Traffic Light Arduino Platform | Project Proposal


So, as the title says, here is my official project proposal for the TLA. This is a general overview of the whole system. Right now I am focusing on the wireless part of the specs, which I think merits it’s own post. Anyway, enjoy.


Rose Beede

July 16, 2013

HCDE 498 – Special Topics: Physical Computing


Tag Line

To add new features to the existing Traffic Light Arduino Platform for the purpose of increasing and testing usability in the context of engineering education.



Project Description


Overview of the Existing System

The Traffic Light Arduino Platform is an interactive, multipurpose system, for use as an educational aid. It consists of a set of traffic lights, along with an interactive console. The interactive console allows users to easily program the traffic lights to do specific behaviors. The interactive console is powered by an Arduino.


New Features to be Implemented

  • Soldered board. The system should be advanced beyond the rough prototype stage that it is in now.
  • Wireless functionality. This will allow the traffic light unit of the system to be moved around a room separately from the interactive console. The wireless receiver will be located on the traffic light unit of the system, and will also be powered by an Arduino.
  • Speaker. This feature will add audio feedback to the system, enabling it to also be useful for people who are visually impaired, as well as improve the overall user experience of the system. The speaker will be located on the traffic light unit of the system.
  • Debugging LEDs. This feature will allow maintenance and testing of the system, even if the traffic lights themselves to be turned off. It will also assist in debugging problems with the system. These LEDs will be powered directly by the Arduino on the traffic light unit, unlike the traffic lights themselves, which are primarily powered by AC power.
  • LCD Displays. These LCD displays will provide user feedback by telling the user about what program is currently doing.
  • User-friendly hardware. This feature will includes creating a box to house the electronics for the interactive console as well as the wireless receiver (see above), as well as other improvements to make the system appear neat, tidy, and organized. This also includes improving user feedback by adding an LCD display to the console.



TLA diagram

Figure 1. Project diagram with new features.



Soldered board board to solder, soldering equipment, wires
Wireless functionality 2 XBee wireless units, new Arduino code
Speaker Sound card, new Arduino code
Debugging LEDs red, green, and yellow LEDs, 3 330 ohm resistors
LCD displays 2 LCD displays
User-friendly hardware wood pieces, basic wood working equipment, wood glue, paint, computer graphics software



I have never done a wireless system before, and so I am uncertain what knowledge I will need for that.

It will also be necessary to develop a new protocol for users to implement new functionality. It will be challenging not only to develop a sound system, but also to ensure that it is hard for users to “break” it.


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