Philips project

Warwick’s program interface board

Warwick’s RS-232 interface for the built-in serial boot loader.

Warwick Smith’s base board

We took a package at the end of 2006 and wanted to clear remaining projects. After upgrading our CAD tools we commissioned a previous student, Warwick Smith, (who had completed his M.Tech the year before) to make a prototype of the logistics/ warehouse “pick-by-light” to demonstrate to the warehouse directors. The chosen device was one of the Philips LPC family with a serial boot loader. The board shown here is the base board. For Warwick’s website, visit him here.

Warwick’s display board

The display board with the water-jet cut-out plastic extrusion. The large LED would allow pickers to see which display was on from the edge of the aisle. There were two buttons for testing stock taking functions, replenishment and recalling the last pick. Warwick previously produced one of the first display controllers with an Atmel 8051 equivalent chip (20-pin) (see AVR projects).

The RS-232/RS-485 conversion used the programming interface board (shown on the left) and the RS-485 buffers on the base board. A base board was programmed as a gateway. Warwick designed, laid out, manufactured all the ARM boards, the ARM programming and made a test shelf setup. The cost was not optimised as the trial involved fifteen pick locations and we wanted to test other features.

Blue Rail with display board

The display inside the spray painted housing. We wrote remote procedure calls between the warehouse host over Ethernet attached to a Linux PC and the RS-232 side on the Linux PC. Most of this was reused from our previous Linux/ Unix work. The host tests were written by the warehouse IT staff in Java (barcode read, pick generation, etc.) Some of the message tests were from the earlier PowerPC 823 trials in 1999. Extensive diagnostics and “data scope functions” were written on the Linux PC.