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8051 Microcontroller Projects

The Intel 8051 Microcontroller is known to be the best microcontroller produced in the whole wide world. Before going into details about the different projects using 8051 Microcontroller, it is important to know certain basics of this integrated chip.

What is an 8051 Microcontroller?

The 8051 Microcontroller was developed by Intel in the year 1981 and operates in 8-bit mode. That is, only 8 bits of data are processed at a time. If a data more than 8 bits is to be processed, it has to be broken into smaller parts for the CPU to process. The microcontroller got the series name as 8051 because it is programmable using 8051 assembly language.

The 8051 microcontroller is available in different sizes – Short, Standard & Extended. The short and standard size refers to the DIP format, while the extended size is a customized format.


  • ROM – 4KB (Extendable upto 64KB)
  • RAM – 128 Bytes (Register Banks [12 Bytes] + Bit Addressable Memory [16 Bytes] + General Purpose Memory [80 Bytes])
  • Register Banks – 4
  • User Defined Software Flags – 128
  • Data Bus – 8 Bit
  • Address Bus – 16 Bit
  • Timers – 16 Bit
  • External Interrupts – 2
  • Internal Interrupts – 3
  • Bit & byte addressable RAM area – 16 bytes
  • Number of 8-bit ports – 4 (Short models have two 8-bit ports)
  • Program Counter & Data Pointer – 16 Bit
  • 1 Microsecond instruction cycle with 12 MHz Crystal

Other versions of 8051 microcontrollers are available with more useful features like the Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter, Analog to Digital Converter, Operational Amplifiers and so on, making it much more dynamic.


The application of 8051 microcontroller is vast in fields like control systems, robotics and automotive technology. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Vehicle Control – The 8051 Microcontroller finds its use in providing complete automobile solutions ranging from engine control in hybrid vehicles to power control and ABS. The use of this chip has brought a revolutionary change in the stability and control of vehicles.
  2. Medical Applications – The use of 8051 microcontroller in medical devices has brought in more clarity and accuracy in readings. It is mostly used in pressure and sugar checking gadgets. Another famous application of 8051 microcontroller is the patient health monitoring system using GPS and GSM. A patient’s’ health status is checked continuously for variation in temperature, pressure and other parameters. If drastic variation is noted, the location and reading will be sent as SMS to the concerned person.
  3. Electronics & Robotics – Many innovative and interesting projects have been developed using the 8051 microcontroller in the field of robotics. All kinds of sensors are available to interface with the microcontroller to design interesting projects like Line Follower Robot, Electronic Voting Machine, RFID Based Access Controller and so on.


Buying Guide for 8051 Microcontroller Project Kits

Before going through the huge list of project kits, it is important for you to get a clear guidance on what to look out for in a 8051 microcontroller kit.

  1. Make sure you are buying the right project!

Research on the project that you have decided to buy. Most of the projects are bought by engineering students to demonstrate and present in front of their teachers and fellow students. You must make sure that the product is authentic and that you have all the resources to provide along with the project.

  1.  Go for the package deal

Every project kit must include a package deal with the following sub-products:-

  • Abstract and Block Diagram
  • Full circuit diagram with detailed components list.
  • The complete program of the project with code explanation.
  • Project Description – Including theory and working of project.
  • Datasheets of all components.
  • PCB Layout.

In addition to this, you could also ask for a video demo of the project, so that you get a clear understanding of the working.

  1. Complete Online Customer Support

Most people who buy the 8051 project kits are novices in this field. For them, a detailed mail or a customer support call will be helpful in clearing their doubts. Make sure to get all intrinsic details regarding the project kit before buying it.

  1. Refund or Replace Policy

If by chance, the kit you received is damaged or not working, there must be a refund or replace policy for the project kit. Make sure you ask about it in their online customer support.


Benefits of buying 8051 microcontroller project kits

You get a completely assembled kit which is also programmed. All you have to do is “plugin & play”. Once you get the idea of the project you could study further and build it from scratch. This is the best way than the other way around. Since you get the PCB design, circuit diagram and complete project report, all you have to do is “watch & learn”.

Assembling a project from scratch without outside resources takes a lot of hard work and consumes time. If you have the project in hand, you can learn about it easily.


List of 8051 Microcontroller Projects

  1. Automatic Water Level Controller Kit Using Ultrasonic Level Sensor

An ultrasonic ranging module (HC-SR04) is interfaced with 8051 microcontroller to switch off the pump when the water level exceeds a maximum level. The motor is also turned on when the water level reaches a minimum level. An LCD module is also interfaced to display the status of the motor and tank.

  1. Electronic Voting Machine using 8051

Electronic Voting Machine using 8051 microcontroller is known to be highly secure and accurate in counting votes, and that too automatically. The whole system comprises of two units. One unit is handled by the presiding officer and the other unit is provided to the voter to cast his vote. The unit handled by the presiding officer has a start button which when pressed, makes the system go into voting made in favor of the voter. A counting mode is also provided for the presiding officer to count votes. Attempts of malpractice are prevented with the help of a status byte that is written in the EEPROM.

  1. Frequency Counter Project Kit using 8051 Microcontroller

As the name suggests, this project is used to count a mono signal frequency ranging from 1 Hertz to 470 KiloHertz. The counter operates only on square wave irrespective if the duty cycle. Two timers of the 8051 microcontroller are used. One is used as a timer and the other is used as a counter. An LCD module is also interfaced with the microcontroller to display the frequency count.

  1. Heart Rate Monitor using 8051 Microcontroller

The heart rate monitor project is a prototype model of the heart rate measuring device used in hospitals. The main principle used in this project is Photoplethysmography. A Photoplethysmography sensor called the LTH1550-01 uses an IR diode-phototransistor pair to sense the blood volume inside the fingertip, when it is placed over the sensor. The volumetric pulsing of the blood volume inside the fingertip varies in intensity with respect tio the heartbeat. An LCD module displays the heart rate in beats per minute.

  1. Line Follower Robot using 8051 Microcontroller

This automatic guided robot project uses a sensor pair of either LED/LDR, LED/phototransistor, or LED/Photodiode, and is controlled using an electronic circuit which outputs the desired feedback algorithm. Two robotic wheels are set up and are driven using gear motor. These wheels follow a path, usually a black line on a white sheet, or vice versa.

  1. Natural Gas Leak Detector Project using 8051

A tin diode based sensor called the MQ sensor is used to conduct at the presence of certain gases. The sensor conducts when it senses LPG and this output is provided to a comparator and thus gives away a digital output. The comparator reference voltage levels can be calibrated using a potentiometer. An LCD display is interfaced to warn the user of a gas leak.

  1. Password Based Home Security System project kit using 8051

A secret 5 digit password is provided to the user through which he can access the security system. If the password entered by the user is correct, the door is opened using a relay circuit which automatically shuts down after a few seconds. If the user enters a wrong password 3 times in a row, an alert signal is given to the user. Step by step instructions and statuses are displayed on the LCD. The password is entered using a matrix keypad.

  1. PC Based Notice Board/Scrolling Message Display

A message can be transferred from the PC to the LCD using a DB9 cable, which is an RS232 interfacing cable. When the message is typed on the PC software, it is transferred to the LCD display via RS232 protocol. The board contains a MAX232 IC which converts the message to TTL standards and is received via 8051 serial communication module.

  1. RC5 IR Remote Control Decoder using 8051

RC5 is a protocol that is used in remote controllers. An IR detector is enough to show whether a remote controller is transmitting data or not. But the data cannot be decoded with the help of the detector, and hence is not possible for the user to know if the correct data is being transmitted. This is where an RC5 decoder becomes handy. A TSOP sensor is connected to the 8051 microcontroller. This sensor can detect IR modulated waves at 38 KiloHertz. But to decode it, it must be sent to the microcontroller. All the wanted timing aspects are programmed to decode the data. A reference analysis between the wave and time is done and is then converted to ASCII code and is displayed on LCD. Thus the remote controlled key pressed can be recognized.

  1. RFID Door Access Control System using 8051

This project can be made functional in schools, colleges and offices where each person is given an ID card, that has a unique code, which can only be read by an RFID reader. The RFID reader used in this circuit operates at 125KHz range. In this project, three ID’s are created for the system to compare. If the ID matches with the system tag, the reader sends the data to the microcontroller. If after comparing the match turns out to be positive, the relay is turned on and the door opens. If a wrong ID is passed on, an alert message is displayed on the LCD.

  1. Solar Panel/Sun Tracker using 8051

Two Light Dependent Resistors (LDR) are placed on either sides of a solar panel which tracks the intensity of the sun according to its movement. When one LDR gets more intensity than the other, both the outputs are provided to a comparator circuit, which calculates the high-intensity side, and rotates the solar panel using a stepper motor. According to the movement of the sun, the solar panel also moves step by step with the help of stepper motor. This provides maximum efficiency for the solar panel. The display module shows all the live operations.

  1. Ultrasonic Range/Distance Finder project kit using 8051

The distance to an object at a certain range can be found out precisely using an ultrasonic sensor and a 8051 microcontroller. The ultrasonic sensor works on a frequency of 40 KiloHertz and when a trigger signal of 10us is given it transmits a 40KHz wave and waits for the echo to come back. Then an output pulse proportional to the time taken to receive the echo is produced. The microcontroller receives the signal and measures the width of the signal and converts it to its appropriate distance. An LCD module is interfaced to display the correct distance.