Event Title

Microcontroller based Fraction Collector

Mentor 1

Sergei Bezrukov

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

This device is designed for the UW-Superior Chemistry Lab in collaboration between the Natural Sciences and Math/Computer Science departments. It provides automatic drop counting and filling of test tubes with solution for chemical experiments. Previously, an assistant had to be physically present in the lab to manually change the tubes upon collecting the required amount of solution per tube. This was very time consuming. Our device completely automates the filling process, accomplished with a rotating drum containing up to 15 tubes and driven by a step motor. The filling process is controlled by a microcontroller and computer software with a friendly graphical user interface for setting up the filling schedule (amount of solution to be collected in each tube). Once a tube is filled the device automatically rotates the drum and puts another tube under the source for filling. Upon completion of the filling schedule for all tubes the device collects the remaining solution in a dispenser. This way the operator does not need to be present, saving him/her a lot of time. The device is an inexpensive alternative for very expensive commercial equipment which many small schools cannot afford. We participated in prototyping the drum and experiments with various step motor drivers and with the drop counter. We also learned how to interface with Texas Instruments motor driver integrated circuit DRV8033, and how to work with optical drop detectors. It was also a continuation of our experience with programming Texas Instruments MSP430 microcontrollers. The computer application communicates with the microcontroller via Silicon Labs USB to serial converter Si2112. We applied in practice knowledge gained in several programming courses, particularly threaded software and firmware design and project management, from an idea down to functional product, an entire project cycle.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Microcontroller based Fraction Collector

Union Wisconsin Room

This device is designed for the UW-Superior Chemistry Lab in collaboration between the Natural Sciences and Math/Computer Science departments. It provides automatic drop counting and filling of test tubes with solution for chemical experiments. Previously, an assistant had to be physically present in the lab to manually change the tubes upon collecting the required amount of solution per tube. This was very time consuming. Our device completely automates the filling process, accomplished with a rotating drum containing up to 15 tubes and driven by a step motor. The filling process is controlled by a microcontroller and computer software with a friendly graphical user interface for setting up the filling schedule (amount of solution to be collected in each tube). Once a tube is filled the device automatically rotates the drum and puts another tube under the source for filling. Upon completion of the filling schedule for all tubes the device collects the remaining solution in a dispenser. This way the operator does not need to be present, saving him/her a lot of time. The device is an inexpensive alternative for very expensive commercial equipment which many small schools cannot afford. We participated in prototyping the drum and experiments with various step motor drivers and with the drop counter. We also learned how to interface with Texas Instruments motor driver integrated circuit DRV8033, and how to work with optical drop detectors. It was also a continuation of our experience with programming Texas Instruments MSP430 microcontrollers. The computer application communicates with the microcontroller via Silicon Labs USB to serial converter Si2112. We applied in practice knowledge gained in several programming courses, particularly threaded software and firmware design and project management, from an idea down to functional product, an entire project cycle.