Lunar Lander Game tests your Flying Skills

lunar_lander_modelThe Lunar Lander game kind of reminds me of them grabber games in the arcades where you need to pick up a teddy bear. This version has a lunar lander module attached to the arm which you need to carefully control till you land on a specified target. A number of old school instruments and dials let you know if your moving too fast and what speed etc…

The game is based around an ATMEL AVR microcontroller and uses an Arduino board to connect it to a USB port, via serial to a PC.

The electronics for Lunar Lander are based around ATMEL AVR microcontrollers. An Arduino board acts as a convenient USB to serial converter which makes the computer interface nice and easy. All the microcontrollers listen to a common bus from the Arduino. The circuit boards are hand-wired on stripboard or tripad except for the nixie driver which needed a PCB to make the connections to the valve base of the nixies. I was trying to make life easy for myself by using lots of off-the-shelf parts. There is some slightly clever stuff in the AVR software which makes the stepper motors run very reliably at the right speed even if the speed is being varied during the game. Infrared sensors are used to detect the limits for the system. On power-up the game does a calibration to find out the positions on all the limits. After this it relies mostly on the stepper motor counts being correct to measure the position of the lander. This seems to work fine – even over very long runs of many hours. The speed and acceleration of the stepper motors are controlled to make sure that no stalls or missed-steps happen.

Project Details here.

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