A highly integrated chip that contains all the components comprising a controller. Typically this includes a CPU, RAM, some form of ROM, I/O ports, and timers. Unlike a general-purpose computer, which also includes all of these components, a microcontroller is designed for a very specific task -- to control a particular system. As a result, the parts can be simplified and reduced, which cuts down on production costs.
BPS Stands for 'Bata Positioning System'. This system provides real-time information about the current position of each team's current runner in the Batavierenrace.
Last years system used a GSM module, a GPS receiver, a microcontroller and a lot of programming. They were all connected trough a lot of wires and soldering iron. Together with some batteries it was our BPS-box. This box was sending a SMS-message every minute with the latest position of the runner.
How does it works?
Using a GPS device, we will monitor the location of a team. This location data will be parsed by a microcontroller, which then creates an SMS containing all the necessary info (including Date, Time, Speed and course). Using a GSM, which is bundled with the GPS device, this SMS will be sent to a remote server. There, the SMS messages will interpreted, entering the information they carry into a database. With this information, the exact location of each team can be projected onto a map (together with additional info like speed, and estimated time of arrival).