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ECEN 4610 Projects
Fall 2009

Team Acronym

Team members:

        Kaylee Bush
        Mike Killian
        Ian Rees
        Andy Rogowski
        Chris Tooley

Project Description

Our project is a pool cue with embedded sensors to measure the displacement of the cue as a stroke is being made. The sensors will relay the data to a receiver wirelessly and the receiver will then run calculations on the data. The receiver will pass on the results of the calculations to a computer which will display the player's stroke on screen.

The receiver will contain a video camera and data processing capabilities. The video data will be of the player's stroke and sent to the computer in sync with the pool que data to be viewed side by side. The processing capabilities will be memory and a processor as well as a serial/Bluetooth link to receive data from the pool que. The processor will then run computations to determine the pitch, yaw, roll, and force of the stroke and transmit that along with the video to the computer.

The computer will display the video of the player stroking and the computed pool que data to give 3-D visual feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the player's stroke. Our project is designed as a teaching aid to allow a player to become a better pool player by being able to visualize the errors in his or her stroke thus allowing them to be corrected. As none of us are master pool players, we will leave the analysis portion of the stroke to the individual user with an option to include professional analysis in a future revision.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (880 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.7 MB PowerPoint)

Team Amazi

Team members:

        Jake Baldwin
        Krista Hasling
        Jack Oakes
        Scott Wisdom

Project Description

The goal of our Capstone senior design project is to build a remote monitoring and control module for a water purification system. These purification systems are intended to provide clean water to schools throughout Rwanda. Our Capstone group is working with Manna Energy Foundation, the company that is installing these water purification devices all across Rwanda.

Our main feature is to monitor multiple sensors and perform real-time data-logging of the status of these sensors. There are three types of sensors: pressure, flow, and current sensors to monitor and record the state of valves, UV sterilization lights, and other components. The recorded data will be saved to flash memory and our module will be able to generate failure alerts and status updates. These updates will be received by Manna Energy via two-way communication between their base-station and our module. The base-station will have a graphical user interface that transmits commands and receives data, status, and alerts. Communication will be implemented both on-site with USB and, optimally, off-site using a GSM cellular interface. The module will control its components based on both an autonomous control algorithm and commands from the base-station. Power for the module will be provided by a solar panel and battery, and on-board power electronics will provide various AC and DC voltages as required by different components. Ultimately, large numbers of these modules will be distributed across Rwanda, requiring they be easily manufactured, implemented, and capable of withstanding transportation to the site and operation in the African environment.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (6.7 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (9.9 MB PowerPoint)

Team HandyMan

Team members:

        Blake Davis
        Luke Haberkern
        Brian Hacsi
        Chris Kircher

Project Description

The HandyMan is a universal controller which interprets the motion of a user's hand into generic sets of instructions that can be broadcast using Bluetooth. This will be achieved by an array of sixteen sensors on the hand and wrist which are processed on a small printed circuit board mounted on the user's forearm. Specifically, the HandyMan will monitor the flexion of the finger joints, the pressure at the pad of each finger, and the pitch, roll and lift of the hand. The HandyMan also comes with a convenient calibration tool allowing individuals to tailor the gloves sensitivities to their personal preferences and hand size.

In order to demonstrate the gloves function, HandyMan will also include a RoveMe, a fully controllable rover with pan and tilt ready wi-fi enabled camera and infrared collision avoidance. RoveMe has ten Bluetooth controlled functions; forward, reverse, turn left, turn right, zero radius turn left, zero radius turn right, camera pan left, camera pan right, camera tilt up, camera tilt down. RoveMe is fully controllable using the HandyMan.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (4.7 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.3 MB PowerPoint)

Team LED Cube

Team members:

        Nathan Gimple
        Amit Halevi
        Noah Husek
        Steve Tighe

Project Description

In short, we are building an LED cube. This is intended to be primarily an artistic piece: a 3-D light sculpture. The cube will be 8 by 8 by 8 nodes (the node spacing will probably be 7 inches). Therefore the cube will have 512 nodes (8 cubed). Each node consists primarily of one (or more) RGB LEDs. By mixing red, green, and blue light, many other colors can be achieved.

Similar cubes have been built. In these cubes, each node is directly addressed and runs programmed patterns. Our cube will do this, but will also add more functionality. We intend to incorporate various sensors (microphones, temperature, ambient light, etc.) which will allow the sculpture to sense and react to its environment. We also intend to implement Conway's Game of Life and various other cellular automata games. Also, the cube will be able to be controlled externally, by a remote control. The user will be able to play games (such as 3-D snake). Effectively, the cube becomes a platform which can be developed for whatever purposes that can be imagined.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.2 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.7 MB PowerPoint)

Team Nadecam

Team members:

        Charles Chen
        Katie Corner
        Dan Costinett
        Bob Pomeroy
        Jeries Shihadeh

Project Description

The objective of this project is to design, prototype, and test a "Camera Grenade." The camera grenade is a small hand-held ball, which when thrown into An area, captures a panoramic series of photographs which can be viewed in a virtual environment

There are a number of features that can be integrated into the camera grenade:

  • Different capture modes: Images can be captured in traditional RGB to provide a colored mapping of the area. Alternatively, "night vision" functionality could be provided by incorporating infrared sensors.
    • Movement after landing: Once the ball has settled to a state of rest, it can be controlled wirelessly to survey other surrounding areas more closely. The ball may have the capability to provide live video once it lands.
    • Graphical Virtual Environment for User: A navigable output interface must be created for the user to easily analyze the data provided by the camera grenade. This will likely result in a virtual world created from the pictures captured, where the user can "step" through the captured environment and "look around."
    • This project has a number of interesting applications. For example, the camera grenade could be used to construct a map of a dangerous area before sending people to in explore.
    • The following hardware components may be used: XYZ accelerometers to obtain information about the velocity, position and orientation of the camera grenade, gyroscope, digital cameras, RF transmitters and receivers, MSP microprocessors, and GPS technology to know the location of the camera grenade.

    Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.9 MB PowerPoint)

    Critical Design Review presentation:  (5.9 MB PowerPoint)

    Team Seventh Sense

    Team members:

            Kristen Aragon
            Greg Smith
            Steve Sorenson
            John Streuber
            Anand Suchak

    Project Description

    This project is primarily designed for use by a skier or snowboarder; it has two main purposes, control and monitoring. It will provide a user with a touch-less method of controlling an mp3 player and it will also provide monitoring and feedback to the user from the day on the mountain. We will create a device that can be worn on the user's chest that will recognize a gesture from a user's hand and then send control messages to the mp3 player. In our project we will focus on three basic controls that will manage the media player of the phone: Play, Volume up/down, Next/Previous Track. Our project will also include a GPS antenna, heart rate monitor, accelerometers and pressure sensors that will be monitoring throughout the day. Our project will have data collected and stored throughout the day that will be processed by our microcontroller and will be stored on an SD memory card. It will record heart rate, acceleration, and pressure on the skis at certain times throughout the day; this information along with the GPS tracking will be stored on the SD card and can be assessed by the user on a PC at the end of the day. Once we have a proof of concept with our device it is our goal to extend our device to be used as a universal controller.

    Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.9 MB PowerPoint)

    Critical Design Review presentation:  (5.9 MB PowerPoint)

    Team Smartwall

    Team members:

            Anil Damli
            Matanya Horowitz
            Kirk Liu
            Mark VanKempen
            Steve Willson

    Project Description

    Rock climbing has rapidly grown in popularity over the last several years. As increasingly large numbers of climbers have joined the sport, there has been a question as to the routes available at indoor gyms. A balance must be struck which both takes into account the needs of beginners as well as the challenge expected by seasoned climbers, all within a limited amount of rock climbing space. SmartWall attempts to mitigate this difficulty, providing for a dynamic, intelligent rock wall that is immediately customizable depending on the user. It will do this by dynamically allocating hand holds for new, profile-specific routes, as well as providing feedback to the user, using data gathered from a variety of sensors to both score and improve the climber.

    The basic element of the SmartWall is the handhold, which contains the sensor data and provides output directly to the user through dynamic coloring. These modular, individualized handholds are supplemented by a Host Controller, which coordinates the communication of these handholds on a panel of the SmartWall. These Host Controllers are then able to interface with a Host Computer that provides for intelligent analysis of the data as well as immediate route creation.

    Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.7 MB PowerPoint)

    Critical Design Review presentation:  (4.7 MB PowerPoint)

    Team Solbot

    Team members:

            Martin Carbajal
            Mike Mellman
            Curtis Porter
            Erik Zurinkas

    Project Description

    Our team proposes to create an electronically controlled lawn mower robot that will autonomously mow a lawn with minimal user input. We would like our robot to be able to move on its own. The lawn mower will be powered by two servo motors on central wheels that can move independently of each other, and are controlled by a microcontroller. The mower will have on-board batteries that can be charged at a solar powered base station. We want to have the solar panel charge a car battery, and then have the car battery charge the mower's batteries.

    The mower will move in a predetermined pattern, as opposed to a random motion. The initial programming of the pattern will be done with a joystick to control the mower on the required path. The mower will record the distance and heading with a 3D accelerometer, compass, and wheel movements into memory. After that, the mower will be able to track its position on the path any time it mows. It will wirelessly transmit its location to the base station, which will allow for interruption and resumption of the mowing pattern (if the batteries run out).

    Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.4 MB PowerPoint)

    Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.8 MB PowerPoint)