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"Path Finding" Circuit Board

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jargen

New Member
Hi,

I plan to make a "Game" as such in which you have 60 Led's in a 6 X 10 grid. Each led with a pressure sensor. On the left side in the middle will be the start and on the opposite side will be the finish. I want the led at the start to light up and head towards the finish but if one of the sensors is activated it will stop and go up one and check if it can go across again if it cant it will keep trying intill it reaches the top, Then it will try again but in a downwards direction. If it finds a gap it will go across and in the end it will reach the finish and end. Also each time the light changes the previous lights stay on (to show the path).

Does anyone know how to do this? i think i need the chip indicated on this The Logic Lab: simulating simple circuits of logic gates (middle chip with J K Q Q on it) But i dont know for sure what that is and where i can get it. Or how exactly i set it up. I have basic electronic's experience but not advanced enough to do this.

Thanks Guys,
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

vne147

Member
So each LED itself should be a pressure sensor a directly attached to one? I'm gathering from your description that you intent to place your hand or mabe an object onto the LED matrix and the circuit should be able to find it's way around the object. Is this what you're trying to do?
 

jargen

New Member
yes that is exactly what im trying to do. each led will be "paired" with a sensor so all 60 leds will have a sensor each. but i want it to try routes intill it gets to the end instead of working out a working route at the beginning.
 

vne147

Member
The first change to your idea I would suggest is instead of using pressure sensors, use simple push buttons or microswitches. I don't think pressure sensors like load cells have discreet outputs and using them would add a level of complexity not needed for your circuit. You would have to mount the LEDs and switches such that when you push on the LED, the switch gets depressed but that shouldn't be too hard of a nut to crack with a little thought. Maybe something like this would work:

LED Game.PNG

You'd have to pick pushbuttons with a high enough actuation force to ensure that they come back up when your hand or the object is removed. Or maybe you could use a spring. I would definetly go this route for determinig when something is on the LEDs over using a pressure sensor.

That's just half the battle though. You still have to figure out what to do with all those signals coming from the pushbuttons. For this I would DEFINITELY use a micro controller. For this project I would use a 40 pin PIC. I would use 16 pins to scan the matrix and see which buttons were depressed and then another 16 pins to multiplex the output to the LEDs. All the logic for which LEDs to light and when could be done with a relatively simple program.

A circuit could probably be made using standard logic ICs to do what you wanted but I don't know right off the bat how. It would require a good deal of thought probably and if and when you figured it out you might end up with a gazillion ICs.

What do you think about the microcontroller?
 

jargen

New Member
A microcontroller should do fine. It just im not entirely sure what chips i should use and so on. Also i planned to use pressure sesnors because i planned to have weighted blocked. but push buttons should still work.
 
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vne147

Member
Does the circuit need to measure different weights and do something different based on weight? If not, then you don't need pressure sensors. As far as what chips you should use, any MCU with at least 32 I/O pins could work for this project in the way I suggested. I would probably use a PIC in the 16 or 18 family. There are tons to choose from. Look here:

Suitable PIC microcontrollers

Have you worked with PICs before? Do you know how to program? You would need to write a program and then load it onto the PIC which requires a programmer. They are generally not expensive and you could probably pick one up on ebay for around $20. The only additional hardware you would need would be the LEDs, the pushbuttons, some resistors, a few transistors, a project case, and a power source which could be anything from a wal wart to a few AA batteries. You could probably get away with driving the LEDs directly from the MCUs I/O pins as long as they don't need to be too bright.
 
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