Embedded systems are always in demand with students. The final year electronics engineers begins with a frantic search for embedded systems project ideas and ends with multiple projects coming to fruition. We compile a list of 20 embedded systems project ideas for engineers and hobbyists. Let’s give them a try.
Embedded Systems Project Ideas: LED blinking systems
Smart hardware designs simplify embedded software and make it more reliable. Designers use blinking LED signals to indicate different status and for inbuilt testability. Making an LED array blink requires an individual software loop for each LED or an individual timer and specific software to serve it. This can be an issue in a system that uses low-level MCUs which provide limited resources. The circuit presented here solves this problem by adding a simple hardware comprising low-cost inverters with Schmitt trigger for blinking as many LEDs as required
This project is available at: LED blinking systems
Wi-Fi Embedded Webcam
This project is built around an MRF24WBOMA Wi-Fi module, a PIC microcontroller and a camera module using the TCP-IP protocol. The camera captures live video from a remote location. This is transmitted wirelessly through internet and can be viewed on a PC or a laptop. The design uses easily-available low-cost components and a serial peripheral interface (SPI).
This project is available at: Wi-Fi Embedded Webcam
Air Quality Monitoring Device
Air pollution and concern about air quality is not something new. The emphasis has shifted from pollution problems caused by the industry to the ones associated with motor vehicle emissions. A typical PM2.5/10 based meter costs around US$ 200. This project presents a meter for monitoring air particles, gas concentration, temperature, humidity and time costing around US$ 45.
This project is available at: Air Quality Monitoring Device
Stable frequency sources for generation of TTL and CMOS signals are always in need. These play a crucial role in development, testing and maintenance of digital and analogue electronic circuits and embedded systems. These sources are also useful for fast checking of oscilloscopes, probes, multimeters, frequency metres and other measurement equipment. This circuit produces fixed frequencies of 4MHz, 6MHz, 10MHz and adjustable square-wave with variable frequencies from around 10 Hz to more than 100 kHz.
This project is available at: Four frequency generator
Fire Extinguishing Robot
Fire is like a double-edged sword. Discovery of fire stands as a milestone in the history of mankind. The aim with this project is to build a robot that can detect and extinguish fire. This fire extinguishing robot is a prototype of the actual one. Sensors used here are simple infrared (IR) photodiodes that detect IR rays coming out of the fire. The sensor board mounted on top of the robot’s chassis is circular in shape so that it gives the robot all-round detection view of 360°. Sensors are equally spaced at 45° each.
This project is available at: Fire Extinguishing Robot
Embedded Systems Project Ideas: Propeller Message Display
This next project describes a microcontroller-based propeller display that displays any message sent to it via hyper-terminal of a personal computer. Moreover, a temperature sensing IC (TMP125) is mounted onto the propeller display to display temperature in real time. It gives a 360-degree view and displays several characters in a revolving circular path using just eight LEDs. The main highlight of the project is a vertical facing display with true 360-degree viewing angle.
Tis project is available at: Propeller message display
This next project is a personal weather logger. Humidity, atmospheric pressure and temperature are logged through various transducers. A PC displays this data as a graph for analysis. PIC18F2550 is used to build the circuit. Other peripherals include serial real-time clock DS1337, temperature sensor LM92, humidity sensor SHT11, pressure sensor MPX5100, 5V voltage regulator 7805 and 16×2 LCD display.
This project is available at: Weather Logger
Celestial Weight Calculator
Every science student knows about the variations in weight of various bodies in different parts of the universe. The designed embedded system takes a weight on earth and shows weights on other celestial bodies of our solar system. The device is designed and constructed using microcontroller AT89S52. It gives a better understanding of gravity. The system calculates the mass and acceleration due to gravity (g) for other celestial bodies and displays the corresponding weight (force).
This project is available at: Celestial Weight Calculator
Mini Rechargeable Power Supply
Presented here is a robust, compact and hand-held power supply that delivers 9.2V and 5V up to 1A (approx.) and 3.3V up to 500mA. It also includes a female A-type USB connector so you can power and charge other equipment such as mobile phones. The circuit uses a single rechargeable 3.7V Li-ion battery pack (normally used in mobile phones and MP3 players). It uses dedicated Li-ion charging IC which monitors undercharge and overcharge conditions to safely charge the Li-ion battery pack.
This project is available at: Mini Rechargeable Power Supply
Cellphone-Based Remote Controller for Water Pump
Farmers often face inconvenience in switching on a water pump installed in remote farms. Microcontroller based circuits are used to solve this problem. This next project presents a cellphone-based remote controller for water pump. By calling the cellphone attached to the controller, the water pump can be directly activated.
This project is available at: Cellphone-Based Remote Controller for Water Pump
Embedded Systems Project Ideas: Ultrasonic Radar
A radar system consists of a transmitter to transmits a beam towards the target. This is then reflected by the target as an echo signal. A receiver receives and translates tehse signals. Actual radar systems are built with high-power transmitters and receivers, huge antennae, complex processing systems using digital signal processors and large displays. The circuit described here demonstrates the working of a radar system. It uses ultrasonic waves to detect an object and measure its distance and angular position, and displays the same on a 20×4 LCD screen.
This project is available at: Ultrasonic Radar
A simple circuit that can detect metallic conductors in its vicinity up to a range of 25 to 30 millimetres. Concealed metallic objects such as metal foils enclosed in a plastic cover, e.g., toothpaste tubes and refill tips. However, very thin metallic foils may go undetected due to a large resistance. The circuit is based on the principle of a difference resonator consisting of inverters, detector coils, capacitors and transistors.
This project is available at: Metal detector
Biometric attendance system
Attendance in educational institutions, industries will require more paperwork and time. Biometric Attendance System are used to reduce this problem. This next project explains how to design the biometric attendance system circuit using AVR Microcontroller. The main aim of this circuit is to take the attendance and display when requested.
This project is available at: Biometric attendance system
Solar tracker system
Solar energy is coming up as a major source of energy. The need of the hour is renewable energy resources with cheap running costs. With the current systems for solar energy harvesting, we have high production only at fixed times mostly noon. This project proposes a dual axis solar tracker system that increases the productivity by a significant margin.
This project is available at: Solar Tracker
Programmable Power Supply
This article presents a programmable power supply built around TL431 (IC1) and two bipolar transistors BD139 and TIP31. These are relatively low-noise, stable and low-cost shunt regulators. All sorts of power supplies are build using them. You can program the output voltage with simple switches. You can also program the output voltage with digital codes coming from a microcontroller (MCU) or from the printer port of a PC.
This project is available at: Programmable Power Supply
Embedded Systems Project Ideas: Light-Sensitive Fire Alarm
This light-sensitive fire alarm circuit is extremely sensitive, low-cost and easy to assemble even by a beginner. It uses infrared phototransistor as fire sensor. NE555 based astable multi vibrator generates the audible warning. The fire flame is detected through a small hole in the plastic case for the photo transistor. The sensor should not face directly towards normal light sources like sunlight, bulbs or tubelights to avoid a false alarm.
This project is available at: Light-Sensitive Fire Alarm
Dimming LCD Backlight
Presented here is an LCD power-saving backlight-control circuit. LCD is used in many projects for information display since it consumes less power. But power consumption in an LCD backlight draws a lot of attention. Since LDR resistance changes as per ambient light, voltage of NE555 also varies accordingly. This variation in voltage, changes the duty cycle of the output waveform, giving higher duty cycle when ambient light is not present. In this way it can be used to dim the LCD backlight for power saving.
This project is available at: Dimming LCD Backlight
RF Based Code Lock
This simple radio frequency (RF) based code lock incorporates a pair of 433MHz ready made RF transmitter and receiver modules. It is a remote-controlled, code-protected lock system. The code is fixed making it easy to implement. It requires very less power. You can remotely operate the solenoid lock from a distance of 30 metres or more depending on the RF modules used.
This project is available at: RF Based Code Lock
RC Plane Finder
The lost plane finder introduced here has a little on board beacon, also known as lost model alarm/crashed aircraft beacon, which helps you find a crashed or downed radio-controlled plane. Usually, the radio transmitter provides a set of pulses every 20 milliseconds, which, in turn, sends the radio receiver a separate pulse to each of the servos at the same interval. In this circuit, an alarm will sound when the radio receiver no longer receives the set of pulses from the radio transmitter.
This project is available at: RC Plane Finder
If you need a lid monitor sensor system for an application, this is the circuit you have been looking for. One application for such sensors would be in the security market. For example, construction companies need more ways to combat tools theft. Lid-monitoring sensors can be used to detect when a toolbox is being opened or tampered with.
This project is available at: Lid-Monitoring Sensor
Let us know how you felt about the list of 20 embedded system project ideas. We would also welcome some ideas from you in the comment section below.