Ahmad Rana's Engineering Log

Projects: Watchtower






Engineering Log

Embedded Talks





Inventor: Ahmad and Sal


Everybody has a boss button defined on the keyboard in the office. The problem is to press the button in time, especially if you have as sneaky a boss as mine. I have put up a mirror on my cubicle wall to catch her creeping up on me, but in order to justify it, I have to go to great lengths to show that I take care of myself by putting hand lotion, chap-stick and a hair brush on the table too.  To get around this, our ‘eye in the sky’ is being proposed. Well, sort of eye near the ceiling of the office. We call it the Watchtower. It hovers above the cubicle walls obstructing your view. The video image of the boss is relayed to you, which you can see on your video screen, and press the boss key with plenty of time to spare.


It’s a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.  It will carry a wireless camera. COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) will be used to provide a measure of the attitude and position of the aircraft. The signals from IMU will be fed to the on-board single board computer implementing an embedded implementation of a digital controller, using Windows CE 6.0 as the development platform.  This digital controller will then drive servos and brushless d.c. motors with mounted propellers to keep the Watchtower up in the air and in the desired position. The desired position will be relayed to the Watchtower through wireless link from a ground station implemented on the office workstation.