I have a project that would seem to be ideal for Arduino, but want to run it by some experienced makers as a reality check.
I have no current experience with Arduino, but am confident that I can handle the IDE and programming. Just want to make sure everything I want to do is feasible.
I want to build something like a geo puzzle box, except that it won't open at a particular place, it will open after a particular time and date. That time might be years in the future.
Two main components are needed: the main Arduino board, and some mechanism for determining the current time/date.
The primary challenge, as I see it, is battery life. I'm currently considering a system using exposed battery leads. The user would connect a battery to the box before trying to open it.
To get the time, I was going to use GPS at first. The GPS module would be powered by the same battery that powers the main board. But then I found clock shields with 5 years of stand-by power from a coin battery. However, this would limit how far in the future the open date could be set to, and I'd have to deal with the possibility of having the clock battery die before the open date.
When the correct date has been reached, the system will drive a servo that will allow the box to be opened.
So, some specific questions:
Can the Arduino run a "boot" routine when power is applied? I want the box to immediately startup and check the date after a battery is connected.
Can it check somehow for whether the clock module has power (i.e., the battery is still good), and execute some action if it doesn't?
I'd like to the final product to be as small as possible. Can I develop on something like the Uno, then swap that out for a Mini when I'm ready to finish the box? Or shuld I start with the Mini? Will there be any issues with the Mini driving a servo?
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.