Traffic lights are a classic example used to explain the ubiquity of microcontrollers to laypeople. It’s also a popular begginner’s project, with a red, green and yellow LED used for lights. A level up would be to design a full-blown system ready to control vehicular traffic in a city.
As you can see from the video, Himler has PC programming chops as well as embedded skills, as he developed a Windows app that communicates with the EasyPIC through Ethernet.
Over to Himmler:
The project is the control of vehicular traffic lights via Ethernet, developed with the mikroBasic compiler, and EasyPIC v7 with the ETH click. Operation is simple, since the computer sends the time required for each semaphore, with 48 events per day, which may be altered at any time which is recorded in EEPROM memory. The system can also record a backlog of light changes for up to one month. Real-time clock RTC (DS1307) is used. There is still more polish but hope you like it.
Himler’s next project is a neonatal incubator, which he describes as “still in infancy” — which is a weirdly appropriate way to describe an incubator.