ECEN 4610 Projects
Fall 2004

Team Bender: Night Vision System

Team members:
  • Chris Basiec
  • Eric Faller
  • Maurio Grando
  • Brian Herre
  • James Stacey

Project Description:

We would like to build a night vision system using infrared imaging. The basic subsystems will be optics, sensing, signal processing, and video output. The idea is that a lens will focus the infrared radiation from the surrounding area into an array of infrared sensors. The information from the sensors will be processed and used to generate an image in the visual spectrum. This image will be sent to a video monitor.

We chose this project because our team is interested in optics, DSP, and software. Our main concerns are the cost of an array of infrared sensors and the feasibility of the project given our knowledge and time constraint.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (496 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Blimpage: Automated Dirigible

Team members:
  • Joseph Brannan
  • Philip Grippi
  • Daniel McCabe
  • Nguyen Trinh
  • David Wolpoff

Project Description:

The goal of this project is to design, and realize a control system for a fully automated dirigible. The implementation of this project involves highly modular design, allowing individual subsections to be designed, built, and tested concurrently, but independent of other subsystems. This modularity allows the system to function in a wide variety of applications with only minor modifications to one or two subsystems; i.e.: control of a blimp, remote-controlled car, or other device to employ overall functionality of subsystems.

The complete system will control movement of the blimp from a starting point to a final destination based on user-defined locational input. The blimp will control elevation and yaw via two servo-controlled adjustable-pitch drive motors. Obstacles along the user-programmed path are detected with infrared proximity sensors; course is adjusted accordingly to circumvent obstacles while proceeding toward the final objective. Position relative to the starting point will be determined by computations based on a digital onboard accelerometer; heading determined by a digital compass on the craft. Upon reaching the objective location, audio data (or other information) will be collected and can then be returned to the starting location.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (909 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Clean: The Perfect Shower

Team members:
  • Tony Carosa
  • Negar Ehsan
  • Tim Plummer
  • Mikal Tirfe
  • Sandra Wiese

Project Description:

The problem that we wish to solve with our project is shower water temperature control. Everyone has dealt with the hassle of getting their shower temperature just right before they get in. This is a waste of water and time. While in the shower, temperature variations caused by using water in other areas of the home is a nuisance. We want to solve all of these problems by making a system that senses the water temperature and allows a user to digitally set the desired water temperature. This system will quickly bring the water to its desired temperature and hold it at this temperature for the duration of the shower.

This system will include a FPGA board linked to a keypad and a LED display so that the user can easily set the water temperature. The FPGA will output an analog set point to an analog control circuit. The control circuit will compare the set point to actual water temperature. The control circuit output will tell a motor which direction to turn so that the mixture of hot and cold water will yield the appropriate temperature.

Our primary goals are to build the analog controllers and the FPGA state machine to get the system to work with human interaction (manual on/off and human monitoring to prevent motor saturation). Our Secondary goal is to implement the on/off switch and circuit to prevent and detect motor saturation to for implement the on/off feature. Our third goal is to implement other features such as multiple set points for multiple people. Timer to detect water usage, clock etc.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (994 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Daplayer: MP3 Player

Team members:
  • Dan Chao
  • Kevin Davis
  • Shane Neuville
  • Andy Owens
  • Christopher Tillery

Project Description:

Design Overview: We propose to build an MP3 Player with built on hard drive, CD-Drive, and interactive LCD Display. Our MP3 player will be able to copy MP3's off a data CD and store them onto the built on hard drive. The MP3 Player will be able to retrieve the songs from the hard drive and play them for the listener. This device can be utilized in automobiles and home stereo applications.

Design Features: The user of the MP3 Player will be able scroll through the MP3 files on the hard drive and choose the song they wish to start listening to through push button controls and LCD display. The user will also be able to adjust volume, choose to play or stop the current song, and skip to the next or previous song. Through our device a user should be able to bring their own data CD and transfer what ever songs they want to the built on hard drive. The user will also have the option or deleting songs from the hard drive. The device will also have a speaker jack that can be used for speakers or head phones. The device will only be able to play off the hard drive.

Additional Features: Time permitting we would like to possibly add CD play ability. We would also like to add the ability to copy wav files from a CD and compress them into MP3 format on the hard drive. Plus add a rewind and fast forward feature.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (547 kB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Darsi: Data-Acquisition Real-time System Integration

Team members:
  • Matt Hulse
  • Marc Kessler
  • Andy Lin
  • Chris Lites
  • Preston Schipper

Project Description:

Initial Design Objectives
To design and construct a telemetric data acquisition system for automotive applications with a focus on the CU FSAE race car.

Our design will collect data through independent sensors designed to be used in the CU FSAE race car chassis. Data consists of dynamic car statistics, such as wheel speed, shock position and motor monitoring sensors. The design will be modular, allowing future expansion of new telemetric sensors. The central component will be a processing board that communicates with all the modular sensors and stores collected data for future analysis. It will also have the capability to process the collected data for future control systems throughout the car.

The system will provide a useful tool for race engineering and also provide a strong platform for the development of new safety systems for the general public. Newer safety systems utilizing data acquisition help to create control systems for the consumer market. Some of these control systems include traction control, anti-lock brakes, skid-control assist, and intelligent air-bag systems. All systems requiring fast acting controls rely upon precise data acquisition systems.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.3 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Deathstar: Loran C Receiver

Team members:
  • Matt Anderson
  • Chris Birschback
  • Christy Corner
  • Matt Hayman
  • Erin Mowbray

Project Description:

Our group will design a receiver that will be able to capture and decode the Loran-C signal maintained by the United States Coast Guard. Our system will consist of three main parts: the antenna/receiver, processing unit and personal computer.

The antenna/receiver will consist of a loop antenna with a Butterworth filter to capture the fundamental signal received by the antenna. This segment of the project serves the main purpose of capturing the Loran-C signal with minimal noise and preparing it for processing.

The processing unit will consist of an analog-to-digital converter, a 68K processor, memory, FPGA, LCD and input & output channels. After the signal has been converted to a digital signal, the processor will store it in memory. The FPGA uses the previously stored signals, and performs subtraction in order to determine the Loran Time Delays. The FPGA also has the interrupt controller that determines when the analog-to-digital controller sends the data to memory. The calculated Loran Time Delay will then be sent to the LCD as well as the PC (via serial port) for display and further processing. The PC will perform intensive calculations and convert the Loran Time Delays into latitude and longitude coordinates. These coordinates will then be displayed on the PC.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (459 kb PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team EGD: Electronic Guidance Device

Team members:
  • Abdulkarim Al-Shanfari
  • Robert Bornhijm
  • Stephen Harris
  • Bradford Smethie

Project Description:

The project in question is the electronic cane, which will be used as a navigational aid for the blind and vision impaired. The cane will meet the following criteria:

  1. Will be able to determine if there is an object or a drop-off approximately ten feet in front of the user.
  2. Upon request of the user, the cane will be able to give the user his or her orientation through the use of a digital compass.
  3. All feedback will be provided through a voice chip (and possibly through a vibrational mode)

The project will incorporate the following parts:

  1. microprocessor
  2. 2 ultrasonic (or more) range finder units
  3. one digital compass
  4. one voice chip

We hope this project will be a technological advancement available for use by the blind and vision impaired. Currently there are few such products available on the market.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (434 kb PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

The Player Guitar

Team members:
  • Rick Denney
  • Dan Forrester
  • Lucas Gilbride
  • Randall Hood

Project Description:

This capstone project will actually be a proof of concept for a player guitar. We plan to build a mechanical device that will play songs on a guitar. Due to financial and time limitations, the guitar player will only use the last four frets on the guitar to play the melodies (which will somewhat restrict the song selections).

The player guitar will have two main mechanical features. First, the "fingers" near the base of the guitar will pluck the strings using small mounted motors. On the neck of the guitar, solenoids will be used to press down the strings in order to play the desired note.

Ideally, we will be able to download midi files from the internet, encode the files into information that the device will understand, and then play the song on the guitar. As noted before, this project is only a proof of the concept that we could design a complete player guitar given the necessary time and money. We believe a device like this would be highly marketable and fun to watch and listen to.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (602 kb PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Lit

Team members:
  • Scott Butler
  • Kristin Haeusler
  • Michael Hatt
  • Brock Smith

Project Description:

Our group is going to take the LED boards developed by Tom Churchill and create a pattern controller for these boards with the capability to simultaneously drive and control in excess of 3000 LEDs. The controller for this board will have three different modes. The first mode, called Manual, will display preset patterns and have the ability to light each LED individually. The second mode will take data from a VGA interface. The last mode will take information from an A/D to converter and use this information to create a pattern for the LEDs. There will be an LCD to display the current mode and touchpad input mode and manual pattern numbers.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.03 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Lazer: Laser Tracking System

Team members:
  • Matt Aamold
  • Jassim Alshamali
  • Aja Armstrong
  • Son Nguyen

Project Description:

Team Lazer's design objectives are to design and build a laser tracking system. This system will use an analog camera focusing on a laser against a plain white (or possibly some other colored) background. The background color will give easy differentiation for seeing the laser.

The system will have two different modes; dynamic tracking and acquire to shoot. Dynamic tracking will provide ability for the system to follow a moving laser target and keep the laser in the specified "hot-spot" of the video feed. Acquire to shoot mode will target the statically positioned laser and once acquired, will shoot a simple projectile at the laser target.

Initial proposals state that a PC will only be used for displaying the digitized feed and the rest of the calculations for tracking and motor control will all be done with the Spartan-3 Series FPGA by Xilinx.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (848 kb PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team LuGER: Laser Listener

Team members:
  • Jeremiah Anderson
  • Ryan Schnell
  • Michael Weimer
  • Mike Wong

Project Description:

For the senior design project we will be building a device that will be capable of "listening" to vibrations on a flexible medium by means of a reflected laser signal, such as a window driven by pressure variations due to sound. The device will operate using the same principal as Alexander Graham Bell's "Photophone", in which sunlight reflected off of a Mylar diaphragm to send a voice over a beam of light. The major difference is that we will provide the light source, and thereby be able to control many more factors. Also, this project will incorporate a very scalable modular design that allows for:

Using the reflective properties of either a mirror, or a glass window, we hope to reflect a laser from a source, and receive a reflection from the window. By measuring minute variations in the window, we hope to reconstruct the pressure difference (i.e., sound) that caused such tremors on the window, thereby being able to "listen" to what is going on near the window.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (2.3 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team RFNT: Technology Rover

Team members:
  • Josh Bingaman
  • Ryan Hitchler
  • John Maitin
  • Fabien Nervais
  • Matt Sharp

Project Description:

We propose to use high-frequency RF signaling to control a vehicle via a remote transmitter. This vehicle will track down a subject carrying said transmitter. One practical application of this system can be motorizing and controlling pull carts on the golf course. The project is quite scalable. In the most elementary design the vehicle will simply locate the subject. We can scale up by mobilizing the target, adding proximity sensors so the vehicle can circumnavigate obstacles, or perhaps by implementing system control via a cell phone. Additional onboard capabilities may be added as well.

Base Requirements:

Possibilities for scalability

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.1 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team SAFE: System for Accident Free Environment

Team members:
  • Anders Fornberg
  • Sean Groves
  • Alex Henriquez
  • Shannon Lahr
  • Aaron Lyons

Project Description:

Numerous car accidents occur everyday that could easily be avoided. The purpose of our project is to develop a prototype system that will minimize these accidents and could eventually be expanded for commercial applications.

Description: Modified RC car that can sense oncoming accidents and take corrective action.


Extended features:

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.7 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)

Team Suspect: Universal Network Controller

Team members:
  • Joe Chmura
  • Garrett Earnshaw
  • Mieszko Krugen
  • Yoni Mekuria

Project Description:

Imagine sitting with your laptop in your home. From the convenience of your couch you can control the stereo, turn on the lights, and start the coffee maker all with minimum effort and info-structure. This will be the control center of your entire smart house or peripheral device network. We propose to create a black box control unit that will be remotely controlled through direct communication from a computer. The controller will be connected to a network of modules that can control a number of devices in a home, office, or other work environment.

A computer with an RS232 connection will initially control the black box module. The paradigm of the black box is simple: control everything else with a Controller Area Network (CAN). On the other side of the CAN network will be controller modules that can be customized per application. Half of the controller board will be universally designed to communicate with the CAN network. The other half of the controller could be a sensor or controller of power, other communication protocols or simple one-way controllers such as infrared. Doing so reduces cabling and complexity of the network by issuing simple 8 bit commands to individual controller modules. In essence, making a controller theoretically infinitely expandable and incredibly versatile.

Preliminary Design Review presentation:  (1.5 MB PowerPoint)

Critical Design Review presentation:  ( PowerPoint)