Senior Design Project

Jaden

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
117
I'm a senior in electrical engineering at my university. I'm in a group of four friends, three EE's and one computer engineer. We will spend one semester designing our project and the next building it. We are looking at a few projects, but I was wondering if anyone had any neat ideas. We want to do something practical that we can use on a daily basis. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,757
You may want to look at the senior projects at my university. Granted, not all of them are practical going in cold, and not all of them are "practical that we can use on a daily basis", but it may give you a few ideas to start with.

How 'bout a radio-controlled robot with a taser? Or a water pistol? Or a paint ball gun? Airsoft?
 

urbsnspices

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
1,120
Do you guys have different specializations within EE? If so what are they?

I teamed up with a EE friend. He was a power engineer and I was an RF engineer. We designed an AC to AC high frequency switching power supply. You could put in the dirtiest/cruddiest AC and it would spit out the cleanest AC you would ever find. (It also was a great ultra low ripple DC supply, with lots of brute force filtering, it was a sweet boat anchor) Anyway we used his knowledge of power supply design/optimisation and my RF skills to contain the high switching frequency. We only had a semester to do ours. Not an exciting project but it worked in the end and a good basis for a viable product. It was kinda scary, running 10 amps through it and hoping it wouldnt smoke or kill my partner during the demonstrations. ;)

Anyway I would look at what your groups skills are and move in that direction.

How about an actively scanning 802.11 Acess point. It would figure out where the laptop was in your house and electronically scan the antenna to give the most wireless support in that direction. You got your programmer to handle the intelligent part. One guy could work on the DC injection to the Antenna. And a few guys could come up with the antenna and the circuitry to scan the beam.
 

Tsukai

n00b
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
45
What I would personally like is a black box digital video recorder (DVR) that does VGA resolution. No LCD display. Heck, not even a video output. Just an input for the video source and an SD or CF slot for the recording media.

Key features:
-approximately ipod size
-flash media storage
-battery power good for say 2 hours
-VGA resolution recording @ 30 fps in mpeg4 and/or xvid.
-1-button recording
-$100

There is a device like this available from Neurosaudio.com, but it's res is only 320x240 not VGA (640x480). Among other deficiencies.

Not sure how much of an EE/CE project that is.
 

plot

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Messages
4,794
lot of our guys did some type of monitoring/data collection microcontroller based device... keep in mind our groups were 2-3 so they weren't really complex, but effectively accomplished some task.

a few others built stuff people asked them for... someone ended up doing some thing for an oil purifyer, another person basically built a thermostat that had a remote and automatically turned on fans/AC in a server room if temperature got so hot (had a remote control and a keypad for putting in the settings, and an LCD for the display).

uh... another person did a fireworks controller, was basically a shitload of multiplexors controlling electric igniters. the multiplexors where fed by a microcontroller which received the order to activate the multiplexors from a PC via serial connection. interesting little idea, wasn't really too complicated though, more on the software side really.

one person made a little TV thingy with a simple remote, the idea was you put it on the back of movie theatre seats and it tells little things about the movie, has games to play during the previews, trivia, etc... was all controlled from a remote server. (this was a few CE's i knew at another uni)...

a few people did different things with GPS units which turned out pretty cool. one person had a GPS unit on a 4-wheeler or something and it would read a gps unit and transmit the cordinates back to a receiver. i'm sure it had a point, i just can't remember it right now.
 

xonik

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Messages
10,318
Along the lines of the automated cooker project, an automated care system for an exotic pet would be cool. Aquatic animals would be ideal, as they provide challenges in maintaining temperature, salinity (if marine), pH, and other environmental factors--plus they are visually appealing, which is always nice.
 

plot

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Messages
4,794
a group in the class before mine did an aquirium controller type thing, measured water temperature, PH levels, water level, and some other stuff, all fed into a microcontroller which interfaced with a keypad and had an LCD for displaying the settings and what not.


you can always combine projects or take a simple project and add tons of features to make it however complex you want too. like the example above, could add some type of alert... hook it up to a computer via rs232 and have it email you if the temperature in the acquirium is at a critical level or something like that.
 

mikeblas

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Messages
12,776
I'm very horny for data acquistions.

So, I'd suggest sucking the CANBUS output on a car's diagnostic plug and recording it to a CF card. Write a data file onto the CF card so the user can put it into their computer/laptop and grpah the car's stats over time when they get home.

Same thing for a motorcycle, though I've never seen a bike with a diagnostic port or a CANBUS. (But I've never owned a fuel-injected bike, either.)

Same thing for a bicycle: record cadence, ground speed, heart rate, power output, altitude, location with a GPS. Let the rider see some of this on a nice big LCD with juicy buttons, and record it onto a CF card so they can graph, store, analyse it when they get home.
 
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