Charles Stark developed embedded systems to reduce the weight of the projects by reducing its size and also resulted in the reduction of cost. There are plentiful applications in various fields, but, in this article let us discuss about embedded systems applications in real time. Primarily, we must know what is embedded system, embedded systems basics, embedded system design, types of embedded system, embedded systems applications in real time.
What is Embedded System?
An electronic system that provides project solutions by integrating the software programming with the electronic hardware circuitry can be termed as embedded systems. This embedded system is the solution for numerous problems such as size and complexity of the circuits, cost of the projects, and so on.
Embedded System Design
Basically, an embedded system is composed of hardware circuitry and software programming system. Basic embedded system design is shown in the above figure along with its various blocks such as timers, circuits, ports, processors, and so on.
Embedded System Basics
Embedded hardware consists of several hardware circuits (depends on the specific project model) such as power supply circuit, central processing unit, timers, counters, memory devices (EEPROM, etc.,), parallel ports, oscillation circuits, serial communication ports, other basic electrical and electronics components & circuits, and so on.
The set of instructions written in programming languages such as C, C++, JAVA, using programming softwares such as Proteus, Keil Compiler, LabView, and so on are called as programs. Each program consists of multiple set of instructions that are stored in microcontrollers, which is used for performing various tasks (both in software and hardware parts of embedded system).
Types of Embedded System
There are two categories based on which, embedded system can be classified into various types and these categories are based on the microcontroller performance and based on the embedded system functional requirements. Thus, various types of embedded system can be listed as follows, which are also shown in the above figure.
- Small scale embedded system
- Medium scale embedded system
- Sophisticated embedded system
- Real time embedded system
- Stand alone embedded system
- Networked embedded system
- Mobile embedded system
Embedded Systems Applications
All the digital electronics are majorly using embedded systems for their circuits and devices. In our day-to-day life, we got used to use several electronic gadgets, machines, devices, and equipments which are the practical examples of embedded systems applications in real time. Let us discuss about a few embedded systems applications.
Detection of Underground Cable Fault Distance using Internet of Things (IOT)
This project is a real time example of embedded systems applications. The main intention of this project is to detect the distance of fault location from the base station (in kilometers) and also display it over the internet. This system is typically used in major urban areas as it saves the time to detect the cable fault location. Thus, this system finds the exact location of the fault and also sends the data to a dedicated website using GSM module and internet of things.
The above figure shows the block diagram of the project, which consists of the power supply block, display block, microcontroller block interfaced with a GSM modem, relay driver, multiplexed relays, current sensing circuit in the underground cable, and fault switches.
It works based on the principle of Ohm’s law, if we apply a small DC voltage to the feeder, then based on the fault location the current will vary. The ADC develops a precise digital data based on the data fed to it and then the microcontroller will display the distance of fault location. The same thing can be sent to a specific website using GMS modem which consists of internet enabled SIM that is interfaced to the microcontroller.
Internet of Things (IOT) Based Energy Meter Reading
The main intention of this embedded based project which is one of the embedded systems applications is to energy meter reading and display system using internet of things. The digital energy meter which consists of blinking LED is interfaced to the microcontroller through a light dependent resistor (LDR). This LED blinks 3200 times for one unit of power consumption.
The project block diagram consists of power supply kit, microcontroller block, GMS modem which is having internet enabled SIM, display system, LDR, energy meter connected to the load. If the LED of the energy meter flashes, then the LDR sends an interrupt signal to the microcontroller. Thus, the microcontroller notes the reading and displays the same over LCD display board.
The energy meter reading can be transmitted to a specific website by transferring it through GSM modem using internet enabled SIM. This data can be displayed in chart, gauge, and graphical format.
Smartphone Wi-Fi based Home Automation using IOT
It is a different type of example of embedded systems applications, in which several electrical and electronics loads are controlled using android apps from any smartphone over Wi-Fi using internet of things.
The block diagram of the project is shown in the above figure which consists of different blocks such as a power supply block, relay, relay driver, microcontroller which is interfaced to the PC using level shifter.
By using the mobile phone the commands can be done through touch to the adjacent wireless modem. Then, the data is received by the Wi-Fi module which is interfaced to 8051 microcontroller. Based on the commands received at the controlling end the relays will be driven accordingly and the loads can be controlled appropriately. Thus, by using LCD display the real time data and also loads status can be displayed on it, which is interfaced to the microcontroller.
Health Monitoring of Transformer or Generator Remotely using Internet of Things (IOT)
The transformer or generator health monitoring remotely using IOT falls under the embedded systems applications. In this project, temperature sensor, potential transformer, current transformer are used for monitoring the temperature, voltage level, and current parameters of the transformer.
The remote monitoring of transformer or generator health using IOT project circuit consists of different blocks such as wifi module interfaced to 8051 microcontroller, AC to DC regulated power supply, A to D converter, and LCD display which are connected s shown in the above block diagram.
By using the temperature sensor, temperature data T is collected. Similarly, from potential transformer and current transformer the V and I data are collected and all these three analog values are taken by 8051 microcontroller through an A to D converter (in multiplexing mode). Thus, the data can be displayed over an LCD display connected in the circuit and also the same data can be sent over the internet and displayed over a specific web page.
Patient Body Temperature Remote Monitoring using Internet of Things (IOT)
Patient body temperature remote monitoring using IOT is an innovative embedded systems project which is used for monitoring body temperature of the patient remotely. This project uses one digital temperature sensor which is interfaced to the microcontroller of 8051 family.
The project consists of different blocks such as wifi module, AC to DC regulated power supply block which is interfaced to the microcontroller of 8051 family, digital temperature sensor, and LCD display which are connected as shown in the above block diagram.
Thus, the data collected by the digital temperature sensor can be displayed over an LCD display through the microcontroller. And also the same data can be sent to any web page or can be viewed over a laptop or PC in the form of line or bar or pie type chart which can be done using internet of things.
There are still numerous embedded systems applications which are being used frequently in our day-to-day life, such as ambulance flash light with beep sound, underground cable fault detection, smart card based electronic passport system, Arduino based RFID sensed device access, and so on.
If you are an electronics hobbyist or engineer interested in designing electronics projects, then post your comments or queries or innovative project ideas to get them implemented by writing in the comments section below. Do you know want to know how to design embedded projects on your own?