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ECEN 4610 Projects
Spring 2010


Team members:

        Robert Benson
        David Hover
        Paul Niewoonder
        Jonathan Tate

Project Description

For our project, we will design an embedded software graphics accelerator. At its heart will be a custom media-centric co-processor design, referred to as the shader unit. Compared to other processor designs, the shader unit will have very high floating-point computational performance by exploiting the parallel nature of groups of dependent, sequential instructions. We will also develop a programmable software-based 3D graphics pipeline. The graphics accelerator will utilize several general-purpose processors and many of our shader units, each running different parts of the software graphics pipeline. We will develop the embedded graphics accelerator on our own custom-built multi-FPGA development board that will include a VGA port, knobs, and buttons for user interaction. At minimum, we will write software to demonstrate the functionality of the hardware, such as static graphical rendering examples, and display the output from industry standard benchmark programs. Additionally, if time permits, we will write several simple graphical games such as "snake," "Tetris" and "etch-a-sketch" to demonstrate some real-time examples.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.5 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (3.7 MB PowerPoint)

Team EyeTect

Team members:

        Salman Alsaif
        Thomas Rutkowski
        Vivian Phinney
        Mark Hasemeyer
        Steven Carroll

Project Description

Ocular Microtremors (OMT) are a constant, physiological, high-frequency, low-amplitude eye-tremor that all human beings have. Initial clinical studies have shown that OMT accurately reflect the activity and health of the brainstem, an important indicator for doctors treating comatose patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The goal of our project is to design and construct a device that is able to detect, process, and output Ocular Microtremor data in ICU patients. A prototype sensor built by Eyetect L.L.C. has been provided, and we are tasked with miniaturizing the signal-processing and output circuitry so that it is able to fit in an in-line dongle, as well as improving the accuracy. The output mechanism will also be redesigned so that the waveform, amplitude, and frequency of the OMT signal can be displayed on a patient bedside monitor.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.3 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (2.6 MB PowerPoint)

Team IceSAR

Team members:

        Nicholas Mans
        Jonathan Wehling
        Cameron Chapman
        Andrew Brownfield

Project Description

Our task is to build and test a proof of concept Endfire Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), in order to reconstruct a 3D image of the terrain in front of a radar antenna. SAR is currently only used in side-looking configurations and this project will determine the feasibility of using a modified SAR algorithm and system in order to accurately determine the environment in front of the antenna. This configuration will become part of a larger proposal for a probe used to explore below the surface of Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.7 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (2.9 MB PowerPoint)

Team PokerTech

Team members:

        Erik Morrissey
        Chris Weigel
        Ho Yun Chan

Project Description

Our project objective is to design and build a RFID-enabled poker table. In doing so, we will explore methods of integrating RFID tags into thin, flexible objects, along with methods of using RFID tags to provide positional information. Further, we plan to include a video capture mechanism in the system, allowing us to establish a correlation between the RFID data and the video feed we produce. We hope to use this table as a test-bed for several RFID features while at the same time we strongly believe developing a background in this field is beneficial to future studies.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.9 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (1.9 MB PowerPoint)

Team RapidFire

Team members:

        Eric Pahlke
        Greg Stahl
        Riley Pack
        Kelly Shuster

Project Description

For our Electrical and Computer Engineering Capstone Senior Design project we have chosen to build an autonomous motion-detecting turret. Using cameras, the turret will be able to detect motion, track a moving target, then launch some type of projectile (a foam disk or dart) at its moving target. The project will have a touch screen LCD to display the output of the cameras as they track the moving target, as well as allow for user options to control the turret. This project contains significant challenges that span across multiple areas of the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Aspects of power distribution, interfacing multiple cameras and processors, and mechanical engineering will all need to be addressed successfully in order to have a working project.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.3 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (5.7 MB PowerPoint)

Team TenCup

Team members:

        Justin Price
        Brandon Parks
        Brandon Arment

Project Description

The TenCup Entertainment Table is an interactive table that enhances the game-play experience of the game of Beirut while enhancing spectator entertainment. To accomplish this, we will incorporate a game tracking system that will track game time, score, and win streak. Also, the table will utilize an automated matchup queue to inform upcoming competitors that their turn is approaching. Finally, spectators will be entertained by a dazzling audio and visual display.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (3.4 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (6.3 MB PowerPoint)

Team Teneo

Team members:

        Dillon Krasovec
        Robert Glissman
        Ben Walker
        Patrick Hanschen
        Jerod Ellingson

Project Description

Computers have seen rapid advancements in power and visual presentation, but the interfaces with which we control the computer, namely the mouse and keyboard, have remained essentially unchanged for over 20 years. This project proposes to develop a general interface tool that not only replaces the mouse, and supplements the keyboard, but also can be extended to controlling other devices. The problem with conventional software interfaces is that they are hindered by deep, confusing menus that the user must mine through, or many different ambiguous keyboard shortcuts that must be remembered. For example, in CAD software the user may simultaneously need to hold multiple keys and use the mouse or hunt through menus to switch contexts, to manipulate three-dimensional objects as desired. The problem is that there is a steep learning curve before new users have enough experience to exploit the full functionality of the software, which results in loss of productivity. To demonstrate the glove's capacity as a general interface device, an additional target application is in piloting RC helicopters, which are notoriously difficult to control by way of conventional controllers. A successful solution is therefore an interface device that leverages some interface mechanism that people use to interact with their environment on a daily basis. People use their hands everyday to manipulate and manage their environment, and therefore the hands present the most intuitive interface for enabling users to interact with virtual objects, as well.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (3.5 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (12.1 MB PowerPoint)

Team Tesla

Team members:

        Damian Manda
        Sarah McNamara
        Leonardo Ascarrunz
        Brian Fairburn

Project Description

Often, employees with cognitive disabilities have difficulty dealing with unexpected events that can occur while performing job related tasks. The purpose of our project is to provide a wirelessly powered sensor platform to monitor these employees, and various aspects of their workplace, to help them better function on the job. Because the sensor platforms provide feedback directly to a computer system and do not need to be serviced throughout the lifetime of the device, they are simple and convenient to use. A receiving antenna optimized to receive power in the 2.4 GHz band collects power on each module. A power management system interfaces between this antenna and a storage device, where power can be collected for later use. A low power microcontroller is used for sensor data acquisition and transmission management. Examples of sensors that can be used with this device include accelerometers, temperature, pressure, and galvanic skin response sensors. The data can then be wirelessly transferred using the ANT protocol to a computerized data collection system that processes and displays the data.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.2 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (5.3 MB PowerPoint)

Team WattWatch

Team members:

        Hassan Al-Abodib
        Marisol Lozano
        Peng Chen
        Yirui Huang
        Kamal Sabi

Project Description

In recent years, there has been a rise in fuel cost and concerns about climate change are rampant. People have the desire to conserve energy in their daily lives, but often times the amount of energy being consumed is a mystery. Knowing how much we consume is the first step in initiating and monitoring progress in our energy preservation. We plan to build an innovative power meter called Watt Watch which will be interfaced to a computer. Watt Watch is a monitoring tool that will measure the real power consumption of a device, and then using wireless technology to transmit the data to a computer host. The unit will have a built in memory and an LCD display to offer an alternative method to save and display the data. From their computer, the user will be able to monitor their power consumption and send commands to the module. This unit will appeal to home owners who want to become aware of their power consumption and become energy efficient.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.5 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (2.4 MB PowerPoint)

Team Wolverine

Team members:

        Alex Fosdick
        Bryan Edelman
        Justin Simmons
        Michael Stein

Project Description

For our Capstone senior design project, we will be building a Beverage Dispensing System (BDS) where we will interface electrical devices to mechanical devices to control and deliver a diverse and complex project. Often times at restaurants, event venues, fast food joints, bars, and many other consumer locations where drinks are sold, the customer often must wait for attention from a waitress and sometimes receive poor service. Waiters get busy, forget customers, sometimes ignore them, or lack the drive to deliver great service often leaving the customers with less than what they paid for or even worse, a bad product. Our system eliminates the need for the constant interaction between service provider and customer, giving the customer a cheaper and faster option in obtaining a beverage of their choice. A single dispenser will be implemented with a refrigerator and a CO2 system for pressurizing and dispensing the different carbonated beverages. The system is a collection of these separate drink dispensers that automatically pour a regulated amount of a desired drink into a customer's cup. The system has a database to keep track of the number of drinks bought by the customer in a database and hypothetically, allows for automatic billing without the customer having to worry about consistently paying every time they need something such as a refill. The administrator will have the ability to remotely control and monitor the state variables of the system such as pressure, temperature, and volume of drinks being dispensed and also be notified when the system is experiencing errors or low volumes.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (6.2 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  (6.9 MB PowerPoint)