While going through the educational site for Lego Mindstorm NXT projects for my grand-daughters, I came across this website: http://www.nxtprograms.com/index1.html
Impressed by the 3 Speed Transmission with Clutch model, I decided to construct one. The model itself provides a 3 speed Gear train controlled manually by pulling levers for gear and clutch mechanism. The Accelerator is a very simple switch that only provides a software simulation of accelerating the speed to max. This provided a good way to teach kids on gear transmission, use of clutch etc. The basic model is provided below:
With a new found passion for Raspberry Pi, I decided to give this model a complete makeover by changing the manual transmissions to “Fly-by-wire” technology. This gives us the ability to control this through a computer. So manual controls were replaced with Motors for Gear changing and Clutch control. Accelerator is replaced with a software controlled Slider and an Index switch was added to keep track of current running Gears. Resultant modified model is provided below:
Now the next thing is to add a proper interface to connect to this setup. For this Windows IoT running on Pi was chosen. In addition, to control this from Internet, a separate Windows based program for controls was written. While the Transmission can be controlled locally, with the additional program, the user has the option of control through the Internet.
The screen for windows IoT is given below: