The role of a microcontroller in the life of a design engineer is immense. These provide integrated solutions for engineers incorporating multiple peripherals along with the much-needed processor in a small sized module. You might have one lying in your electronics spare parts box. Let’s put them to good use with some microcontroller projects. This list of top 20 microcontroller project ideas might come in handy if you plan on something.
- Microcontroller Projects: Wireless systems
- Microcontroller Projects: Locks
- Microcontroller Projects: Smart Living
- Microcontroller Projects: Lighting
- Microcontroller Projects: Miscellaneous
Microcontroller Projects: Wireless systems
Interface GSM Module
GSM is widely used mobile communication architecture used in most of the countries. This project demonstrates the interfacing of micro controller AT89C51 with Hyper Terminal and GSM module. It aims to familiarize with the syntax of AT Commands and their Information Response and Result Codes. The ASCII values of characters in the Information Response, Result Codes and their syntax can be monitored by an LED array.
This project is available at: Interface GSM Module
ATmega16A Based GPS Receiver
A global positioning system (GPS) receiver uses information from the satellites to get precise geographical location. It not only gives information about location but also information like time, date, height and speed. The project here demonstrates how to get location (latitude and longitude), time, date, speed and course-angle information using a GPS receiver. It uses 8-bit AVR microcontroller (MCU) ATmega16A to get data from the GPS receiver.
This project is available at: ATmega16A Based GPS Receiver
Radar systems have several defence as well as civil applications. A transmitter, transmits a beam towards the target. This is reflected by the target as an echo signal. The reflected signal is received by a receiver. This receiver processes the received signal and provides information about the presence of a target, distance, position (moving or stationary) or speed. This is displayed on a display unit.
This project is available at: Ultrasonic Radar
Microcontroller Projects: Locks
Electronic Card Lock
This next project presents a circuit for an electronic lock. A rectangular card is inserted like a CD, inside the disk drive. An appliance is switched on depending on the positions of the holes in the card. The electronic lock is connected to an access control system to prevents false operation of the system. It ensures the switching “ON” of only the selected appliance.
This project is available at: Electronic Card Lock
Morse code encoder
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights or clicks. The International Morse Code encodes alphabets, numerals and a small set of punctuation and procedural signals as standardised sequences of short and long signals called ‘dots’ and ‘dashes,’ respectively. The Morse code encoder presented here converts texts, numbers and special characters into Morse code as audible output on a piezo buzzer.
This project is available at: Morse code encoder
Microcontroller Projects: Smart Living
Restaurant menu ordering system
In these modern days, the number of restaurants are increasing. They also require very fast processing for serving food to the customers. With the increasing number of customers, it would require more manpower, since the current situation has become hectic for the restaurants. Also, changes in the hardcopy of the menu can’t happen.
This project is available at: Restaurant menu ordering system
Fridge Temperature and Humidity Indicator
We can measure temperature and humidity inside the fridge using a normal temperature-humidity indicator but relative humidity (RH) could be inaccurate in that case. The moment the fridge door is opened, RH will shoot up due to ingress or egress of moisture in the surroundings. The small sniffer device, described in this project, picks up temperature and humidity from inside the fridge and transmits on an RF link to a nearby receiver unit. The receiver unit checks the received code, identifies the right sniffer device and displays live temperature and humidity.
This project is available at: Fridge Temperature and Humidity Indicator
Home Automation System
We are surrounded by smart devices capable of making decisions with minimal human intervention. Our home can also be made smart by implementing real-time home automation systems. It monitors parameters like power consumption and human presence. Home automation may include centralised control of electrical devices including lightings, appliances and security. Presented here is a touch-control based home automation system that can control up to six electrical devices. It also has a separate keyboard interface module for troubleshooting and system settings.
This project is available at: Home Automation System
LPG Leakage Detector
Presented here is a low-cost circuit for an LPG detector that you can build easily. The main objective of the circuit is to detect LPG leakage anywhere. It is very easy to find gas leakages with this circuit, which uses low-cost components and an interactive way to adjust different sensitivity levels, based on customer needs, with the help of pot meter.
This project is available at: LPG Leakage Detector
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
Microcontroller Projects: Lighting
Display Custom Animations
Animating custom made characters on a 16×2 LCD screen can be very exciting. (Also, see LCD custom characters.) This topic explains the principle and operation of a displaying animation on LCD using Microcontroller AT89C51. There’s a useful side effect to the way the LCD controller uses CG RAM. Normally, we define a pattern in CG RAM, and then print the character. But it is also possible to change the CG RAM for characters that are already on the screen, and their appearance will change
This project is available at: Display Custom Animations
Auto Intensity Control of Street Lights
Street lights are controlled manually in olden days. These days’ automation of street lights has emerged. But one can observe that there is no need of high intensity in peak hours i.e. when there is no traffic and even in early mornings. By reducing the intensity in these times, energy can be saved to some extent. The project proposes circuits that control street light intensity by calculating the peak hours.
This project is available at: Auto Intensity Control of Street Lights
Microcontroller Projects: Miscellaneous
This next project describes how to build a digital speedometer-cum-odometer for your motorbike. The circuit uses a microcontroller, an LCD display and some commonly available components. It is a better alternative to the mechanical speedometer and even a beginner with minimal skill level can assemble it.
This project is available at: Odometer
A tachometer is nothing but a simple electronic digital transducer. Normally, it is used for measuring the speed of a rotating shaft. The number of revolutions per minute (rpm) is valuable information for understanding any rotational system. This easy-to-make photoelectric tachometer measures the rpm of most shop-floor tools and many household machines without any mechanical or electrical interface.
This project is available at: Microcontroller-Based Tachometer
Automatic Railway Gate Controller
At present, a gate keeper manually opens or closes railway gates. The nearby station informs the gatekeeper of the arrival of the train. However, some railway crossings are totally unmanned. The possibility of railway accidents occurring at these unmanned level crossings is high. One way to avoid accidents would be to automate this process. This project deals with an interesting manner of automating the railway gate control. The gate automatically opens or closes by detecting the arrival or departure of the train.
This project is available at: Automatic Railway Gate Controller
This is in no way an exhaustive list. New ideas keep coming up from time to time. If you have any such microcontroller projects, we would welcome it in the comments below.