Senior Design Project

December 2004 Senior Project Presentations

Mobile Robot with On-Board Camera

Team A: Gloria Agyakye, Donald Hall, Patrick Morrissey, Ryne Obenauf, Craig Reeves, Richard Zurcher
Advisor: Dr. Zinger and Dr. Short
Sponsor: Exelon Corporation

Objective: Redesign, build, and test mobile robot with on-board camera used in an Exelon nuclear power plant.

Description: This robot will be used to go into radioactive areas and check for problems. It will be required to traverse stairs, spot potential hazardous materials, and be controlled from a remote location.

Magnetorheological Fluid Damper

Team B: Jason Gebhardt, Muhannad Hassan, Alex Martinez, Daniel Rose, Ryan Williams, Joel Zehrung
Advisor: Dr. Short

Objective: To design, build, test, and document a plan for a magnetorheological fluid damper.

Description: The project calls for a magnetorheological fluid, acting as the dampening agent in a dash-pot damper, to be influenced by a magnetic coil. The field generated by the coil is controlled by a linear amplifier circuit that takes input from a pressure sensor. This system will cushion an initial force.

Residential Snowmaker

Team C: Hao-en Chung, Justin Devlin, Shadab Mahmood, Dan Yager
Advisor: Dr. Short

Objective: To design and build a snowmaker that is able to use household electricity and water supplies.

Description: There are many criteria that are important to designing a successful snowmaker. It must be mobile, efficient, and easy to use. The competition offers less sophisticated machines that have fixed geometry and are not easy to move; both of the current products use compressed air and water to make snow. Our snowmaker will use compressed air and water with the addition of a fan and motor to propel the snow outward. This will also help to make snow at higher temperatures or in windy conditions. To monitor temperature and humidity--the two factors that determine if snow can be made at a given time--there will be sensors for the ambient air temperature, humidity, and water temperature. The unit is mounted on a three-wheeled cart and able to tilt, rotate, and change elevation with the turn of a knob.

Vortex Turbine

Team D: Elvin Bautista, Greg Dzierzega, Erik Ferry, Kevin Wysocki, Thomas Zolper
Advisor: Dr. Short

Objective: To design and fabricate a vortex turbine for the purpose of determining its power generating capabilities.

Description: The idea of the vortex turbine has been around for over a hundred years, but we feel that its potential has not been fully achieved. The goal of the project is to develop a way of fabricating a model, which allows us to test its power generating capabilities. The vortex turbine has a complex shape, which makes it difficult and expensive to manufacture. Through the use of water or air creating a force to drive the vortex turbine, it will be possible to measure its power output with an electric generator.

Golf Caddy

Team E: Anthony Farnetti, Joseph Heidenreic, Joe Hilby, Ryan Lauterback, Mark Skrukrud
Advisor: Dr. Short

Objective: Re-engineer an existing golf caddy with steering and remote capabilities.

Description: The project will implement a pulse width modulation motor speed controller operated by remote control. A new bracket along with steering system will be integrated into the current golf caddy design.

Charge Pressure Switch

Team F: Ryan Grounds, Nathan Hughes, Callie Simpson, William Venderheyden, Sharl Youkhana
Advisor: David S. Behling
Sponsor: Hamilton Sundstrand

Objective: To design a more reliable charge pressure switch that detects low oil pressure in an Integrated Drive Generator (IDG).

Description: Due to oil degradation of electrical switch components found in the current charge pressure switch, our goal was to design a hermetically sealed switch with few or no moving parts. A metal diaphragm separates two cylindrical chambers, into the first of which oil flows, pressing up against the diaphragm. On the opposing side of the diaphragm is a strain gauge that is connected to an electronic circuit board. As deflection of the diaphragm occurs, the change in resistance value through the strain gauge causes the electronic circuit board to send a signal that oil pressure is either sufficient or insufficient. The new design must meet current design specifications and environmental conditions for retrofitting to current Integrated Drive Generators (IDG).

Automatic Breakfast-Making Machine

Team G: Chris An, Erick Else, Corey Hudson, Matthew Miller, Ben Minteer, Patrick Murphy
Advisor: Dr. Zinger

Objective: To create a programmable, automated machine that will have breakfast foods cooked and ready by a user-defined time.

Description: Our automated machine will cook breakfast foods such as eggs, toast, and any meat (maybe sausage or bacon), or pancakes. The user will enter a time at which he would like his food to be ready. The automated process will then take over by first refrigerating the food until it is ready for cooking. Once the predetermined time to start cooking is reached, refrigeration will cease and the heating elements will cook the food. When the user removes the food, the cooking chamber will cool to room temperature using vents and fans. When the cooking chamber reaches room temperature, an electronic cooling element will bring the inside temperature down so that it is ready for the next meal.

Solar Powered Walking Robot

Team H: Emmalee Clark
Advisor: Dr. Zinger

Objective: To build, document, and modify the design of a solar powered walking robot, which actively seeks out light sources.

Description: This project is based on a solar-powered walking robot kit. The kit will be modified so that it has a “look down” sensor. With correct usage of this sensor, the robot should not walk forward off the edge of a table. This kit will also be modified so that a tilt sensor is used to detect if an incline is too steep; if so, the robot will begin walking backward away from the incline. The kit design of active light sensing makes the robot sensitive to overhead lighting. This problem will be addressed and corrected.

A Theremin

Team I: Charles McMurchy
Advisor: Dr. Zinger

Objective: The objective of this project is to design and fabricate a Theremin, which is an electronic musical instrument.

Description: A Theremin is an electronic musical instrument. The striking feature of a Theremin is that the performer manipulates the output of the instrument without touching the instrument. The output is determined by proximity of the performer’s hands to two antennae. The Theremin is monophonic (i.e., it produces a single tone at a time and is thus incapable of producing harmony or counterpoint.) The frequency of the tone is produced by heterodyning the outputs of two oscillators, and the sound level of the tone is regulated by the output of a tuned circuit which is fed by a variable oscillator.

Precision Heater Montor & Control

Team J: Rachel O'Brien, Chandhana Pedapati
Advisor: Dr. Lurio

Objective: To design and implement a complete system in which a precision heater is monitored and controlled via a feedback control loop.

Description: To understand the critical phenomenon of thin films, a precision heater is used to maintain a sample at critical temperature. This heater allows a temperature to be maintained within a certain deviation per day, and provides the opportunity for extended observation of these liquids at their critical state. A temperature monitoring system as well as a feedback control system was designed and implemented using LabVIEW. The LabVIEW monitor program reads from the heater cell, and plots an averaged temperature in time. The LabVIEW control program uses a PID feedback control loop to increase or decrease the heat via voltage controlled current source.

Flow Module for Data Acquisition

Team K: Kevin Rittmeyer
Advisor: Dr. Hashemian
Sponsor: Hamilton Sundstrand

Objective: To design and build a module that takes the output of a flow meter and conditions the signal to provide a DC output voltage that is directly proportional to the flow rate of the flow meter.

Description: The module will have a selectable input to accommodate the type of pickoff the flow meter has. The circuit will have a pre-amplifier, a frequency to voltage converter and several amplifiers for gain and filtering control. The output of the module will go to a chart recorder for data collection.

KVL Switch

Team L: William English IV
Advisor: Dr. Zinger

Objective: The objective of this project is to provide a hardware solution to control two independent computer resources with one keyboard and one monitor.

Description: The design will provide a user with the means to control two computers, and a means to switch between the two using keyboard inputs.