Activity 3: Actuation and feedback

Learning objectives

In this third activity you will learn about actuation, which transforms the logical/mathematical capabilities of your micro-controller into actions that have effect on the real world. The activity relies on the skills that you have learned in the first and second activities - you will have to use interrupts, read sensors, and solder again!

You will implement a temperature controller. The controller will acquire data from the temperature sensor and will drive a Peltier cell to achieve the desired temperature.

Task to complete

  • Adjust the brightness of a LED and of a halogen bulb.
  • Use a Peltier cell to transfer a constant amount of heat.
  • Temperature regulation: use temperature sensor and Peltier cell to regulate the temperature of a given test-surface to a desired temperature.

What you may need to learn

  • Learn about Pulse-Width-Modulation and how to use it to adjust the brightness of a LED.
  • Learn what a H-Bridge is and how to use it to adjust the brightness of a halogen bulb.
  • Learn what a Peltier cell is and how to drive it to transfer heat.
  • Learn how to implement a feedback control loop: read sensor, compute the right control action, drive the actuator, and back.

These activities are progressive, and each relies on the former one. Please take them in the right order.