WiFi Controlled 3D Printed iPad Mount

Hello and welcome back to the Digilent Blog!

In case you didn’t know, I am currently an Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Student at Washington State University. In our final year, we complete a course called senior design. For my team’s senior design project we were tasked with creating an Assistive Device for the Seeing Impaired.

What that actually meant was a remotely controlled iPad device stand that could pan, tilt, and move up and down. Part of this process was to create a poster to display our work throughout the semester, and you can see that poster below.

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Since our design needed to be remotely controlled, we used the WF32 microcontroller board. The WF32 is a 32 bit microcontroller board with WiFi, so it was powerful enough for our project and WiFi capabilities.

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Since it needed to be able to pan, tilt, and move up and down, the first step was to get a webpage up on the WF32 that was capable of moving servos and had a login process. Our resulting webpage looks like this:

control page

Here you can see the capability for all of the required movement. This was done by putting the files for the web page on the SD card and inserting it into the WF32. You can see the files and more about it in this tutorial.

We had a webpage on the WF32 that could receive the correct signals to allow a sighted user to control the mount in the sight impaired user’s home, which of course includes a login and password process.

Next it was time to create the physical mount that the WF32 would control. All of the parts were created and can be located publicly on TinkerCAD.

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The iPad case slides apart and pops into the stand itself, hopefully providing the easiest use case.

Now that we had the mount moving around and the iPad securely attached, we needed to provide video feed so that the sighted helper can see what the Sight Impaired person might be looking for.

To accomplish this we put “appear.in” on the WF32. Appear.in is a simple audio and video streaming chat service that can be embedded in a webpage. Here is the control page with appear.in embedded:

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To learn how to control servers by a webpage on your WF32, check out this Instructable. And, of course, stay tuned for more developments in our project!

 

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