Senior Design 2008-09

Fall 2008

Little Football Buddy

By:  Michael Boike and Brandon Magnan

Description:  Children today are blessed with many opportunities that no generation before them has been able to experience.  They are introduced to a wide array of electronic gadgets at an early age, and feel comfortable surrounded by a world of batteries.  Unfortunately, in a world of electronic distractions, it is hard to get a child focused on something if it cannot be made into a game that they can challenge other children in.  Our senior design project is a football reaction timing device that takes care of this problem by teaching kids the need to “get off of the line” quickly in a fun and competitive manner…batteries included!

Wireless Parking Control System

By:  Nick Burk, Bijay Poudel, Pankaj Dhaubhadel

Description:  The purpose of this project is to design a wireless parking lot monitoring system for possible use by the campus public safety department.  Because the actual cost of a final system our group will be testing a small scale proof of concept design to prove that a system like ours could be applied on a large scale.  Our system will focus on monitoring a single gated parking lot that has both an entrance and exit lane.  It will keep track of vehicles parked in the lot both with and without permits and also keep track of what kind of permit each vehicle has.  This information will be sent wirelessly to a control center system which will then pass the information onto our GUI software on a remote PC.

Centralized High Current Switching Utilizing Can-Bus Communication

By:  Randy Miller, Adam Koosmann, Kyle Pfeifer

Description:  Recent advances in network technology has given rise to the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus system which is used to communicate control signals between CAN modules connected to the CAN-bus.  These CAN modules can perform monitoring, sensing, solid-state current switching, and date collection tasks.  The major advantage of the CAN-bus is the reduction of wires throughout the vehicle as well as enhanced communication transparency and systems monitoring.  The reduction of wires helps greatly with aesthetics of a motorcycle, especially for the handlebar wiring.  Our design will also our module; such as headlight or brake light bulb outrage.  It also allows the switching characteristics to be changed via software update over the CAN bus.

Auto-Configured Circuit Tester for any Pillow Speaker

By: Aboubacar Kanadji, Bintou Jatta, Carlos Cuevas

Description:  Pillow speakers are widely used in hospitals and assisted living facilities.  Their main functionality is to assist people living in assisted living communities to control several functions such as room light, TV and calling the nurse when necessary.  Therefore, it is very important to test pillow speakers to ensure that they function properly. Crest Healthcare Supply is a manufacturer, distributor and direct-marketer of a wide variety of products for both the long-term care and acute care segments of the healthcare industry.

Currently, testing pillow speakers is done manually and it takes a lot of time without an auto-configured tester.  In order to reduce the testing time and to improve the efficiency of testing, we will design, develop and implement an auto-configurable electrical circuit tester, which will include a digital TV control code detection circuit capable of decoding the source and nature of the code and communicating back to the operator the validity of the said code.  The auto-configurable circuit tester will be capable of testing the different functions of several models of pillow speakers.  The design must accommodate a separate module that will allow the input of a digitally coded signal through a hardwired serial port or via an IR detector.

Spring 2009

Smart Vending Machine

By:  Mark Lallemont

Description:  The Smart Vending Machine is run on the same principles as the Power Co.’s Meter Readers being able to see how much energy you have used without actually walking up to meter to read it.  The Smart Vending Machine incorporates a microcontroller to do all its duties and communicated wirelessly with a hand held unit which allows the machines tenant the ability to see how much pop/candy the users are buying without having to walk up to the vending machine.  With the vending machines microcontroller using smart cards for payment and the Hand Held using a LCD Touch screen this will provide a simple user interface.

Meteorological Autonomous Aircraft

By:  Jill Carlier, Matthew Hagel, Desiree Lee

Description:  The meteorological autonomous aircraft is a quad-rotor helicopter intended to be used by meteorologists to collect humidity, pressure, and temperature data.  The quad-copter offers the benefit of reusability and flexibility of geographical locations for data collection, as it is not restricted to the radiosonde network.  It is limited by its battery life and stability issues in non-ideal conditions.  Efforts have been taken to reduce limitations by decreasing weight and using available resources on control theory for mini quad-rotor aircraft from the STARMAC testbed and various robotics conferences around the world. The final product is a prototype of a quad-rotor helicopter that could be used by meteorologists.

Optimized Solar Power System

By:  Joseph Holmseth, Matthew Trandem, Niveen Khan

Description:  To design a complete solar power system that will be optimized using solar tracking.  The system will be able to store power for non-sunlight hours as well as provide the user with system information via any web browser.  The system created uses one dimensional motion and allows the user to view the battery life, voltage output from the battery, and the temperature via a web browser and LCD screen attached to the panel mount.

Electronic Paintball Sentry

By:  Jake Scherer, Ben Godding, Kelly Free

Paintball markers were first used to mark trees and cattle in the 1970’s.  Paintball began as a sport in the early 1980’s.  It was played in open fields, where every player was for themselves, until only one player was left standing.  Soon after, special courses and teams were created as larger numbers of people began to play at one time and the game became a game of strategy.  Our project will bring the sport of paintball to a whole new level.  Having an autonomous paintball marker on your side will not only make you a force to be dealt with, but it will also make your team better communicators to ensure proper placing of the turret.  Ideally this product would be marketed to paintball fields where they would purchase one sentry for each team, allowing for even play.  Often the game types of paintball emulate those of ‘shooter’ video games.  Along with this, the desire to emulate videogames more closely has rising to types of play where specific players have specific duties.  Medics, snipers, assault, scouts, heavy hitters, the list goes on and sometimes people get very specific on what a certain player can do.  This turret will help this, because often those types of games have an ‘engineer’ defined.  This person can fix things, and deploy sentries, much like the project.


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