Portable wireless measurement and control system

Bryan Salisbury, University of Rhode Island


Described within is an approach for a low cost data acquisition and a control platform which utilizes a custom Android application, Bluetooth wireless data-link, and Arduino development board. Scientists, students, and electronic hobbyists often need to conduct experiments outside of a laboratory environment. Scientists and engineers may be required to collect data in the field. Students often conduct experiments to satisfy the requirements of coursework. Hobbyists will often not have access to a well-equipped electronics lab. The commercially available data acquisition and control devices which perform the required functions for mechanical experimentation are often priced in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range. An Arduino based system could be used to measure analog signals between 0-5 volts, and control both digital and pulse width modulated outputs with the correct programming. The low cost of Arduino Boards and ubiquity of Bluetooth enabled computing devices make the combination an attractive option for use outside a laboratory environment. The addition of a wireless Bluetooth serial connection to the Arduino Board enables communication with an Android based measurement and control application. This work distinguishes itself from other Bluetooth control applications available on the Android Marketplace by prioritizing the retrieval and storage of data from the Arduino Board and by providing functionality to review data received. A program was developed for data collection and control which runs on the Arduino development board. A second program was developed which runs on an Android powered computing device, and acts as a client for the Arduino data collection and control program. Data was collected at rates up to 5000 samples per second, and a collection of simple sensor and motor circuits were controlled and measured using the developed programs. This study shows that data can be collected utilizing an Arduino Board, Bluetooth communication, and Android mobile computing devices, of sufficient resolution to be useful for mechanical experimentation.^

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Bryan Salisbury, "Portable wireless measurement and control system" (2017). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI10269561.