New to arduino

I am a 12th grader in a group with two others working on a senior engineering project. We chose to create a system that will sound the car alarm when a child's car seat is buckled, the temperature in the vehicle rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the car is not running, and the driver has left the vehicle. Our two mentors suggested using an arduino uno to run the system off of. Two of us have taken an introductory electronics class but we were not introduced to arduino. We were wondering what sensors would work that are compatible with the arduino board and program and maybe some examples of code that we could work with. Also if you have any suggestions we would love to hear them. Thank you.

Hi - firstly I would like to ascertain some things - 1 would you like to have some kind of GUi like a screen - if so, use an Lcd - just type into eBay arduino lcd. Arduino - well its basically intelligent electronics. If you can program in C++ ( or want to learn) and have done electronics, which you have,t hen you should be good as to being able to use it. The uno is a good choice, but consider if you want more power to use a mega perhaps, or maybe a chipkit max32, which is industry grade,as per your project - legally, the arduino isn't supposed to be used in any safety critical system as it could fail. Please tell me more about the project - exact specs, budget ideas etc then I would love to help you with sensor ideas and how to code. Finally do you mean that the alarm should be activated when th car is off and driver has left? I assume so. Also I assume you meant unbuckled rather than buckled?

I think the project, being a school project, doesn't actually have to meet the reliability requirements of a productized version, though it's certainly something to be aware of, and probably mention in your work somewhere. The arduino uno should easily have enough pins for everything you need, and enough space and power for the software.

I'm pretty sure he means buckled - ie, there's a kid buckled into the seat, the driver isn't there, and the car isn't on, and it's getting hot (ie, the parent has left their baby in the hot car in the summer, like we hear about a few times a summer where the kid dies)

Most of the sensors involved are very simple...

Some sort of weight, force, or flex sensor on the drivers seat, a microswitch on the child seat to detect when it's buckled, some way to read whether the car is running (probably by whether there's power on the cig lighter), and a temperature sensor... Plus batteries to keep it running (possibly charged by the cig lighter while the car is running). Try to make the sensors fail-safe (ie, if the sensor malfunctions, try to make it assume the worst). And of course, you need some way to make noise and flash lights.

DrAzzy: I think the project, being a school project, doesn't actually have to meet the reliability requirements of a productized version, though it's certainly something to be aware of, and probably mention in your work somewhere. The arduino uno should easily have enough pins for everything you need, and enough space and power for the software.

I'm pretty sure he means buckled - ie, there's a kid buckled into the seat, the driver isn't there, and the car isn't on, and it's getting hot (ie, the parent has left their baby in the hot car in the summer, like we hear about a few times a summer where the kid dies)

Most of the sensors involved are very simple...

Some sort of weight, force, or flex sensor on the drivers seat, a microswitch on the child seat to detect when it's buckled, some way to read whether the car is running (probably by whether there's power on the cig lighter), and a temperature sensor... Plus batteries to keep it running (possibly charged by the cig lighter while the car is running). Try to make the sensors fail-safe (ie, if the sensor malfunctions, try to make it assume the worst). And of course, you need some way to make noise and flash lights.

Yeah I agree and as to the sound, you might need to use some kind of relay for a loud siren. I would be useful if we could have some more specs. As to whether it needs to be industry standard - yes I know it's just a school project, but It is a high school senior engineering project, therefore there should be some product design factored in, therefor by using a better board, it makes it more failsafe, so gives you a few brownie points as to reliability an real time operation etc.

I would be useful if we could have some more specs. As to whether it needs to be industry standard - yes I know it's just a school project, but It is a high school senior engineering project, therefore there should be some product design factored in, therefor by using a better board, it makes it more failsafe, so gives you a few brownie points as to reliability an real time operation etc.

Come on, this is a high school project. That being said, there are some electronics in modern cars that detect if a seat is occupied, if the engine is running, etc.. I doubt you want to track these down, but they are there. First develop your detectors with an arduino, then work on integrating them in a car.

Also I assume you meant unbuckled rather than buckled?

No I think he meant buckled, implication that there's a kid in the car with no driver and it's getting hot in there.

JimboZA: No I think he meant buckled, implication that there's a kid in the car with no driver and it's getting hot in there.

Yes, sorry its just that I was thinking of some car alarms where it sets the alarm off when it detects movement and the belt is unbuckled - now I get it about the car heating up. Would be nice if the actual guy could reply

arduinoboy12: Would be nice if the actual guy could reply

Remember this forum is international and there are times zones to think of: he might have posted and then gone to bed, or to class, and be incommunicado right now.

Thanks for the responses. Sorry for the delay it is currently 1:00 pm where I am and was sleeping through most of your replies. We planned on powering the system off of a car battery. As far as budget we are high school seniors and we are creating a prototype without any donations so the lower the cost the better. We had tossed around the idea of using a GUI but decided not to because we did not think there was a good reason to use one. We cannot use a real vehicle as we are doing this project in a classroom. We have to present our product at the end of the school year so we plan to use the car seat, a driver seat, an ignition, a car battery, and a car alarm to simulate how our system would work in a vehicle. As far as sensors we are going to use a temperature sensor, a sensor in the driver seat, a sensor in the car seat buckle, and some sort of sensor in the ignition to detect if the car is running or not.

CCJenkins:
Thanks for the responses. Sorry for the delay it is currently 1:00 pm where I am and was sleeping through most of your replies. We planned on powering the system off of a car battery. As far as budget we are high school seniors and we are creating a prototype without any donations so the lower the cost the better. We had tossed around the idea of using a GUI but decided not to because we did not think there was a good reason to use one. We cannot use a real vehicle as we are doing this project in a classroom. We have to present our product at the end of the school year so we plan to use the car seat, a driver seat, an ignition, a car battery, and a car alarm to simulate how our system would work in a vehicle. As far as sensors we are going to use a temperature sensor, a sensor in the driver seat, a sensor in the car seat buckle, and some sort of sensor in the ignition to detect if the car is running or not.

Thanks for the extra info. As far as programming it goes - how good are you with that?
if you have no Idea, I would recommend looking at the arduino playground, or buying a book - getting started with arduino is pretty good. But there are more advanced ones. Good news is that components are relatively cheap - you should find temp sensors etc very cheaply so your overall project shouldn’t cost too much. Any more questions about it?