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ECEN 4610 Projects
Spring 2005

Team AquaLung

Team Members:

      Mir Minhaz Ali
      Robin Elliott
      Greg Newcomb
      Wilfredo Oteromatos

Project Description:

An important medical device in use today is the bronchoscope, a tool invented by the German laryngologist, Dr. Gustav Killian, in 1895 and adapted by Dr. Chavalier Jackson, regarded as the father of bronchoscopy. A modern bronchoscope consists of a long, narrow tube (with a light and camera at the end) that is inserted through the mouth or nose and into the trachea to examine the air passages that lead into the lungs. The doctor can directly observe the trachea and bronchi through an eyepiece or lens; additionally the physician can use the bronchoscope to take specimens for culture and biopsy. Approximately 460,000 patients undergo bronchoscopy procedures every year in the United States.

In recent years, bronchoscope manufacturers worldwide have been buffeted by recalls and lawsuits related to models which are suspected of trapping and spreading bacteria among patients, causing pneumonia or other infectious diseases. Cross-patient contamination was probably caused by a lengthy, difficult cleaning procedure or by manufacturing defects. In either case, bacteria remain lodged within the catheter (insertion tube).

AquaLung is committed to solving this problem with a new and innovative bronchoscope design. Featuring a detachable and disposable catheter, the risk of patient-to-patient contamination will be eliminated entirely. As an improvement to the conventional bronchoscope which must be hooked up to a monitor or the image viewed through an eyepiece, our project will convert the analog image to digital, and send it on to a PC. The PC will process, interpolate, and display the image in real-time. Features will include: zoom in/out, crop, rotate, and color-enhancement of the image. Physicians will be able to consult with each other more easily when the image can be saved in an electronic, and thus portable, form. Additionally, the image can be accessed later for comparison.

We believe these changes to an existing medical device will help to solve known problems. In addition, we hope to make the device more flexible in its use and less costly overall.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.2 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (6.9 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Awesome-O

Team members:

      Kevin Landin
      Greg Russo
      John Sample
      Michael Sells
      Jason Taylor

Project Description:

The goal of our group is to build an mp3 player that has compact flash storage capabilities and an LCD display. We would like to be able to read mp3 tags and be able to display this information on the LCD display. We will also have all of the normal mp3 player functions, such as, play, stop, and next song.

Some extras that we would like to add are the ability to process and output video files as well as other forms of audio files. We would also like to put in a temperature display and a high intensity LED flashlight. Shuffling algorithms, fast forward, and rewind would be extra functions to implement. Initially we will implement the play/stop functions as buttons, but a touch screen interface would be another upgrade that we could add. We would also like to add USB or serial interfaces that would enable us to load files directly to the mp3 player from a computer.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (771 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (2.4 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Flying Camels

Team members:

      Nawar Chaker
      Pete Dokter
      Tim Jacobs
      Paul Savage
      Adam Swartley

Project Description:

The National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, currently has a project involving a high altitude pressure balloon that periodically drops sensors from a payload. These sensors are used to measure pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed from a height of 60,000 feet down to the surface. These sensors send data back to the payload, which then relays to an iridium satellite and then finally transferred to a ground station. The project currently is successful, with flight times of three days and twenty sensors. However they are interested in expanding the duration of their flight time and the number of sensors dropped, without increasing the weight of the payload in order to maintain the same size of the balloon for mechanical constraints.

We have been commissioned by NCAR to develop a new release mechanism and reengineer a new power system in order to decrease overall weight of the entire system and extend flight times up to ten days. Our goal is to design a simpler, lighter and more efficient release mechanism that can be used for up to fifty sensors. Also, we will investigate alternate renewable energy sources to extend flight times. Financial constraints are yet to be determined.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (9.3 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (2.2 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Cyclops

Team members:

      Justin Bewley
      Winter Jojola
      Florence Manega
      Paul Roberts
      Denknesh Temesgen

Project Description:

Our project is designed for people with disabilities that inhibit them from performing complex tasks, such as, opening a door, or turning on a light. Given a room with various objects, depending on the direction the user is facing and their line of sight, objects can be activated. Our project will use a sensor array attached to a target cpu which analyzes data in and translates the data into sensible output (i.e., which object, and activate).

We have three levels of goals:

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (622 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.0 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Earl Grey and the Boston Tea Party

Team members:

      Steven Anderson
      Casey Gold
      Tom Monikowski
      Ellen Prommersberger
      Nathan Winder

Project Description:

We intend to modify a small-scale vehicle, go-cart or RC vehicle, that can be activate an auto-pilot mode for certain driving conditions.

Our finished product will be able to perform driving duties in stop-and-go traffic, controlling the throttle, braking and steering at low speeds. To perform these tasks, we have five smaller design objectives.


  1. Sensor array. Sensors will be needed around the perimeter of the go-cart to detect position of other vehicles.
  2. Data translation. Sensor results will have to be translated into voltages, then fed into a CPU that can determine if there is a vehicle in front of, or on the sides of the vehicle. We expect the complexity of this objective to be dependent on the compatibility of sensors within our price range for this type of function.
  3. Vehicle analysis. From sensory input, our vehicle should follow behind the car in front of it at a distance variable with the speed of the forward car. If the forward car is no longer directly in front of the vehicle, then our vehicle should turn slightly toward the forward vehicle as long as there is no car to the side.
  4. Mechanical instruction. After the CPU determines the proper course of action for the go-cart, it must be implemented physically in the speed and steering mechanisms. The throttle and brake instructions could be done linearly while the steering needs a rotary welded into the shaft of the steering column.
  5. Activation/deactivation. The auto-pilot needs a manual button for activation but will be disengaged on any overriding input from either the steering, throttle or brake (throttle and brake are just like normal cruise-control issues).

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (943 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (4.5 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Legend: The Surveyor

Team members:

      Ali Ozgur Abali
      Leonardo Carrasco
      David Cox
      Randy Direen
      Lisa Prince

Project Description:

We propose to build an autonomous robot with the capability of mapping out its surroundings. The robot we plan to build will have the capability of mapping out its environment using ultrasonic vision, and build a 2-D map based on what it sees. Using the map it has constructed in memory the robot will make decisions where to move by calculating which direction will be the easiest to move in. The purpose of such a machine would be the first step in developing a robot that could intelligently "learn" its environment and use what it has learned to make decisions for future tasks. Future tasks could involve labeling key objects the robot has found and having the robot navigating to those objects by command then performing some function on the object. We believe that this is a first step in developing robots that can help around the house and in industry.

The machine vision will be based on three equally distributed ultrasonic transducers. The Center transducer will send out a short ultrasonically modulated pulse and the two side transducers will receive the reflected pulse. Using a scheme antenna engineers use to increase pattern directivity, the two receiving transducers will have their signals modulated together so as to only pick up reflected signals directly in front of them. By putting the three sensors on top of a stepping motor the robot will be able to scan back and forth to create a 2-D image of what is in front of it.

The motion of the robot will be controlled by two motors connected to wheels. Using this two motor scheme the robot will be able turn in place which gives it more maneuverability. It also makes the construction and control easier than some other structures.

We also intend to control the robot from the computer using a wireless RS-232 interface that we've seen before. This will give us the ability to upload images of what the robot sees and send the robot basic commands.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (4.1 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (32 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Oasis

Team members:

      Mir Ziyad Ali
      Liron Kopinsky
      Chris Wallace
      Sarah Whildin
      Joseph Yadgar

Project Description:

For our capstone project we will design an energy tracking system that will position solar panels in order to get maximum power. We will store the energy into batteries and use it to power the rest of the system. Under low light or no-light conditions, the system will go into a standby mode to conserve energy until sufficient power is present. To construct the digital section of the system we will be using a Xilinx FPGA board with a soft-processor core. This FPGA board will then connect to another PCB that will contain any additional hardware for the system such as the motor controllers used in positioning the solar panels, the batteries, battery chargers, level-shifters, flash, and any additional equipment that we find necessary. While this idea is designed with satellites and other autonomous applications in mind, we may include an LCD to display status information about the system for demonstration purposes.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (603 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.7 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Strongarm

Team members:

      Sammit Adhya
      Matt Corne
      Thaine Hock
      Luz Quinonez

Project Description:

The goal of our project will be to design and build the controlling electronics for a six-axis robotic arm that can be controlled through the use of simple finger motions. The purpose of the project would be to create an arm that will allow paraplegics who have retained or regained mobility of their fingers to control the entire robotic arm in three dimensions to pick up and move objects. The device we propose to build will be a proof of concept of a larger scale device as well as a training system to learn to use a larger more practical arm that would use the same type of control, but could be mounted on and used with a power chair.

The most important part of our project is to control the arm with the use of only basic finger movement using a glove-like device. The next part will be to integrate features such as machine vision and automated control of the arm to improve the system. The final product will function as follows:

  1. Having blocks initially stacked neatly, allow user to move blocks to a pattern seen on the table and then evaluate performance based on accuracy and time.
  2. If the user finishes or ends the session, the computer will use sensors to locate block positions and move them to their original position using the robotic arm.
The project will be divided into four parts, distributed among four group members:
  1. The design of a microcontroller board that will process the user's glove input and output appropriate robotic arm maneuvering commands.
  2. Integration of position data captured from the sensors to the main processing board and development of algorithms to locate all the blocks in the given area.
  3. Development of arm controlling algorithms as well as all needed arm controlling hardware.
  4. Development of the hardware and any necessary software elements needed to accurately detect the user's finger movements in the glove-like device.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (348 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.6 MB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Tank

Team members:

      Mike Chao
      Tae Lee
      Josh Reitsema
      Mark Winter
      Scott Zhong

Project Description:

The purpose of the tank style rover is to provide a suitable base for a multitude of sensors that can be used for a variety of applications including reconnaissance, data mining, security, etc.

The project goal is to equip a rover type robot with sensor array hardware that will perform various data gathering functions. Examples of sensors include camera, sonar, temperature, humidity, positioning sensors, and possibly others. The main board of the rover will be constructed from Motorola and Xilinx processors. Possible additions to the project include wireless communications to a control platform, video processing, and real time analysis.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (731 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (680 kB PowerPoint)

Expo Photos

Team Zissou

Team members:

      Mike Gould
      Kara McMillen
      Marcus Pearlman
      Chris Sinkey
      Jake Wiltgen

Project Description:

We are building a Radio Frequency Location System for industrial and residential applications. The design consists of a linearly polarized 2.5GHz transmitter which will be tracked using three, directional finding antennas. These directional finding antennas consist of an array of circularly polarized patch antennas. Using a micro-controller for data processing and antenna control, we will determine transmitter direction relative to each antenna. This information will be sent to a main controller which processes and displays the location.

We chose this project because all members are interested in all applications of Electromagnetics. We also feel this design is marketable in many real world applications.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (3.9 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.9 MB PowerPoint)

Additional Spring 2005 Expo Photos:

Creekside Elementary School visitors
Paul Kasemir shows his ECEN 1400 project, a digital clock
Other visitors