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ECEN 4610 Projects
Spring 2009

Team Hamster (Hardware Accelerated Mobile Stereo-Vision)

Team members:

        Cole Bendixen
        Erich Hanke
        Erik Larson
        Quang Than

Project Description

During this project we will design, verify and implement an autonomous, mobile cart equipped with several sensors, including two NTSC cameras for stereo-computer-vision optical navigation and collision avoidance. The purpose of this design project is to incorporate several engineering disciplines including: systems engineering, real-time hybrid embedded system design, power electronics, and digital control. The main control unit of this system will be a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with a PowerPC 440 hard-core processor, including a co-processor designed specifically to process the images acquired from the two cameras.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.4 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.4 MB PowerPoint)


Team Home Control

Team members:

        Shamlan Alroomi
        Raeid Farrash
        Zachary Molden
        Nyamdorj Purevsuren
        Aadil Rizvi

Project Description

In this project, we intend to develop a 'smart home' with a webpage interface. The basic idea of the project is to be able to control and monitor various devices/sensors within the house using an online webpage. We will use an embedded ethernet module, with a microprocessor, to host the webpage and establish a continuous TCP/IP connection between the webpage and the ethernet module. A main wireless module will be interfaced with the embedded ethernet module using the QSPI bus. This main wireless module will be programmed to communicate with other specific wireless modules. Each module will be connected to a microcontroller. The output of the microcontroller will be connected to an electrical device, along with a relay, or a sensor. Thus we will be able to build a "wireless switch" and control various devices remotely:- Using this system, the user will be able to visit a website on an internet browser and log-in with a valid username/password. Once logged in, the user will be presented with a visual model of the house where he can click on certain objects such as doors, lights, fans etc. to make them operate. Also, the user will be able to monitor information from sensors installed inside the house. Since the interface of the entire system is a website, the house will be accessible from anywhere in the world through an internet connection.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.0 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (4.9 MB PowerPoint)


Team Intellicart

Team members:

        Peter Dao
        Joseph Esler
        Brett Halper
        Jason Price

Project Description

Objective: To create a shopping cart system with wireless communication between an embedded system on the cart and an electromagnetic object on the shopper's merchandise. Such a shopping cart system would allow the shopper, upon placing a merchandise item into the cart, to see the price of that item as well as an updated "total" for all of the merchandise items in the cart. If the shopper removes an item from the cart, the "total" should update to reflect that removed item. When the shopper would like to check out, a credit card may be swiped on a credit card reader connected to the cart--no need to wait in line for a cashier. After the shopper removes all of the items from the cart, the total automatically resets in preparation for the next shopper.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.6 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (5.6 MB PowerPoint)


Team MotorBoard

Team members:

        Nicholas Barr
        Daniel Fargano
        Kyle Simmons
        Marshall Worth

Project Description

The purpose of our project is to create an efficient interface between a 200V DC source and a 3-phase 1.5 HP (1 kW) AC induction motor. We intend to produce a cold torque of 30N-m and drive the motor to 3000RPM within 5 seconds efficiently. Once we are at 3000RPM, we want to run at an extremely high efficiency, ideally 95% with a goal of 80%. We also want to design the power electronics in such a manner that they are bidirectional, so that if we apply a torque to the rotor, we will be operating in a generating mode, so as to charge a hypothetical 200V lead-acid deep-discharge battery connected to the source. The efficiency of this generation will be a tertiary goal.The project will consist of constructing the power electronics, which includes a DC-DC buck-boost converter and a 3-phase DC-AC inverter, as well as the control systems. The control system will consist of several inputs from the motor in order to determine the phase angle as well as the speed and slip, a microcontroller which will execute code to determine the duty cycles with which to pulse width modulate our power electronics in order to operate within our desired mode, and finally outputs to control our power electronics. We will be optimizing our code to make our interface as efficient as possible, incorporating dead-time and possibly soft switching techniques. We intend to use high voltage IC's to perform the isolation between our control logic and high voltage power control.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (5.8 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (8.3 MB PowerPoint)


Team Opoles

Team members:

        Jen-yuan Hsiao
        Xhoua Lor
        John Marion
        Ruichen Zhao

Project Description

The goal of the OPOLES (Objective, Positional Oriented Laser Engagement System) is to design a base system for a laser tag game that incorporates the use of GPS and other communications to provide a unique game experience.

Primary design objectives:

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (985 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (12.0 MB PowerPoint)


Team School of Rock

Team members:

        Cheyenne Aberle
        Swain Brooks
        Daniel Reed
        Drew Veldhuizen

Project Description

We would like to develop a self-tuner for an electric guitar. We would be connecting a control box to the audio output of the guitar. The analog signal sent to the output jack on the guitar will be used to determine the frequency of each string. Once this is determined, it will be compared to a frequency which is the exact frequency of the pitch we are looking for. Then the control box will output a signal to a small motor attached to the tuning knobs which will then turn the tuning knobs until the desired pitch is reached. The self tuner would be activated by a foot pedal similar to other guitar foot pedals which are used for effects. We could also implement effects such as distortion or whammy into the controller and output that to an amp if we need to.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.6 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (11.1 MB PowerPoint)


Team Smooth Operation

Team members:

        Christopher Kitt
        Brenda Marcum
        Jacob Oliver
        Michael Roth
        Andrew Yuan

Project Description

The members of team Smooth Operation are designing and building a surgical instrument which combines the current laparoscopic tool port with an imaging device. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive abdominal operation in which tools are inserted through small incisions called ports. The surgery is performed using an inserted camera referred to as a laparoscope which allows the surgeon to view the surgical site. Current laparoscopic surgeries consist of multiple ports -- one for the camera module and others for the instruments necessary for the operation. Our design will eliminate one incision by incorporating a high resolution camera module with an existing instrument port. The instrument will also include an external LCD screen, providing the surgeon with a precise and convenient view of the surgical site. This will result in a reduction of patient trauma and also provide a more efficient procedure for the surgical team. The design will also include a method for video storage of the procedure for later instructional or legal purposes.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (4.7 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (4.8 MB PowerPoint)


Team Solar

Team members:

        Rob Chadil
        Eric Dickey
        James Love
        Daniel Seltzer

Project Description

The photovoltaic energy predictor is a project to develop a device that will determine the amount of energy that a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel would be expected to produce at a specific site, for example, a rooftop. The need for this device results from rapid growth in the commercial and home solar PV industry. The problem is that solar panel placement often occurs in locations where the sun's direct rays are blocked by trees, mountains, poles, etc... The device would use a camera along with an attitude sensor and signal processing software to enable determination of solar blockage. It will provide as an output an estimate of how much total solar energy would be converted by the panel on a daily basis.

Project Objectives:

  1. Design, build, and test a portable device to capture hemispherical photographs with the corresponding latitude, longitude, and the orientation of the camera(Geographic orientation, pitch, roll) and store the data on a portable medium for later analysis.
  2. Design, write and test a software application including a user interface and algorithms to take the data gathered from the portable device and estimate the solar radiation on any day for that location.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.0 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (8.6 MB PowerPoint)


Team TBD

Team members:

        Katrina Bossert
        Jay Brasch
        Daniel Kopelove
        Kirk Nichols

Project Description

In the event of a radioactive spill or natural gas leak, emergency workers are potentially subjected to danger. This inherent risk to public service workers is the motivation for TBD,a wireless remote-controlled sensing vehicle. The vehicle is controlled over a Wi-Fi communication link. Sensed data, including radioactivity and combustible gas concentration, is transmitted back to the operator. Additionally, video from the vehicle is sent to the operator for more of an immersive experience. The operator has control over the vehicle direction, speed and the mounted camera orientation. This functionality allows the operator to find sources of radioactivity and gas leaks from a safe location.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.9 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.5 MB PowerPoint)


Team 3D

Team members:

        Christopher Bermel
        Joshua Cornelius
        Erik Lorhammer

Project Description

Team 3D will create a 3D Volumetric Display system. This system will contain a flash memory interface, microprocessor, memory, microcontrollers for mechanical rotation, and an optical system (mirrors) to provide the illusion of a 3D still image. The goal of the project is to be able to load pictures from a flash memory source and project them on a screen rotating at high rotations per minute to create a 3D image from a series of 2D images. Uses for this type of display would possibly be medical (brain imaging, DNA research, etc.), military (topographical maps), and educational (showing 3D images of interest).

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.2 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.1 MB PowerPoint)