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Senior design projects (2006)

There were 47 students enrolled in ECE 457/458 Design Project I/II, the capstone design experience where students expand their abilities and develop important real world engineering problem solving skills. The students were divided into ten groups. The details are given below.

 Project Title
Group 1 Biology Greenhouse Automation System
Group 2 Wireless Load Control Meter
Group 3 G-Track Mobile
Group 4 Digital Wireless Speaker for MP3 Players
Group 5 Inverted Pendulum Controller
Group 6 Infrared Device Code Reader and Retransmitter
Group 7 Video Capture Subsystem for Agriculture Monitoring System
Group 8 Remote Access Meteorological Data
Group 9 Video Color Detection and Projection System
Group 10 Remote Power Controller w/wireless

 


Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 1 
 

Group 1

Student Members:
Randall D. Borah
David P. Cabral
Daniel J. Manzone
Ryan R. Poulin
Kyle R. Young

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Gilbert Fain

Project Title:
Biology Greenhouse Automation System

Project Description:
The Biology department of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has requested the design and construction of an automated system for their greenhouse. They would like the temperature and watering cycles of the greenhouse to be automatically controlled. This will aid in the overall productivity of the greenhouse, since users will no longer be required to manually water the vegetation or adjust the room temperature. Our system will monitor the temperature and the relative humidity of the greenhouse in the Biology department, log the monitored data and decide what actions to take based on that information. It will initially have control of the three ventilation fans and three sprinkler solenoids. Our system will also have control of two motorized roof vents, once they are properly inspected by an outside contractor and the motors are re-installed. By turning these components on or off, our system will be able to adjust the inside temperature of the greenhouse. The logged data will be a record of temperature and relative humidity in the greenhouse and will be stored so that it can be accessed at any time.

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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 2 
 

Group 2

Student Members:
Luis H. Barbosa
Shawn M. Begin
Joseph W. Burke
Jack Dolabany
Jonathan R Towle

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Gilbert Fain

Project Title:
Wireless Load Control Meter

Project Description:
The Wireless Load Control Meter(WLCM) for ArKion systems is a module that will work as a part of ArKion's Smart Metering system. The current system monitors household use of natural gas, electricity, water, etc. ArKion desires to expand this system to include a switch that will turn the electrical power supply to an attached load on and off based on power consumption statistics and customer requests.


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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 3 
 

Group 3

Student Members:
Scott E. Chilstedt
Daniel Corbera
Aaron R. Lawrence
Christopher M. Mitchell
Eric A. Theberge

Faculty Advisor:
Professor Robert Helgeland

Project Title:
G-Track Mobile

Project Description:
With the ever-increasing need for information and security, there has been a growing demand for all manner of location tracking systems and services. Existing companies offer a wide range of products, such as wristband tracking for small children and fleet tracking for the trucking industry. Another group of people who could benefit from location tracking are individuals with various forms of disabilities. Our project is targeted at this segment of location tracking, with a focus on wheelchair bound individuals who have difficulty with speech and motor control. Proposed by Dr. Lester Cory, Director of the UMass Dartmouth Center for Rehabilitation Engineering(CRE), The G-Track Mobile project seeks to design a tracking system that the center could provide to disabled individuals in the community. At the heart of the system is the device that will reside on the user's wheelchair. In the event of an emergency, the device will be able to transmit a message to a remote caretaker with the necessary location information. In addition, different messages can be sent and received to allow communications between the user and the caretaker. To accommodate the limited motor skills of our target users, the messages will be selected using a 'single switch scanning' interface. The interface will allow our device to interface with a wide range of user-specific switches that the CRE develops for its clients. In addition to designing such a system, our team was tasked with developing a "Proof of concept" prototype to demonstrate the system's functionality, and doing so within a $500 budget. To allow us to achieve this goal, the design team utilized a number of donated items and leftover components from previous design projects. Although direct replication of our prototype system would be impractical, the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering will be able to use the knowledge and ideas that evolved through our design process to develop a number of similar systems for their clients.


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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 4 
 

Group 4

Student Members:
Jeffrey M. Bagdasarian
Daniel J. Green
Mark E. Kelter
Steve Rego
Kyle G. Tobin

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Hong Liu

Project Title:
Digital Wireless Speaker for MP3 Players

Project Description:
The Purpose of this project is to design and develop digital wireless speaker for an mp3 player. The prototype will consist of a transmitter base unit and a receiver headphone unit. The prototype will have to play music clearly without having any static or noise gaps.

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Senior Design Projects 2005 Group 5 
 

Group 5

Student Members:
Keith Ferreira
Andrew P. Gagnon
David A. Grundmann
Eric A. Leveille

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Steven Nardone

Project Title:
Inverted Pendulum Controller

Project Description:
Design, develop and fabricate an inverted pendulum and control system, in one dimension to be used by the ECE Department for demonstrations Derived Requirements: The derived requirements are the extensions to the customer requirements that the design team came up with while considering the task of design and inverted pendulum controller. The chosen design method is the Systems Approach to engineering. After detailed consideration and planning we were able to present the customer with a set of requirements that we not only felt he wanted, but that were essential to the project. The importance of each task were considered and given a number with the most important sub-requirements listed first. Some key additions to the requirements are shown below.
Operation:

  1. The pendulum shall be manually started by placing it in the upright position near the middle of the track.
  2. The system should be capable of tracking a manual position input command.
  3. The motor control circuitry also needs to be able to change the direction of the motor and control the motor at different speeds in each direction.
  4. The sensors being used in the Inverted Pendulum project will need to have a long life time in order to maintain reliability for presentations.


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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 6 
 

Group 6

Student Members:
Thomas D. Kane
Clifton R. Mathews
James B. McGarry
Brock A. Morrissette
Brian J. Nunes

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Philip Viall

Project Title:
Infrared Device Code Reader and Retransmitter

Project Description
This project is the development of a unit that is capable of controlling multiple devices found in a household, which have the capability of being controlled by infrared (IR) signals. This infrared remote control must be compatible with a variety of devices such as TV's, VCR's, DVD players, as well as X10 devices. The unit must be built while not exceeding a cost of $300 for all materials required. It will receive and store the infrared code from the factory remote control of any given device and will then be required to re-transmit the code upon command. The user of this remote control will be physically impaired and their disabilities will vary, however the programming of this device will be performed by an able bodied individual. With the exception of programming, a single switch input will be used for all device control by the user. The type of switch used will vary depending on the physical capabilities of the user. Examples of some switches that may be used are a large push button, a blink switch, or a switch that can be depressed by the tongue. The remote will also have the ability to be mounted if different places such as on a wheelchair or on a stand located near a bed.


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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 7 
 

Group 7

Student Members:
Christopher A. Arruda
John Daly
Nicholas M. Emard
Russell Luiz
Takuji Nakano

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Paul Fortier

Project Title:
Video Capture Subsystem for Agriculture Monitoring System

Project Description
This project involves the creation of an image capturing system for the Agricultural Monitoring System used on cranberry blogs. It will be a subsystem which will be able to be added to the Agricultural Monitoring System to allow the cranberry farmer to view his or her bogs. Currently the monitoring system allows the cranberry farmer to operate the irrigation system in place at the bogs and monitor different weather conditions from a remote location. The farmer would now like the ability to view the bogs to make sure the irrigation system is working properly. This subsystem will provide the farmer with the ability to have and image of the irrigation sprinklers available at his or her request.

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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 8 
 

Group 8

Student Members:
David Charles
Soluzochukwu A. Nwanze
Kenneth G. Ventura
Michelle D. Vose

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Paul Fortier

Project Title:
Remote Access Meteorological Data

Project Description
The RAMDAR system shall obtain meteorological information from weather sensors and send the information to operators. The weather sensors shall include thermometer, wind vane and anemometer and these sensors shall be placed outside the customer’s house. The data collected by the sensors shall be sent through a 1-wire network to a ToothPIC Bluetooth Programmable Integrated Circuit. The ToothPIC microcontroller shall send the data to a Z World BL2010 microcontroller. The BL2010 shall send data to a storage server for archiving through FTP. The operators shall access the meteorological data from a web server, Email or an alpha numeric data display. The BL2010 shall be our web, FTP and Email server.

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Senior Design Projects 2006 Group 9 
 

Group 9

Student Members:
Jonathan Horton
Serge S. Khalife
Erik R. Siggelkoe
Daniel S. Precourt

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Lestor Cory

Project Title:
Video Color Detection and Projection System

Project Description
The objective of this project is to investigate and prototype a system which will identify the dominant color in a video and project the color onto the surface behind the television being viewed. This ambient light helps reduce eye strain while viewing a video and also creates an environment enhancing effect for the viewers. A production version of the system will be marketed as an add-on to any pre-existing home entertainment system.

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Group 10

Student Members:
Duarte M. Avelar
John D. Bagnoli
Ying T. Moua
Matthew J. Quesada
James L St. Germaine

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Theophano Mitsa

Project Title:
Remote Power Controller w/wireless

Project Description (provided by group):
This project plan describes the development process of the Remote Power Controller with Wireless power control(RPC). The process id dictated by the ECE 457 course curriculum set forth by Howard Michel and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth ECE Department. Project requirements are set forth by Stephen Hall of Cantata Technology in Hyannis, MA. Cantata Technology is a leading provider of Open Service Platforms in communications networks worldwide. The RPC project for Cantata Technology will allow power cycling of on-site telecom systems from a remote location via a secure web page user interface. The RPC system shall be comprised of a main controller and power control modules. The main controller shall be contain a Z-world microcontroller which will host the web page interface as well as send and receive logic for the power control modules. The main controller can support up to four power control modules which can be constructed to switch either AC or DC power. The purpose of RPC project is to aid Cantata in implementing efficient off-site software development.

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