speed of the internet at regular intervals , so this need led to the the rise of the power logger. The work setup:

This is basically a system where a user could just plug in the device to a LAN and power it from a wall socket , and which will allow it's user to see all information regarding the power status/ consumption, internet status and internet speed all through a webpage. This system was hosted at the website of startup village itself. The webpage :

The system basically consists of a microprocessor board running on Linux, the coding was done on python and it runs on the background. The system was designed in such a way that, even when the power is off the device is supported by it's onboard UPS consisting of a 8A 12V battery and heavy duty voltage regulators. The system determines whether power is available or not by monitoring the status of the wall socket onto which it is plugged. Here, the system is also intelligent enough to save data when there is no internet and posts them all together sequentially once it is back online. The client side of the system consists of a very simple webpage displaying various information such as power status, internet status, internet speed, etc. The system:

The system gained a lot of recognition, especially from the Minister for Electricity in Kerala, Mr.Aryadan Mohammed and KSEB chairman, Mr.M Sivasankar who further suggested that such a system could be used to monitor power and it's consumption in huge factories having highly expensive machinery which are capable of getting damaged by the power outages. They also said that it would help build a better conscience among people if they could know their current power consumption and take necessary steps to reduce it. The system was also featured in the Deccan Chronicle.With Kerala electricity minister Mr.Aryadan Mohammed , KSEB chairman Mr.M Sivasankar, Startup village chairman Mr.Sanjay Vijayakumar (from Deccan Chronicle):

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Project-11 Remote Controlled Quadrocopter, Auto Stabilization of Quadrotor (Smartphone/Glove control), Smartphone / Android Controlled Quadrotor

So this one must be the most hardest and frustrating one of them all, everyone must be familiar with the 4 motor propelled flying copter from the movie 3 idiots, so in the movie there was a situation where the damn smart  Ranchhoddas  Shamaldas Chhanchad (Aamir Khan) saves the day by helping a kid to complete his project which was this. So, in my case the Quadrotor( technically called) was not worked upon overnight like as in the movie, it was the longest project that consumed something like a year to complete. It wolks by having 4 propellers ( 2 rotating clockwise and other 2 anti clockwise) to provide upward thrust.I would be explaining the technicalities involved below.

Here, the main objective of this project was to stabilize the yaw, pitch and roll axis's of the quadrotor as by merely applying a uniform thrust signal to them together will only result in the copter being flown away or in the worst case chopping off your head. So, to get a happy ending, the system needs to be stabilized.
 So the story begins with an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) which is used to detect the real time attitude of the quadrotor in space, the 6DOF IMU consists of an accelerometer and a gyroscope , whose values are read by an I2C protocol using a microcontroller. This sensor's data is processed and applied to a quaternion based algorithm to yield the various yaw, pitch and roll angles of the quadrotor with respect to a reference point.So now we have the current state, next a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) algorithm is used to bring the quadrotor to the stabilized position by detecting and reducing deviations from the steady state. The most fundamental part is tuning for the PID constants Kp, Ki, Kd , which was done by the same old trial and error method, after which filtering and estimating the angle values with minimum delay can be considered as a killer. The program loop is 115Hz.The most exciting part of this project is the ability to work with the highly powerful brushless motors (and there are 4 of them) achieving rpm's >10,000.

These motors need to be powered using a ultra powerful but compact light weight battery (as it adds to the payload) and hence comes in the LiPo (short for Lithium Polymer), I have used a 4000mAH, 75 C, 3S turnigy battery. The motors are controlled via ESC's (Electronic Speed Controllers), which are indeed controlled by a microcontroller using PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signals.


The microcontroller used here is an ATMega 2560, due to the high EEPROM capacity (256Kb). It's PWM pins are directly connected with the ESC's, the next connection is from the IMU to the controller. 
The quadrotor attitude estimation software based on processing and arduino, based on Fabio Varesano, Starlino approach:
The system has established communication using either 2 methods, using a smartphone or by a remote glove.However, due to the constrained budget further equipment required to accurately estimate the attitude of the copter was not available. Hence, the system has a small lag in detecting the error states, thus cannot be truly be left on it's own , thus achieving only partial stabilization. The video:

Friday, 15 March 2013

Blackberry Live, Orlando and Project showcasing at Blackberry India OS10 Launch

I had the honor to showcase my project (RideSmart, as it got renewed) for controlling all the basic car features such as Air Conditioning, Central Locking, Engine Start, Acceleration, Parking Lights, etc using a normal smartphone. The system has now been redesigned for the Blackberry OS10 based smartphones running on the QNX kernel. The application is now faster, smoother and sexier than before.
I was given the honor to meet Mr.Sijo Kuruvilla George (CEO Startup Village) via Mr.Anand Subramanian again via Mr.Jithu KM. I was able to impress him using this application , and with the help of a small demonstration too. Mr.Sijo was then able to connect me with Mrs.Annie Mathew (Director, Business and Alliances at Blackberry) , who was also pretty driven by this . She then granted me the opportunity to showcase this project along with the car during their Blackberry OS10 launch that had taken place at February 25 at Mumbai.Blackberry had also let me get my hands on the latest BB OS10 device, for further testing and development of the application. The phone is pretty powerful, with a sweet cam and sweeter UI.

With the Blackberry team

The event was able to grant me with a huge number of well wishers including Mr.Sanjay Dutt (Managing Director, Blackberry India). The event was a huge success especially with the presence of Ranbir Kapoor. The event had journalists from different parts of the world to cover the launch. 
Many journalists covered the project, which led to the widespread publishing of it in many newspapers, news channels, blogs,etc.

With Sara Wilshaw ,from Canadian High Commission

With Sijo Kuruvilla George

The official RideSmart Blackberry video:

The article from Blackberry community with a video: http://www.bbin.in/en/2013/03/09/video-check-blackberry-10-controlled-car-powered-arvind-sanjeev-startup-village/

A small video snippet from Stuff magazine:

The article from Blackberry community with a video:
and from the blog of Mr.Sijo Kuruvilla George:
and from India Tech Online :

Blackberry Live Orlando
As I was given the opportunity to become a Blackberry Elite VIP member I was able to attend the Blackberry Live conference at Orlando, USA. Other than that I had access to various blackberry products, softwares and direct access to many people there.
The experience at Blackberry Live was excellent. I was able to attend sessions by the CEO Thorsten Heins ,  by the CMO Frank Boulben and even the influential Alicia Keys. The conference was amazing, with every attendee getting a cool new BB Z10 device!! Being an elite member also gave me several other priveleges such as to interact and meet with the CMO Frank Boulben , Alec Saunders, the Vice President of Developer Relations, etc.
 The Conference was held in various sessions and common meetings across different halls and rooms. It saw people from all over the globe, even though particularly few Indians . It continued for 3-4 days, with sessions ranging from enterprise solutions to basic app development. There were a whole lot of volunteers dedicated for this too.
 The event took place at the Grand Marriott , Orlando right next to Disney Land :) , I was also accommodated there , hence allowing me to go take quick breaks and naps in between :) It was a beautiful resort alongside the various other multi starred hotels there. The conference took place at the ground floor of the Marriott. The pic shows just a small part of the hotel.                                                                                                                                                                                                          The showcase area on the left featured various booming applications and systems using the new BB10 platform, it saw everything from educational apps to Lewis Hamilton's F1 car :) The arrangement was perfect with a snack bar on the side and spirits on it's opposite. Each showcase had to be registered for the demo earlier itself.                                                                                                                                                                                                     The event also saw the revealing of the QNX's Bentley, I was forwarded by Alec Saunders to Ms.Linda Campbell, VP of QNX when I had showed a demo of my app to them. The guys at QNX, Mark Rigley and Andrew Poliak The engineers who developed th eQNX bentley system were very impressed from my application when they saw that I could even start the engine and revv it up. They jokingly said after all the excitement "Would you like a job!!" :)

With Tim Neil of blackberry , the guy behind the Batberry project (he has build-ed a bat mobile from scratch  having real gun replicas and while using a Blackberry10 platform for it's control, that's truly WOW!!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Media Publicity

Here are some pick ups of my projects done by the media:
The article in Deccan Chronicle was the courtesy of RIM(Research in Motion) and Startup Village, who helped me get the introductions . The article was published soon after a follow up was done by their reporters. Here is the page:

Had the opportunity to be featured on BBC world news as part of India business report:
Get Adobe Flash player The hindi version of BBC report:
I also had the opportunity to be interviewed from Yes Indiavision for a show called "Yes People" hosted by Ms.Malavika Mohan, their crew was kind enough to drop by my home to take cover of me and a few of my projects, the video:

The very first coverage was from Asianet News, featuring the "My Ride" project which was quite unforgettable. The video: