Seeing like a Bike: new system architecture

Goal accomplished. Currently, the team has been able to redesign the whole architecture of the system. It has been done by minimizing the size of the rear box, reducing the number of microcontroller boards involved in the connectivity of sensors, and relocating some of the sensors.

The original layout had a big box with independent compartments for batteries, air quality and GPS and proximity sensors. In each case, each module was virtually independent, with its own microcontrollers and architecture. The new layout integrates into a single case, located in the back of the bike, all the required sensors with a simpler and more consistent architecture based on a single Arduino UNO. This redesign provides additionally an important energy saving, so just one battery may be necessary. This is an important outcome of this new architecture, as the power banks are proportionally the heaviest and largest elements of the whole system. Finally, the GPS sensor has been relocated to the front unit as orientation is a critical factor for those sensor, as it requires a direct vision of the sky, and for simplifying the connection of an already relatively overloaded Arduino UNO board in the back.

Goals for next week. As next steps, the implementation of the new communication protocols between the back and the front unit is the most complex task. By now, each of the units independently is able to work and collect data as expected. From a more physical point of view, details of the final layout of the rear sensing box are still needed to be decided, this is the reason for the still prototyping outlook of the case. Several iterations into the particular position of boards and typology of connections between the different components are expected. With regards to the front unit, a redesign of the case is as well required as the addition of the GPS module connected to one of the external USB ports of the Raspberry Pi. In general, the goal of the next week is to develop a new functioning prototype for the rear and front units, and able to collect data with two main objectives: being able to calibrate the sensors and being able to systematize the construction of the 9 sensing units which will be mounted on different bikes for gathering data by the end of the summer.

During this week, Myeong is working into the communication protocols for being able to collect the data from all the sensors in the storage of the front unit, Erica is assembling and preparing components already decided for the multiple planned units, Noel is working on the redesign of the case of the front unit, and Javier is focusing on the final design of the rear unit.