Help with High School Robotics Project (for my kids)

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I am software programmer but don't know much about physical circuits. I & Kids are willing to learn if directed. But having little background having hard time designing a circuit We will build and test it based on your suggestions. Please suggest diagram and what components to use.


1.       MVP

a.       A switch (physical) to turn-on circuit

b.       Connected to 6v battery and an Led

c.        A delay timer that delays lighting of led by 5 seconds

d.       Once turned on led will stay on for 1 minute and turn off (led should not be turned on using a capacitor charge but by drawing from battery)

e.       A photo cell that will break circuit when exposed to light (led will be positioned not to impact the photo cell)

f.        Once the led is off, user has to re-initiate the cycle by turning off the switch and on again.

2.       Enhancements

a.       Once switch turned on, after the initial delay

b.       Led should stay on for 1 minutes and off for 5 minutes and repeat cycle for 5 times only

I really want to build the above system, please help me with circuit or direct me to resources (simulation sw or components required etc.)


Thank you for your help


In the enhancements, 2.b can be in a loop forever also (please suggest approach for both).


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Hello,  I will look at what maybe needed. I am thinking a pair of 555 timers (better but more expensive are the mc1455p timer clock chips). One for the 5 second delay which triggers the second one for the 1 minute on delay. The second one feeds a divide by 5 counter chip for the 5 minutes.  

For the photo cell perhaps a photo transistor. I just finished a circuit that  uses a infrared television sensor to trigger a 555 chip via the television remote. 

You may want a breadboard and a few jumper leads. Also if you do not have any electronics instruments look for a simple logic probe circuit on the internet; it will use a led as an indicator that the timers are pulsing. It can be fabricated on one end of the breadboard.

Then the devil is in the details.  Perhaps we can con audioguru into helping with them; he is quite knowable.;)

 On second thought one could build  LEDs into the circuit so no logic probe would be  necessary.


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