Build an Autonomous FPGA Search and Rescue Vehicle

Hello again FPGA lovers! Today’s project is a challenging one where you build an autonomous search and rescue vehicle with FPGA! The projects involves the use of 2 vehicles, where one searches for the target with the aid of an FPGA, while the other uses minimal sensory aids to follow the search beacon and rescue.

The whole project has been divided into two steps, where the first step contains the hardware requirements. Apart from your FPGA, some of the other materials needed are an LCD screen, infrared thermometer, ultrasonic sensor, Dual DC motor drivers, logic converters, Rotary encoders and even a magnetometer. A detailed list of all used materials, their significance and connections are given in step 1 by the author.

The author has used VHDL (.vhd) for coding, and the code is available here. The zip file has been divided into the binary code and source code. You will find everything you need with detailed modules regarding each hardware part in the source code folder. The code can simply be uploaded onto the board and run for the search vehicle. The rescue vehicle directly follows the search vehicle and needs very little sensory aids.

The project’s documentation, presentation and source code is available here, and you can refer it for a detailed modus operandi of the project. This FPGA work is a combination of a number of interfacing techniques such as LCD with FPGA, DC motor drivers with FPGA and more. It is an apt project to test your mettle in the field of FPGA, and the result is truly worth the effort!


By pcmihnea

How To Use Your FPGA To Display Things On A PSP Screen!


Welcome back to the track of using your FPGA to display things. Today´s tutorial will teach you how to use the LCD screen of a PSP to display colour graphics from an FPGA. The main goal is to show three colour stripes on the screen but the author goes beyond that and adds a quick intro about displaying more complicated graphics. That´s for you to explore and invent or wait for the next tutorial.

The great advantage of using an LCD screen, instead of traditional screen is getting rid of the annoying analog VGA signals. Everything here looks like zeros and ones. On the bright side, LCD technology is pretty similar to CRT and thus the controllers take almost the same input signals.

As any other project from this guy, this one is also very thoroughly explained. You will find the part list plus all the schematics, among other nice stuff.

Although the core of this project is programming the FPGA with VHDL to properly control the PSP LCD screen, there is also some handwork. Quick thing but funny as always. Going back to the brain, it´s very important that you follow the theory explained to properly understand what the code is doing. Yes, the code is given, but you should understand what is going on there if you want to display pretty cool things.

What´s left now is you to take action and show us what you can display on the LCD screen!

Have fun!


By Chris

How To Add A LCD To Your FPGA And Control What It Displays!

This great tutorial brings you all the information you need to add a screen to your FPGA.  You will learn about how to choose the appropriate parts for this project, the schematics and as it couldn´t be otherwise, you will also get to know the theory. Mainly, this article explains the theory behind the control of the LCD screen.

The control of the screen is achieved using a VHDL module. It is very important that you understand the theory so you can improve your design. The source code is given for the control of the LCD screen, so all you need to care about is for reading this carefully.

Finally, some quick instructions for building this up are given. This is quite simple as this project is very easy to implement but it has a great potential on your hands…

Have fun with this article and show it to the world with your screen!


By Chris

Driving a cheap PSP screen with an FPGA!

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As you can see in the slider above FlorianH got a PSP screen up and running with his DE0-Nano FPGA board. the screen is a cheap Sharp LQ043 which is a  4.3″ true color TFT display and FlorianH has long wanted to use it for something and finally got it hooked up to his FPGA board.

FlorianH did a great job on designing a breakout board which has some traces that are less than 10 mils thick to connect the FPGA to the screen but the hardest part of the process was to Solder the backlight connectors of the screen onto the board:

“By far the trickiest part is soldering the backlight connector onto the board. But with a little caution it’s actually quite easy. I did it the hard way with a small tipped soldering iron. When I ordered the parts I had anticipated some trouble with these connectors so I ordered 3 of them to be safe and I did in fact destroy one of them in the process.”

He also wrote a very nice documentation and shared so many pictures to expalain everything and he  added a price table for all the components that he used for the project.

If you want to read the whole thing complete with test drive and schematics check out the original project page here.

Feel free to discuss this project in the comments thread.

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