Student Work

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Robot Artist by Dhruv Mangtani and Justin Tian

We designed and built a robot artist that is capable of creatively drawing new art. We trained a machine learning model to generate lifelike images and designed a printer that moves a writing utensil horizontally and vertically to draw these images. By the end of the project, the artist succeeded in drawing the images generated by the algorithm. It can print at up to 5.70 cm/s, and deviates from drawing a straight line by 0.367 mm on average. Qualitatively, the machine learning model succeeded in creating realistic art comparable to that produced by a human.

Read Whole Paper here: Robot Artist

See a video of it at work here: Robot Artist

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand by Arnav Muthiayen

The goal of this project was to build a myoelectric prosthetic hand, which consists of three parts: detecting the muscle signals, sending the signals to an Arduino to be analyzed, and then moving the appropriate servos to manipulate the fingers of the prosthesis. In this project, two electrodes were used to acquire the muscle signal, an instrumentation amplifier was used to attenuate common noise, a bandpass filter consisting of a low-pass filter and high-pass filter to attenuate other noise not in the frequency range of the muscle signal, a non-inverting amplifier was used to amplify the signal, and then a level-shifter was used to shift the signal to within the voltage limits on the input pin. Unfortunately, no results were able to be taken due to a large amount of noise, which likely would be minimized with the use of a printed circuit board.

Read Whole Paper here: Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Breathalyzer Locked Cubbies by Lily Loftis

This second semester project was designed to solve the common problem of drunk driving. Even with phone applications like Uber and Lyft, drunk driving is a devastating problem that still plagues the US: in 2016, alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States with 10,497 deaths. This project created another method to prevent drunk driving during parties by providing a way to store and lock patrons keys into a cubby when they enter an event and only unlock it if their breath is below the legal limit. After calibrating the MQ3 sensor through correlation with a BACtrack breathalyzer’s readings, the arduino voltage output that corresponds to the legal BAC limit was found (414) and programmed into the arduino to power a green LED, which is a substitute for a broken relay, so that when the subject’s BAC is below the legal limit the cubby unlocks.

Read Whole Paper here: Breathalyzer Locked Cubbies

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Exoskeleton by Chris Ponterio

I built a back support exoskeleton that will support the user’s lower back when lifting heavy objects, and will also provide assistance in lifting these heavy objects. I used pieces of sheet metal, foam, a potentiometer, and a stepper motor in order to put together a supportive exoskeleton, which reduces lower back lumbar load. I also used an arduino and code in order to make the potentiometer and stepper motor work together. The design reduced back strain by an unknown factor, due to the lack of equipment needed to test it. The design however when tested on several operators was claimed to reduce personal back strain, making the design successful for most cases.

Read Whole Paper here: Exoskeleton

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Alexa Hacker by Declan Stanton

This project aims to explore the photoacoustic interaction between laser light and MEMS (​Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems) microphones and how this can be manipulated with voice controlled devices. To do so, I attempted to use laser light controlled by an amplified digital signal and a transistor projected onto a MEMS microphone, but to no avail. The second and current attempt, I decided to control the laser with a driver that modulates the current going through the laser by an analog input. Without proper materials, the results are inconclusive; however, I have hope in the upcoming weeks that a new laser and the laser driver will be able to send a sound signal to the microphone.

This is an interesting and very important experiment considering how incorporated voice-controlled systems have become within our homes. The plausible possibility that someone can control a smart speaker or other device silently and from a distance is extremely dangerous, especially when door locks, window curtains, and even garage doors are connected to these speakers.1​ ​If some kid in high school with minimal experience in electronics and $100 dollars of equipment can open and close someone’s doors with ease, what’s to stop more experienced people with more slimy motives?

Read Whole Paper here: Faux Laser Audio Signals Detected from a MEMS Microphone

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Automated Herb Garden by Diya Baliga

The focus of this project is to build an automated herb planter. The system relies on a Raspberry Pi to monitor various sensor inputs (moisture,temperature, light, humidity) and control lighting and irrigation systems to regulate the levels of plant growth factors in response. The user is also able to monitor their plants’ conditions through a phone app, making the system more adaptable and informative. While the physical design was not completed due to the covid-19 pandemic, a garden data collection and reporting system remains.

Read Whole Paper here: Ain’t Nobody Got Thyme for That: A Raspberry Pi Automated Herb Garden

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Lie Detector by Ellen Cho

The purpose of this project was to build a polygraph from scratch and test its lie detection accuracy. The polygraph comprises three sensors that measure the bodily changes of heart rate, galvanic resistance, and respiratory rate. After data collecting and determining the threshold changes in the body that lead to lie detection, the overall accuracy of the polygraph in detecting deceptive behavior was found to be 57%, which was determined to be significantly different from a fifty-fifty chance.

Read Whole Paper here: Three Sensor Polygraph

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Transistor-Based Calculator by Joshua Lowe

This project aimed to build a transistor-based binary calculator using LEDs to display values and DIP switches to determine the inputs. It was intended to support addition and subtraction operations. It uses transistors to create various logic gates, and those are combined to output the proper values for 1-bit addition and subtraction. Currently, the calculator is only able to add and subtract with two 1-bit inputs, but it can be expanded to support additional bits in the future.

Read Whole Paper here: Designing and Building a Transistor-Based Calculator

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Baseball Radar Gun by Kiefer Lord

My goal for this project was to build a radar gun designed for baseball. Specifically, the goal was to determine the characteristics of a baseball’s flight, like velocity and spin rate. The end result of the project is a radar gun with no casing (meaning that it is not portable) that can determine velocity and spin rate. Its estimates of velocity are accurate to within plus or minus three miles per hour, and it was not possible to determine the exact accuracy of the spin rate functionality.

Read Whole Paper here: Building a Radar Gun That Detects Both Velocity and Spin Rate of a Baseball

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Fenry Motors​ Presents: The Go Kart by Finn Leschly and Henry Wernikoff

Both Finn and Henry have always had a need for speed. This creation will satisfy their needs. They are going to make a Go Kart which is made completely from scratch: from the steel frame, to the steering system. Henry has been in the lab for most of his time at Menlo and has always walked by the hanging Go Kart and thought how amazing it would be to build one. As a sophomore he remembers thinking that making something like that would be unfeasible. So when the opportunity presented itself, Finn and Henry were all in. Making this Go Kart has already interested us in the mechanics of cars that are in daily use. From their research they’ve learned about different steering techniques such as the rack and pinion steering.

Read Whole Paper here: Fenry Motors​​ Presents: The Go Kart

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Jet Engine Mk2 by Luke Virsik

The goal of this project was to attempt to build a small functioning jet engine using what I learned from my previous attempt last summer. I made most of the parts out of 22- and 24-gauge steel sheet and 3D printed the compressor. This engine had numerous improvements over my previous one, including a smaller gap between the turbine and the casing and a more compact design that allowed for better air flow through the engine. While I encountered issues during testing involving excessively high temperatures in certain regions of the engine, this engine appeared to function better than my last one.

Read Whole Paper here: Jet Engine Mk2

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Motion Sensitive Turret by Ned Eyre

Seeing the need for a cheap and accessible self-defence system, I decided to build a low-cost modular turret capable of firing upon both moving and non-moving targets. I used a triple rangefinder system as a targeting method, and by comparing fixed range values, attempted to create a system that worked in spaces of all sizes. I used wood and cheap Lazy Susan turntables to create the spinning platform. I encountered major bugs in the array code, which led to the turret only being functional in open spaces, and was unable to build the catapult itself. The system runs on old code, and has major tracking bugs in non-ideal sound environments.

Read Whole Paper here: Lab Security of the Turning Variety

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Prosthetic Hand by Olivia Velten-Lomelin

Over the last five months, an young motivated engineer has sought out to design and build any project of her choice that encompasses the skills and knowledge she has learned over the past four years in the legendary Whitaker Lab. After much thought, she settled on a prosthetic hand that mimics the movements of a natural limb, and will one day send sensory information back to the user using electrical signals. In total the prosthetic hand is 32 different pieces assembled into one and the sensory glove worn by the user is 13 pieces, both of which are made using a 3D printer. The prosthetic hand moves via the use of small servos that pull at the fingers as would tendons pull at biological signals.

Read Whole Paper here: Prosthetic Hand

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Pancake Making Machine by Avery Patel and Angel More

During the second semester, team A&A Pancakes designed and prototyped an automatic pancake making machine. This paper describes the design and process to create an automatic pancake machine. It explains the parts and theories used, provides code or code flowcharts needed, and a complete list of parts to use in building the automatic pancake machine.

Read Whole Paper here: The Robot Chef Pancake Maker Blueprint

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Amphibious Remote-Control Car by Sophie Reynolds

An amphibious, remote-control car was designed to be controlled by a controller with two joysticks and drive on water and on land. The car was built and drives successfully on land, with a top speed of 1.163 m/s. The car was controlled by an Arduino that communicated with the joystick using an XBee. Unfortunately, due to the lab closure due to COVID-19, the car was not able to be waterproofed or tested in the water; however, in theory it should drive in the water.

Read Whole Paper here: Building an Amphibious Remote-Control Car

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Smartcan by Kennedy Cleage and Vikki Xu

This project was to build a SmartCan, an automatic garbage receptacle that uses image recognition to sort between recycling and trash items. The image classifier used was a convolutional neural network built by Collin Ching, using a dataset collected by Gary Thung and Mindy Yang. The camera used to take photos of the waste was a Raspberry Pi camera, which would be attached to a Raspberry Pi that the images are saved to and made predictions on by the classifier. Depending on the prediction made by the classifier, a servo would move to push the waste into either a recycling bin or a garbage bin. In the end, the project was unfinished because the classifier couldn’t run. Instead, as an exercise a facial recognition program using OpenCV libraries was implemented on the same Raspberry Pi, using the Raspberry Pi camera and tested on four test subjects [1]. (Note: Information about the facial recognition project is all written in Results)

Read Whole Paper here: Smartcan

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Boom Box by Teddy Liang

The purpose of this project is to build a portable Bluetooth speaker system. The primary objectives for this speaker involve creating circuitry for the amplifier and crossover. Integration with Bluetooth and building the speaker enclosure are also important components. The speaker drivers are store-bought. Significant progress was made on the project despite the effects of the coronavirus, with the amplifier and crossover both in good shape and the enclosure and Bluetooth part in progress. The speaker increased sound by about 20 decibels, but it varies for different frequencies.

Read Whole Paper here: Building a Bluetooth Speaker

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

Steam Engine by Xander Stabile

The ultimate goal of this project is to design and build a steam engine, with the goal of learning about various engine cycles while building essential mechanical skills. A dual piston steam engine was manufactured using machined brass parts: two brass pistons, a cylinder assembly, and a crankshaft. The crankshaft is fixed horizontally between two wooden vertical mounts on a wooden base, and the cylinder assembly is fixed to the same wooden base with its own separate wooden stand. With the crankshaft achieving a max rotational speed of around 957 RPM, this engine could be implemented into medium sized toys or light-duty machinery.

Read Whole Paper here: Researching Engine Cycles and Building a Steam Engine

Watch a video of it working here: Steam Engine

2nd Semester, Uncategorized

AetherSat, Menlo’s First Satellite by William Buxton and Alec Vercruysse

Our project aims to ease the process of satellite design and deployment. Paving the way for future research and development, the we aim to design a general platform that controls power systems, RF transmissions, data transmissions, and stabilization, meeting all required NASA, NOAA, FCC, ARRL, etc. specifications, and provide a “simple” guide to demystify the process. We have the potential to make significant contributions to the emerging field of amateur and academic small satellites, specifically, TubeSats.

With the development of private space companies such as InterOrbital Systems, a 1U (9cm Outer Diameter x 12cm) TubeSat can be launched into a polar Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for as little as $8000.

Now that private companies are able to develop inexpensive, liquid fuel rockets capable of attaining Low Earth Orbit, deploying up to 20 satellites at a time, the experience of satellite design is available to all.

We hope to improve on IOS’ TubeSat design in order to enable us to transmit telemetry and images of the earth to a ground station at Menlo.

Read Whole Paper here: AetherSat, Menlo’s First Satellite


Retro Arcade Machine by Luke Bowsher

The goal for this project is to create a retro-style arcade machine that can play a large variety of games using buttons, joysticks, a light gun. The machine is run by a Raspberry Pi 3 which has an arcade emulator to run the games. The machine successfully plays ​Ms. Pac Man and ​Street Fighter 2,​ with controls for two players. However the light gun does not successfully work.

Read Whole Paper Here: Retro Arcade Machine

2nd Semester

Portable Voice Controlled Loudspeaker by Brian Mhatre and Nicolas Hernandez

The goal of this project was to build a speaker that could produce a loud, high quality and bass heavy sound.The main components of this project included choosing specific drivers, designing and building an enclosure for those drivers, choosing crossover points for the drivers and building a crossover circuit to separate the input signal, and building an amplifier circuit to amplify the audio input signal. At the maker faire the drivers and enclosure produced a clean sound; however, issues with the amplifier resulted in the speaker being quieter than intended.

Read Whole Paper Here: Portable Voice Controlled Loudspeaker

2nd Semester

Collapsible Electric Scooter by Caroline Pang

A highly compact folding electric scooter was designed, built, and optimized to occupy the smallest amount of space while also remaining practical and comfortable for short city commutes. This scooter folds at three joints located in the middle of the deck, at the base of the handlebars, and in between the handlebar grips and also includes telescoping handlebars. It features an LCD display which shows current speed and distance as well as a 250W BLDC motor. It can travel a maximum range of 3.4 mi on one full battery charge and go a maximum speed of around 9 mph.

Read Whole Paper here: Collapsible Electric Scooter

2nd Semester

Controlling a Video Game with an EEG by Thomas Woodside

In this project, an electroencephalogram (EEG) was built to record activity of brain waves and electrical impulses in the head. The EEG was used to control a game of Flappy Bird through electrical signals from a player’s blinks. A series of amplifiers and filters were built to convert the very small electrical signals into usable output, and software was written that allows control of the game. Although the device was not as accurate at measuring brain signals as initially hoped, it proved capable of controlling the game through muscle signals. In addition, there is some evidence that the device can measure a user’s concentration.

Read Whole Paper Here: Controlling a Video Game with an EEG

2nd Semester

Detecting Entangled Photons by Simon Oros

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate quantum entanglement using relatively inexpensive equipment. George Musser’s Scientific American article provides an experimental design that achieves this purpose. Na­22 produces two entangled photons that each Compton scatter off aluminum. The angle in which it scatters varies based on the polarization of the photons. If quantum entanglement is a real phenomenon, the angle of the Compton scatter for each of the photons would most often be perpendicular to one another. Thus, to test the hypothesis of quantum entanglement, we test the hypothesis that perpendicularly placed geiger counters will receive simultaneous incoming signals at a higher rate than geiger counters placed in parallel. We observed that as the as the geiger counters approached a perpendicular arrangement, the rate of coincidences grew significantly higher.

Read Whole Paper here: Detecting Entangled Photons

2nd Semester

Drawing Robot by Charlie Donnelly and Walter Li

The purpose of this project was to construct a robot that could abstract and draw images in order to explore the ways robots can be used for creative purposes. We first constructed a physical mechanism; then we modified existing Python abstraction programs and combined this with an Arduino method to make the robot draw. Ultimately, we were able to abstract and reproduce simple images as well as program shapes. Our accuracy in mimicking the actual shape detailed in the code shows the promise of robots to perform creative tasks.

Read Whole Paper Here: Drawing Robot

2nd Semester

Plastic Collector Drone Boat by Alejandro Ross

The purpose of this project was to design and build a trash­collecting drone boat powered by clean energy to combat the vast amount of plastic pollution that is being dumped into the world’s oceans. A proof­of­concept prototype that relies on static friction for collection was designed, built, and tested, and it successfully collected floating wood debris and plastic wrappers. The prototype has a maximum buoyancy of 96 N, is able to store 4.1 kg of collected material, and requires 0.39 W to run its collection system. Some coefficients of friction between the conveyor belt collection system and common waste materials were determined.

Read Whole Paper here: Plastic Collector Drone Boat

2nd Semester

HomeFound: From Car to Home by Clark Kovacs

A system to convert any common car into a home/bed was designed and constructed to improve the quality of life for car-dwelling Bay Area residents. The system is composed of three main parts: 1) an adjustable, modular base that can convert the back of the car into a level sleeping surface, 2) a collection of blinds to block the car windows, and 3) a power regulation system that allows users to draw power from the car battery while the engine is off without fully depleting the battery. The modular base costs $25.50, can support over 340 lbs., and takes approximately 30 minutes for a user to assemble. The blind system costs $14 and takes approximately five minutes for the user to assemble. The power regulation system costs $40 and requires approximately one hour to manufacture.

Read Whole Paper here: HomeFound: From Car to Home

2nd Semester

Modern Day Jukebox by Neha Tarakad

A Modern Jukebox was built to fit into the technological era of today. The digitized version maintains the encasing and vintage feel of scouring through a song selection and playing a song. It replaces the use of records with the ability to access and play music files stored in a Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, it displays the song selection using a 1024 by 600 pixel sized monitor using images created and resized which are stored in the RPi. The jukebox displays the song selection as well as the current playing song. In order to select the music, the jukebox has push buttons that are associated with numbers 0 through 9, correspond to a certain song in a particular album. When the user is ready to hear the song, they can hit the done button for their chosen song to play. If the user messes up the song code number, they have the option of clearing the selection.

Read Whole Paper Here: Modern Day Jukebox

2nd Semester

Electric Guitar by Luke Arnold

The goal of this project is to build an electric guitar with an internal amplification system to allow for discrete playing without sacrificing the player’s ability to hear the guitar. There are three main parts of this project: the guitar body, the amplification circuitry, and the pickups. While an unfortunate accident made it impossible to put the guitar together by the Maker Faire, the pickups were able to cleanly represent the sound of vibrating strings, and the amplification circuit amplified the signal 200x while not adding noise.

Read Whole Paper Here: Electric Guitar

2nd Semester

Motion and Facial Recognition Automated Security System by Meg Reinstra and Avi Gupta

The goal of this project was to develop a automated door unlocking mechanism triggered by a motion sensor and facial recognition technology. A PIR motion sensor was mounted on a model door frame and triggered a Raspberry Pi camera to take a photo. The photo was then analyzed using OpenCV, a computer vision library, and triggered the movement of a solenoid which served as a door lock. The facial recognition algorithm was tested on students on varying ethnicities and was found to be most successful with white male and female students, reporting recognition confidences of 93.75% and 87.29%, respectively. This project demonstrates the future of home and building security.

Read Whole Paper here: Motion and Facial Recognition Automated Security System

2nd Semester

Railgun by Jay Chiruvolu and John Kim

This paper details the progress of planning, designing, and building an electromagnetic railgun in the ASR Whitaker lab. The railgun is made out of 4 large 450-Volt capacitors, 2 large aluminum-7075 rails, acrylic guiding rails, an aluminum rectangular bullet, and a 100 psi air compressor. The railgun is capable of shooting metal projectiles at approximately 15 m/s when charged at 300 Volts. It reached an acceleration of 145.51 m and efficiency of 0.04%.

Read Whole Paper here: Railgun

Watch a video of it working here: Railgun

2nd Semester

Smart Chessboard with Dual Hall Sensors by Sam Rosenberg

The goal of the project is to create a physical chess board with much of the functionality seen in digital boards online. Electronic boards have existed for a while, with super simple player vs. AI capabilities being the main inspiration for my project. The project uses dual-output hall chips to sense the location of pieces, and recognizes the polarity of the magnet placed on each square. This information was shown to be the minimum required to handle an entire game of classic chess.

Read Whole Paper Here: Smart Chessboard with Dual Hall Sensors

Watch a video of it working here: Smart Chessboard with Dual Hall Sensors

2nd Semester

Measuring the Speed of Light by Natalie Hilderbrand

An experiment to measure the speed of light was designed and executed based on research of past experiments measuring the speed of light. Pulses of light were sent from a laser to receivers at different distances. Using an oscilloscope, the speed of light was determined by noticing the time offset between the two pulses. The speed of light was determined to be approximately 2.64 * 108 m/s, with an error of about 12%.

Read Whole Paper Here: Measuring the Speed of Light

2nd Semester

Musical Solid State Tesla Coil by Zak Werdegar

The goal of this project is to design and build a single resonant solid state Tesla Coil with a piano controlling the spark output frequency allowing for variable sounds. The Tesla Coil design consists of an interrupter (controls spark output frequency), input frequency generator (sends an AC signal at the resonant frequency of the coil), gate driver (amplifies the frequency generator’s signal to a higher voltage and current), and inverter (takes power from the AC wall outlet and releases it through the primary coil at the frequency sent from the frequency generator). The coil never fully worked, so no results were recorded. The primary issue was the inverter’s transistors breaking from too much current. In the future, high power diodes could be used to prevent unwanted high power from flowing into the transistors and breaking them.

Read Whole Paper Here: Musical Solid State Tesla Coil (Readapted from a Quasi Continuous Wave Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil) Build and Progress

2nd Semester

Multistage Coilgun by Ethan Zhang

This paper describes the theory, design, and results of a project which aimed to create a functioning multistage battery-powered coilgun, a type of accelerator which uses electromagnets to accelerate a ferromagnetic projectile to a high velocity. Two 25V lithium-polymer batteries were wired in series as the primary power source, and a series of infrared optical gates were used to trigger the electromagnetic coils. The initial velocity of a 7-gram projectile fired from the coilgun was measured to be approximately 56.75 m/s, resulting in a kinetic energy of 11.27 joules. Based on this, the coilgun’s overall efficiency was calculated to be approximately 5.64%.

Read Whole Paper here: Multistage Coilgun

2nd Semester

The Fish Arcade by Bo Leschly and Will Abbott

The main purpose of creating the fish tank arcade was to create something unique and stylish, that would also provide great entertainment. The project was also intended to challenge design and fabrication skills and also teach new skills. The project consisted of building a single fixture that contains a fully functional single player arcade, as well as a fish tank capable of supporting life with low maintenance related needs. To do this, a frame and an acrylic fish tank in the shape of a rectangular ring were made from scratch, and a Raspberry Pi was configured to run as an arcade, with traditional arcade button and joystick controls. The end product is a fully functional arcade that can run just about any classic video game one desires, and a fish tank that sustains fish life. The arcade runs as well as one could expect given the monitor we are using, achieving 60 Frames Per Second constantly and heating the CPU of the Raspberry Pi to a temperature well within its manageable range.

Read Whole Paper here: The Fish Arcade

2nd Semester

Shooting Machine by Ally Stuart and Mohini Gupta

The purpose of this project was to build a scaled-down shooting machine that has the ability to rebound a nerf-sized basketball and pass it back out to the shooter. This project has two main components. The first part is a digital display that counts the shots made, which is recognized using a photoresistor located on the opposite side of the rim to a laser. The second component of the project is a catapult that resets itself with the help of two stepper-motors; after being pulled back, the catapult is then released by a solenoid which moves the hinge holding the catapult back when it receives a high voltage. Currently, our shooting machine has the ability to shoot a basketball of mass 0.157 kilograms a distance of 10 feet.

Read Whole Paper Here: Shooting Machine

2nd Semester

Self-Stabilizing Spoon by Andrew Zheng & Tommy Yang

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and affects approximately 1 million people in the United States. One of the most prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremors in the limbs which drastically increase the difficulty of even everyday tasks such as feeding oneself. In order to help people with tremors manage this and inspired by products already on the market like the GYENNO Spoon and the Liftware Steady [1] [2], we designed and built a self-stabilizing spoon actively moves to maintain the orientation of the spoonhead regardless of motion in the handle. This way, even if one cannot hold a regular spoon still enough to prevent food from spilling out of the spoon from tremors due to disorders like Parkinson’s disease, the spoon will enable people to feed themselves without spilling their food. Our spoon implements three servos to get two degrees of freedom in the spoonhead’s movements, which are used to actively stabilize the spoonhead. The spoon uses two PID control systems to control the servos. Overall, the project was successful, as the spoonhead showed decreased deviation from a level position when the stabilization system was implemented compared to no stabilization system. On average, the spoon reduces deviations from a level position by about 4° with the stabilization system.

Read Whole Paper Here: Self-Stabilizing Spoon

2nd Semester

3D Printing Pen by Sylvia Chen

Microsoft Word – ASR Final Paper.docx

The goal of this project was to design and build a hand-held 3D printing pen that extrudes filament to allow the user to draw in three dimensions. The objective of the product was to be safe, reliable, and portable. The code and circuit to control the pen were created and housed within a 3D printed gun-shaped pen casing. A feedback loop effectively regulates the temperature of the hotend, making the product more safe and capable of consistently melting the filament at the proper temperature. The pen that was created can be used to prototype concepts or create art, and effectively makes 3D printing accessible to everyone.

Read Whole Paper here: 3D Printing Pen

2nd Semester

Electric Longboard by Clark Safran

The goal of this project was to build a fully functional electric longboard that works to serve for practical transportation for short distance trips. The main components of this project was designing and cutting out a motor mount, figuring out and implementing a system for holding the motor mount to the truck without slippage, and custom designing 3D printed pieces to hold the electronics to the bottom of the board. The board was able to carry a rider and reach a max speed of 16 miles per hour.

Read Whole Paper Here: Electric Longboard

2nd Semester

Inventing a Next Generation Star Wars Droid by Pragya Anur and Makayla Conley

The goal of this project was to create a droid modeled after those found in George Lucas’ ​Star Wars​ films that are able to move autonomously and respond to voice control. Unlike other robots that exist in our world today, this is a personal companion droid made with artificial intelligence. Once created, the droid was tested for speed, turning angles, and accuracy of the motion sensors. The droid rolls on the ground at 21.65 rpm, makes 90o and 100o turns depending on where the obstacle is detected, and the motion sensors on the droid exterior are most accurate when detecting objects of any size within 1ft. This droid is well suited for work that requires low speeds and high accuracy in obstacle detection, such as housework and companionship.

Read Whole Paper here: Inventing a Next Generation Star Wars Droid

2nd Semester

Electric Longboard by Cole Dollinger

The goal of this project was to build a fully functioning electric longboard that could out perform its commercial counterparts. The main steps of this project included hand building the deck of the board, designing and 3D printing a motor mount and electronics case, creating a custom charging system and underlying circuit, and then assembling everything together. The board performed wonderfully and reached a top speed of 22.3 MPH, and a range of 7.1 miles.

Read Whole Paper here: Electric Longboard

2nd Semester

LED Climbing Wall by Grant Dumanian and Keeton Martin

This paper describes the design process and theory of a freestanding LED climbing wall. The wall itself was built entirely out of wood and hardware; latticed two by fours formed the back structure and large sheets of plywood wood formed the climbing surface itself. The wall is roughly eight feet tall by six feet wide with ten feet of climbing at a 37o overhang. The LED system was powered by an Arduino Mega connected to a computer and run through a series of programs that allow users to select climbs. The goal of the project was successful– the wall was climbed under a variety of conditions, including varying climber weights and styles, and the LED/Arduino system successfully lit as many different climbs as was desired.

Read Whole Paper Here: LED Climbing Wall

2nd Semester

The City of the Future by Ernesto Carbajal and Gary Marston

When deciding to make a ‘green’ city, a lot of decision-making goes into what kind of renewable, sustainable sources of power the city will utilize. This is important because it is helpful to know what sources of renewable energy will be the most useful in the future. This project compared how efficient Solar Power was in comparison to Hydroelectric power when scaled down to the size of a model city using Lego Minifigures as a size scale. Through the course of the project the group concluded that solar, at 55% efficiency, was more efficient than hydro at 47.1% efficiency.

Read Whole Paper Here: The City of the Future

2nd Semester

Electro-Mechanical Prosthetic Hand by Ian Costello

The purpose of the project was to create a low-cost electromechanical 3D printed prosthetic hand. The project utilized 3D printed components connected to servos through fishing wire, which allowed the hand to contract and relax with the use of rubber bands. While the exact design failed to allow for sufficient gripping strength, the basic concepts for the operation of the prosthetic were sound and could be applied to future projects.

Read Whole Paper Here: Designing and Creating an Electro-mechanical Prosthetic Hand

2nd Semester

Air Hockey Table and Robotic Opponent by John Weingart

Air hockey has existed for decades and is found in almost every arcade around. But what is not as common is a robotic opponent which can detect the puck and play against you. The goal was to make a table that fully eliminates friction and energy loss. The table was constructed out of wood and mdf, and metal sliders were used with the ‘H-bot’ system of pulleys (taken from JJRobots) to move the robotic paddle around. An infrared positioning camera was used to determine the trajectory of the puck. The table has no friction when the air comes on, and the puck loses about 60% of its energy when it hits the walls.

Read Whole Paper Here: Air Hockey Table and Robotic Opponent

2nd Semester

Autonomous Line Following Pacer for Application in Track and Field by Robert Miranda

A fully automated line following robot was constructed from a 1 scale model RC Car. Specifically, the line 10 follower was intended to be used in a track and field environment, acting as a pacer for a track race or workout. The pacer uses a Raspberry Pi as an image processor to determine its exact position relative to a standard line. A Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) algorithm is used to control the direction of the car based on this input. The pacer can accurately follow lines, although because of its limited range of view it suffers from not being able to self correct if it loses sight of the line.

Read Whole Paper Here: Design and Engineering of an Autonomous Line Following Pacer for Application in Track and Field

2nd Semester

Bluetooth Speaker by Caroline Bradley and Parker Callender

Our goal for the project was to learn more about arduinos, circuitry, and woodworking in one design. This project included creating a bluetooth and auxiliary speaker with a hardwood speakerbox. Once complete, the speaker succeeded in amplifying sound nicely using mosfets with a 20 V input and a fluctuating current of 2.3 -2.8 amps per mosfet.

Read Whole Paper Here: Building a Bluetooth Speaker

2nd Semester

Electric Bicycle by RD Babiera

This paper describes the design and development of an electric motorized bicycle. The bicycle frame was constructed from mild steel tubing and was welded together using MIG welding techniques. The bicycle uses a direct drive system using a 36V, 1000W electric motor that is operated using a motor controller and a throttle system. The acceleration of the bicycle with a 165lb individual is 0.34 m/s2 at maximum battery capacity while the maximum recorded velocity is 8.25 m/s (18.45mph). The motor rated at 2607.94 J of work, and the efficiency of the motorbike hovered around 55.38%.

Read Whole Paper Here: Electric Bicycle

2nd Semester

Frequency-Modulated Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil by Laikh Tewari

A dual-resonant solid state Tesla coil was designed and built with the goal to programatically modulate the frequency of discharges in order to produce music. Though not yet fully operational, several components show promising results. Building and diagnosing problems with the Tesla coil required a deep exploration of the physics of electromagnetism, mechanical design, signal processing, and software engineering. The idea of a musical Tesla coil has been popularized by groups using it in physics demonstrations and live performances, and they serve as the basis for this project. Most importantly, this project serves as a tool to engage students of physics, musicians, and bystanders alike.

Read Whole Paper Here: Frequency-Modulated Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil

2nd Semester

Electric Motor Scooter by Thomas Brown

The goal of this project is to modify a traditional kick scooter with an electric motor, gears and drive-chain configuration to drive the rear wheel and axle. The scooter is a compact, efficient way to travel relatively short distances, with its limiting factor being the range it can travel based on one charge of the battery. The main obstacles of the project were designing a frame wide enough to accommodate the rear wheel with gears attached, incorporating adjustability so ensure the chain is always tight and making sure the scooter could carry a passenger at a satisfactory speed. The frame was edited to contain all the components needed for a motor scooter and a circuit was created to incorporate the throttle speed regulator with the braking system. The scooter is able to travel between 7 and 8 miles per hour with a 185 lb rider on it and can last for around 20 minutes on one charge.

Read Whole Paper Here: Electric Motor Scooter with Regenerative Braking & Reverse Capabilities

2nd Semester

Luggage Follower by Hwai-Liang Tung

A car was built as a proof of concept for a luggage that follows you using ultrasonic sensors. Ultrasonic sensors were attached to a chassis which were used to pinpoint the general direction of the person through an ultrasonic sensor located on the person whom it would follow. XBee RF modules were used to coordinate when the sensor started pulsing in order to obtain the time for the sound to travel from the transmitter to the receiver. Although car was not able to find the position of the transmitter, the ultrasonic sensors were able to gain the distance from it to the transmitter plus or minus 10 cm, and the car was able to follow the transmitter over open areas.

Read Whole Paper Here: Luggage Follower

2nd Semester

Properties of Glow Discharge Plasma Created with High Voltage at Low Pressure by Drew Wadsworth

This paper outlines the design and build of an experimental plasma chamber, plus the experiments conducted with the chamber. The goal of the chamber is to make plasma physics more accessible and to be able to observe and do research on a state of matter not otherwise found on Earth. The chamber is used to demonstrate magnetic confinement of plasma and the effect of sharp electrode geometries on electric fields. The chamber can be used to create up to 2 Amp arcs or to create sustained glowing plasma throughout the volume of the chamber. It consists of a vacuum system and a high voltage circuit. The vacuum system performs well, reaching less than 300kPa absolute pressure.

Read Whole Paper here: Properties of Glow Discharge Plasma Created with High Voltage at Low Pressure

2nd Semester

Building a Motion-Sensor Based Home Security System With Facial Recognition by Anna Wong

Security systems are prevalent in today’s society, whether they’re used in public areas or in private houses. The goal of this project was to build a motion-sensor based home security system with facial recognition to determine when the alarm should be turned off. PIR sensors were used to detect motion, and the open source project called OpenFace was used to implement facial recognition. The PIR sensors were found to have a range of 11 feet, with accuracy decreasing from 98% at 1 foot away from the sensor to 20% at 11 feet away. The facial recognition system could be adjusted to have a 90% accuracy, with a 15% false positive rate.

Read Whole Paper Here: Building a Motion-Sensor Based Home Security System With Facial Recognition

2nd Semester

Wheeled Ascent Loaded Logistics – Type E “WALL – E” by Riley Woodson

To overcome obstacles in its way, WALL-E has been engineered to drive up walls. Using fans to create thrust to “stick” WALL-E to the wall, and a motor drive system to provide forward force, the car was designed to ascend up walls. Unfortunately, in the given time frame the engineer was unable to properly hook up the motor drive and thus was unable to get a fully functional wall climbing car. Yet this is still a viable design that only needs a few tweaks to get a proper product.

Read Whole Paper: Wheeled Ascent Loaded Logistics – Type E

2nd Semester

The iFold Future of Laundry by Miller Geschke and Lauren Yang

Currently, a problem exists with folding clothes — it takes too long, is tiring, and is inefficient. An automated, portable laundry folding machine that folds shirts, pants, and towels was built to resolve this. The device has a center platform with four flaps. After a shirt, pair of pants, or towel is placed in the designated position, the device will sense which flaps are covered with photoresistors, determine the type of garment, and fold accordingly. The iFold requires the user to place garments, while the actual folding will be automated. The project was overall successful as the iFold correctly folds tops. The iFold folds shirts in 17.8 seconds on average with better precision on average compared to human folders.

See Video of it Working here:  IfoldVid

Read Whole Paper here: IfoldPaper

2nd Semester

Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand by Nikhil Singhal and April Li

The purpose of this project was to create a low ­cost myoelectric prosthetic hand so that this much ­needed technology becomes more accessible to the general populace. We found and modified a 3D­printed wrist­ actuated prosthetic hand design by setting up servos inside the palm to control the individual fingers. Electric signals from the arm were picked up by homemade electrodes and amplified and filtered by an op­amp circuit, and processed and converted to servo instructions. Individual finger movements were successfully isolated and prosthetic fingers moved accordingly.

Read Whole Paper here:  ProstheticHand

2nd Semester

Noise Cancelling Headphones by Niko Bhatia

The goal of this project is to build a pair of noise cancelling headphones that incorporate active and passive noise cancellation. The three main steps to this project are building the active noise cancellation circuit, designing and building the wooden headphones, and combining the noise cancellation circuit with the headphones. The passive noise cancellation effectively blocked out the ambient noise at the Maker Faire, and the active noise cancellation blocked out frequencies up to 2kHz, which is in the frequency range of an airplane engine.

Read Whole Paper here: NoiseCancellingHeadphones

2nd Semester

Designing and Building a Sustainable Refugee Housing Unit by Lauren Chan

The goal of this project was to design and build an easily-constructible refugee shelter specifically for the hot, arid regions of Jordan and Lebanon, using all sustainable materials. A 6.5 ft. x 6.5 ft. half-scale model was built 4 inches off the ground using simple dimensional lumber, laser-cut plywood, cardboard tubes as walls, and a waterproof tarp for the roof. A shed roof with 1.2 pitch was incorporated into the design. The house is water-resistant and was found to have complete resistance and insulation to wind up to 33.78 mph. The floor has a load capacity of 1,442 pounds. The project cost for a single unit was $300, can be built in less than 4 hours with a team of 2-3 people using only a drill and screws, and is estimated to last at least one year without replacement of any materials.

Read Whole Paper here:  RefugeeShelter

2nd Semester

3D Scanner by Nikhar Arora and Ishani Thakur

For this project a functioning 3D printer and 3D scanner were constructed. A Prusa i3 V2 printer was built from a kit and programmed using an Arduino Mega. It was manually calibrated and leveled to print multiple objects such as a cube, a SF giants logo, and a ring that was previously scanned. The 3D scanner used a logitech webcam and a single red line laser to construct a point cloud of a given object. Once the point cloud was constructed, it was placed into a processing software, Blender, to remove extraneous points. The edited point cloud was imported into Meshlab, a software that computed normals and a Poisson surface for the object. This ultimately allowed the point cloud to convert to an STL file that was able to be printed, as was done with a red ring.

Read whole paper here:  3D Scanner

2nd Semester

Laser Targeting Remote Control Car by Jack Swisher and Zach Kaplan

Abstract: A remote control car was designed and built for reconnaissance and to remotely fire a high powered laser. The drone was designed with a camera and long range transmitter so the car can be operated at long distances. In addition, the car’s remote control capabilities are based on the XBee Pro Series 2, which has a range of up to a mile [1]. A suspension system was also added to the vehicle, which measured 10.5” x 15” x 7” and four independently controlled reversible wheels. The laser attached to the car as well as the car were tested for efficiency and power output. The results revealed that the laser has an efficiency of 32.9% and a power output of 7.1 W, while the car has a running efficiency of 12.92% and 1.76 W output power.

Read Whole Paper here: Laser Targeting Remote Control Car

2nd Semester

Ergonomic Gaming Controller by Jack Swisher and Zach Kaplan

Abstract: This project involved constructing a custom gaming controller and hooking it up to a touchscreen display. The final project will feature an ergonomically superior controller design, a power cord for the system, and functioning audio and visual capabilities. It will be a completely portable system that is easy to transport. The project will incorporate a combination of electrical engineering and computer science; the controller makes use of an LCD display, two joysticks utilizing potentiometers, and a raspberry pi.

Read Whole Paper here: Ergonomic Gaming Controller

2nd Semester

Facial Recognition Based Self-Firing Turret by Jason Scharff and Nolan Jimenez

Abstract: A turret that shoots nerf bullets was designed to be fired based on facial recognition cues; as a known target walks in front of the turret, the turret would fire at the known target and only when that target enters the frame. Due to time constraints, the turret was unable to properly aim at the target. Overall, however, the facial recognition component worked very well with a tested accuracy of 100% up to a distance of six feet, a false positive rate between 9 and 10%, and the average time to perform facial recognition was 1.70 seconds.

Read Whole Paper: Self-Firing Turret

2nd Semester

Building a Motorized Drift Trike by Hayden Pegley

Abstract: The goal of this project was to create an affordable motorized drift trike using a hand-welded steel frame, the front half of a used mountain bike, and a 6.5 hp, 212 cc Predator gas engine. The back frame of the trike was welded over the course of several weeks, and components including the axle, front wheel, and throttle system were added after the frame’s completion. While the trike is not fully operational, the throttle system is functional and the trike is near completion.

Read Whole Paper: Building a Motorized Drift Trike

2nd Semester

Building a Cyclic Gauss Gun by Tom Welch and Andrew Yock

Abstract: A two stage Gauss Accelerator was designed, built, and tested for the purpose of demonstrating the plausibility of a reusable and sustainable electrical means of propulsion in areas such as space launch and electromagnetic hyperloops. Electromagnets were optimized to be critically damped to allow charge from a capacitor bank, which was charged using an AC voltage doubler, to most efficiently impart kinetic energy on the projectile after photogates detected its movement into the magnet. We predicted the efficiency to be between 1 and 5% and expected velocities between 25 and 57 m/s. Testing showed efficiencies between 0.2 and 5% and velocities between 8 and 45 m/s. While the intent was to build a cyclical Gauss Accelerator, this project was very successful accomplished leading steps to this goal.

Read Whole Paper: Building a Cyclic Gauss Gun

2nd Semester

Building a Solar Plane by Aaron Brown

Abstract: A remote control plane was designed, built and tested with the goal to maximize flight time. Multiple 30” x 20” foam boards were used to construct the wings, fuselage, and stabilizers. A 10 x 4.5 propeller generates the 1048 grams of thrust necessary for flight. Issues with the control surfaces limited the flight to just four seconds. The solar panels used could not generate enough power to power the main motor, so instead they were used to power a lighting system. The next step would be to put the solar panels in parallel with the lipo battery and a switch. When the solar panels reach the proper voltage, the switch would connect them to the main circuit and disconnect the battery. This would accomplish the goal of extending the flight time of a remote control plane.

Read Whole Paper: Building a Solar Plane

2nd Semester

Creating the Batman Grappling Hook by Henry Fortenbaugh and Jacob Julian-Kwong

Abstract: The Batman Grappling Hook shooter and reel-in device explores a unique way to climb up buildings and obstacles by giving people abilities that extend beyond the capabilities of the human body. The device shoots a grappling hook attached to a rope using compressed air, and once the grappling hook is secure, the device reels up the user using a drill motor. The compressed air shooter and reel-in device are attached to an armband that the user wears on their forearm. The grappling hook is capable of shooting over a second story railing using a container volume of 21.27 μ m 3 at a pressure of 2.068 MPa (300 psi), and the arm band can reel up a 75 kg human to a 4.5 meter railing in 9.33 seconds, an average rate of 0.294 m/s.

Read Whole Paper: Batman Grappling Hook

2nd Semester

Designing and Assembling a Universal USB Power Supply by Aaron Lee

Abstract: A 120V AC to 5V DC power supply was designed and constructed in the Whitaker Lab of Menlo School to interface with any mobile USB device. USB was used as it is the most universal interface for power delivery to modern electronic devices, allowing the power supply to work with the widest range of mobile devices. The power supply is capable of charging four devices with a total power output of up to 20W at an average efficiency of 38.8%.

Read Whole Paper: Universal USB Power Supply

2nd Semester

Portable Weather Station

Abstract: The objective of this project was to construct a portable weather station that a) collects and stores data on time, humidity, temperature, UV intensity, pressure, location, wind speed, and wind chill, b) is solar powered with stored energy backup, and c) displays data in real time. An Arduino microcontroller and several sensors are used to collect and store data on a mini-SD card, and the hardware for wind speed and rain fall gauges was constructed using a 3D printer and a laser cutter. The main housing unit of the weather station that collects, stores, and displays data is 3.125 inches by 4.75 inches by 3.25 inches, and weighs only 343 grams.

Read Whole Paper:  Building a Portable Weather Station

2nd Semester

Schuyler Tilney-Volk: Electric Kart with a Data Storage and Driver Display

An electric go kart is a small vehicle solely powered by rechargeable batteries and a DC
motor instead of gasoline and an engine. These small-scale cars are often driven for fun or as prototypes for larger vehicles. Because electric vehicles have the ability to help slow climate change by reducing carbon emissions (which stem from the combustion of hydrocarbons like gasoline and diesel), they are becoming increasingly popular in the contemporary world. Thus, the goal was to produce an easily-made yet fast and durable electric go kart with a GPS, speedometer, and accelerometer tracking and display system that would not contribute to the growing issue of climate change. The kart performed well, with a high speed of 20.61mph, maximum acceleration of 5.34mph/s and deceleration of 5.52mph/s, and a maximum drive time of 7.6 minutes.

Read whole paper: Electric Kart

2nd Semester

John Reinstra & Julian Christensen: Designing & Building a SelfBalancing Scooter

The goal of this project was to create a selfbalancing scooter that is cheaper and faster than current consumer products like the Segway. We made a preliminary CAD design, created a small prototype, and then assembled our scooter over several weeks. We have successfully built a relatively cheap selfbalancing scooter with a top speed of 5.2 mph and a battery life of around 7 minutes.

Read whole paper: Self Balancing Scooter

2nd Semester

Shannon Shih: Harvesting Walking Energy with Piezoelectric Actuators Embedded in Shoes

The purpose of this project was to explore the potential of harvesting energy through piezoelectric devices embedded in shoes. Two curved piezoelectric actuators were placed at the heel of the shoe to ensure maximum comfort for the user and harvest the most energy from the user as he or she walks. The actuators produce an average of 182.32 μC of charge per step. By storing up the charge in a 2200μF capacitor, the energy could be used to power intermittent tasks, such as powering a safety light embedded in the shoe every few steps.

Read whole paper: Harvesting Walking Energy

2nd Semester

Andy Parker: Constructing and Coding a Remote Control Boat

The goal of this project was to create a boat with a rudder and motor that could be remotely controlled using XBee radios and Arduinos. A 970 gram boat with a vshaped hull was built from layers of laser cut wood. These layers were attached with wood glue and sealed with silicone to help achieve a watertight hull. The boat is controlled by a joystickstyle potentiometer attached to an Arduino Uno, which sends commands via an XBee radio to another Arduino Uno aboard the boat. The boat was found to have a maximum carrying capacity of 509 g of cargo, a speed of .11 m/s, and the ability to produce .987 N of thrust.

Read whole paper: Remote Control Boat

2nd Semester

Haley Hodge: Solar Powered UV Water Purification System

The goal of this project was to design and prototype a UV water purification system to be used in developing countries or environments such as refugee camps where there are little to no resources and no dependable electricity. To meet the needs of this given environment, the system needs to be durable, safe, affordable and self sustaining/sustainably powered so that safe drinking water is more dependable and easily accessible in rural areas with no safe water sources. I created a purifier which combines a gravity fed sand/gravel filter system and a disinfecting UV-C light to deactivate harmful microorganisms in the water available. Due to lack of availability of certain materials, the system was not effective enough to purify water to the point where it meets national health standards. But the UV irradiation did in fact deactivate a significant amount of bacteria (up to 70% at 1 l/min) and there was a very clear correlation between the exposure time to the light and the percent of bacteria deactivated.

Read whole paper: Water Purification

2nd Semester

Michelle Meyer: Electronic Battleship

This project is an Arduino-based recreation of the game battleship – and it is cheat-proof! In this game, the ships’ positions are detected after being placed on the board. In addition, the hits and misses are displayed using LEDS which light up either red or blue. The main challenge of the project is getting the large number of inputs and outputs to be detected and controlled by a limited number of Arduino pins: the five ships can be placed on any of the 20 rows and columns and there are 400 LEDs. This is done using multiplexing for the ship detection system, and the LEDs are placed in a matrix and controlled using a decade counter. The duration of one cycle through lighting the LED matrix was measured to be 6.96ms, and each LED is on for 3.97% of the time.

Read whole paper: Battleship

2nd Semester

Tyler Mcgraw: RC Glider

The goal of this project was to design and build an RC glider. Focus was specifically placed on designing an efficient glider and investigating original methods of crafting it. After researching flight and gliders, I designed a glider using CAD, tested different airfoils in a program and in a wind tunnel, and made a foam glider from blocks of extruded polystyrene foam and hotwire cutters. Tests from the wind tunnel confirmed that the low lift low drag RG15 airfoil is better fit for a glider than the high lift high drag S1223. The finished glider ended up flying well and was quite resilient, receiving only minor damage to the thin foam on the trailing edge of the wings.

Read whole paper: Glider

2nd Semester

Dylan Pace and Noah Listgarden: Chimera Drone

The goal of this project is to create a twopart drone that could operate both on land and in the air. The air and land systems can operate independently and still function together. Using magnets and electromagnets, and by creating a designated landing platform on the ground vehicle, the two systems work together with the quadcopter serving as the main utility platform while the rover serves as a moving base.

Read whole paper: Drone

2nd Semester

Andrew Kim and Kylee Santos: Electric Motorbike

This project explores creating an electric motorbike powered by a 36V, 1000W DC motor. The frame for the bike was welded from individual 1” square steel pipes. The motor is powered by a circuit system consisting of a 36V universal controller, three 12V batteries wired in series, a throttle, and a key ignition system. The motorbike spins at a maximum of 857 RPM at the back wheel.

Read whole paper: Motorbike

2nd Semester

William Hsieh: Nerf Sentry Gun

The purpose of this project is to create an automated system that can acquire and shoot targets with a Nerf blaster. The end result should essentially be create a Nerf sentry gun. The first portion of this project was spent finding, creating, and polishing the required code to track and shoot a target. The second portion was spent designing and building the turret base as well as configuring the electrical components. The turret was able to accurately track and shoot a target up to 16 feet and at a maximum distance of 18 feet. The range of the blaster was greater than 18 feet but was limited by the webcam tracking.

Read whole paper: Sentry gun

2nd Semester

Samuel Nuttle: Constructing a Custom Quadcopter

The point of this project was to construct a drone around a custom made frame. By custom designing the frame, the frame could accommodate any number of purposes, since it can easily and cheaply be reproduced. By estimating a frame weight, finding the weight of the individual components, and calculating the thrust some set of motors and propellers could give, the individual components were ordered, and the frame assembled and wired. The quadcopter can take off and generate lift on its own, with auto balancing capabilities currently in development.

Read whole paper: Quadcopter

2nd Semester

Ryan Shanley: Audio Amplifier and Loudspeakers

The objective of this project was to build a speaker box and amplifier circuit capable of playing music with high audio quality at reasonably high audio levels. A secondary objective of this project was to gain the experience of doing a project that combines multiple facets of engineering. The last few months have been spent building and testing out various amplifier circuits, and constructing a couple of speaker cabinets. In the end, it was determined that the circuit utilizing the LM386 power amplifier chip created the highest quality sound out of the circuits built.

Read whole paper: Audio

2nd Semester

David Roy: Coil Projectile System

The main point of this project was to explore and apply magnetic propulsion to building a coilgun. I built the coilgun by wrapping three solenoids and discharging capacitor banks through each solenoid to generate a magnetic field to fire a magnetic projectile. To trigger the coils, I built a laser tripwire circuit and used an Arduino to determine when the beam was broken. At 50V, the coilgun outputted 0.156 Joules and 15.00 Joules were inputted resulting in an efficiency of 1.03%. The max speed was 4.46 m/s.

Read whole paper: Coil Projectile

2nd Semester

Jocelyn Chan: High Speed Photography

The goal of this project is to capture images that happen too quickly for the human eye to see using an Arduino and sensors (laser tripwire and sound). Using the flash method of high-speed photography, an electret microphone and a tripwire made of a laser module and photoresistors were both used to trigger the flash. The final product was a box that carried all necessary parts and contained a switch that made switching between the two sensors easier.

Read whole paper: Photography

2nd Semester

Kevin Cardozo: Designing and Building an Electric Vehicle

This project explores the creation of a new form of electric transportation based on the need for last mile transportation. In order to accomplish this a 2400 W motor was used in conjunction to an ESC to control the speed of the vehicle. This allows the user to control the speed at which they are traveling while maintaining an easy to use from of transportation. The theoretical max speed of the board is 45.8 mph while the startup torque was measured to be 2.0136 Newton Meters of force.

Read whole paper: Electric Vehicle

2nd Semester

Justin Cardozo: Building Cheap Prosthetics

The goal for this project was to construct a cheap, prosthetic hand that could be controlled via electrical impulses in the arm, triggering lights corresponding to the movements of individual fingers. This project involved the creation and testing of a high gain differential amplifier, homemade electrodes, and an Arduino program that could handle input values from the amplifier. The final product ended up being a device that detects and amplifies impulses in the arm with conductive fabric electrodes, sending the magnified signal to an Arduino. The Arduino then could read the corresponding impulses, and trigger a light when they pass a threshold value that corresponds to movement in the middle finger of the operator’s hand.

Read whole paper: Prosthetics

2nd Semester

Maddie Buxton: Hydraulic Spider

For my project I built a hydraulic robot model of a spider. I researched spiders and their legs’ hydraulic system that allow them to jump. I built a model of two legs using syringes filled with water to retract and extend the legs. The model mimics a spider’s movements as if walking. Each leg has two motors controlling it, one that uses a wheel to transfer rotational motion to linear motion to push the syringe. The other motor is attached to a spool of rope that is connected to the leg raising it up and down. The model is approximately 13% efficient. The model works as intended but could use smaller motors and a hydraulic system with less friction to be more efficient and compact.

Read whole paper: Spider

2nd Semester

Hunter Listwin: Precision Airdrop Delivery System

The goal of this project was to design and build an economic payload delivery system. Traditional methods lack the precision desired and modern methods are too expensive. The innovation was to use existent technology for guided bombs and create guided payloads. A guidance system was created from a GPS, Arduino and servos, while the payload was slowed by retarding fins. In the end the guidance system was tested to be accurate within 24 feet, averaging 18.7 feet over all trials. Additionally, the retarding system slowed the payload to a 11 m/s terminal velocity, which may be even slower if more testing was done. There is room for additional testing and development, though solid groundwork has been laid.

Real whole paper: Airdrop System

2nd Semester

Faraz Abassi: Remote Controlled Mini-Fridge

The goal of this project was to build a mini fridge that could be maneuvered. To achieve this goal, a mini fridge, a wooden box filled with insulation, fans and Peltier devices was mounted onto a frame with two support wheels on the back and a stripped RC car motor and wheels in the front. The mini fridge was able to fall to 10.3 degrees celsius directly in front of the Peltier devices, 23.0 degrees celsius in the middle of the fridge and 23.8 degrees celsius in the front of the fridge; this drop from a starting temperature of 25.0 degrees celsius.

Read whole paper: Remote Fridge

2nd Semester

Nate Safran: Speaker Filter System

The goal of this project was to build a three part speaker system. The three speakers were a subwoofer, for low frequencies, a mid range driver for midrange frequencies, and a tweeter for higher frequencies. Thus, the input signals was set to be divided by three electronic filter circuits. Despite near perfect results on oscilloscopes, the sound resulting from the circuits was erratic and often distorted by static. Furthermore, the resulting output was weak and barely audible, so additional amplification circuits were needed. These amplifiers and the circuitry had difference impedance values, creating large amounts of feedback. However, the tweeter was fully functional and outputting clear sound with an amplifier, receiving no feedback.

Read whole paper here: Speaker

2nd Semester

Leonel Jaimez & Nicholas Seidl: Model Magnetic Levitation Train

The goal of this project was to create a fully functioning magnet levitating train capable of making sharp turns and crossing a bridge without coming off the track. Over the course of the second semester many stages were completed, moving from a simple plank bridge to an elaborate track and bridge system. We chose this project because of our high interest in alternative methods of transportation. This project allowed us to explore key concepts of superconductivity and truss bridges. We have successfully built a track and bridge that when paired with a freezing superconductor exhibits the key features behind the theory of superconductivity.

Read Whole Paper here: MagLev Train

2nd Semester

Kenzie Mayer: Reconstructing an Instant Camera

The goal of this project was to reconstruct the shutter of an old Polaroid camera, so that it would function again to take pictures. The old Polaroid was purchased to ensure quality lenses, the correct size film holder, and a stable frame. The Arduino-based circuit to control the shutter consisted of a push button, which allowed current to flow through the rest of the circuit when pressed, a potentiometer, which provided a variable resistance and therefore a variable voltage drop value to be passed back to the Arduino, a relay, which was switched on by an Arduino signal, and a solenoid, which opened and closed for a variable amount of time that was proportional to the potentiometer value. The amount of time the solenoid was open represented the shutter speed of the camera. After months of work, the camera produced quality instant photographs. The final Arduino code allowed for a shutter speed between 250 and 2000 milliseconds.

Read Whole Paper here: Instant Camera

2nd Semester

David Nahm: Building an Induction Charger

For my second semester ASR project, I built an induction charger for a cellphone. The charger will be able to charge all microUSB compatible cellphones through induction. The project is composed of two parts: the charging pad containing the transmitting coil and the receiving induction coil that will be attached to the phone. In simplest terms, the charger works by passing alternating current through the transmitting coil, which then leads to current flowing through a nearby receiving coil that will charge the phone. I was ultimately able to make this induction charger charge my phone.

Read Whole Paper here: Induction Charger

2nd Semester

Megs Malpani: Power Wheels

Power Wheels is a bike generator that enables users to charge any USB compatible device. The creation has many implications for developing world countries in which there is often plenty of access to bikes (a cheap mode of transportation) but not enough access to electricity. Thus, the goal was to produce an easily installable system at a low cost that works universally on pre-existing bikes and does not require any bicycle modifications. Friction between the bike tire and generator wheels causes the generators to rotate, producing electricity that is stored in rechargeable batteries. When a switch is closed, the stored electricity goes to the USB outlet, charging any plugged in device.

Read Whole Paper here: Power Wheels

2nd Semester

Jackson Wagner: Magnus Effect RC sailboat

In this project an operational remote-controlled sailboat was constructed, that instead of a traditional sail had a rotating cylinder that created a similar lift effect. The rotating cylinder created a force in the presence of wind which was used to drive the boat forwards. This force is due to the Magnus Effect. The Magnus Force is derived from a combination of the Bernoulli Effect and conservation of momentum. The rotating cylinder interacts with the external wind, slowing the wind down on one side of the cylinder and speeding it up on the other side. This creates a low pressure region on one side of the cylinder and a comparatively high pressure region on the other. Because of this pressure differential across the cylinder, the boat experiences a net force. The cylinder also works to deflect the wind, bending it slightly in its direction of rotation. This spray of air also contributes to a net force on the boat due to conservation of momentum. The final boat was a catamaran, each pontoon equipped with a rudder with the capability to be remotely controlled. The rotating cylinder could also be turned on and off via remote-control. In order to ensure that the cylinder was working to move the boat forwards, a wind sensor was designed using a wind pennant, a magnet, and a hall chip. The sensor determined the direction of the wind and directed current through the motor so that the cylinder would spin in the direction that would produce forward motion.

Read Whole Paper here: Magnus Effect RC

2nd Semester

Elaine Wong: Building an Arduino Light Show to Music

For my project, I will be making a light show to music using an Arduino microprocessor and LED lights. Inspired by a variety of Christmas light shows from YouTube and ABC’s “Christmas Light Fight,” this project will explore circuit-building (especially with Arduino boards), Arduino programming, and the relatively modern art of light shows synced to music. In addition, it will explore more accessible, cost- and energy-efficient methods to creating elaborate light shows that currently cost a lot of money, mostly due Light-o-Rama’s monopoly on expensive light controlling units. In addition, the experiment will further my experience with circuitry and programming, which will be necessary for my further endeavors with more complicated tasks, such as programming an iPhone app that works with an external device.

Read Whole Paper here: Arduino Light Show

2nd Semester

Paul Touma & Nikita Pashintsev: Basketball Arcade Game

For our project, we built a basketball arcade game where a person can play by shooting basketballs into a hoop within a wooden booth. The game has two different kinds of game modes, a stationary hoop game mode and a game mode in which the hoop would move up and down.

Read Whole Paper here: Basketball Arcade Game

2nd Semester

Griffin Scheinman & Sam Rubin: Fishtank

Fïshtänk is a vehicle that can be steered using the movements of a fish within an aquarium mounted on top of the vehicle. The steering mechanism relies on laser tripwires that detect the fish’s position and are connected to an Arduino which drives the motors in the appropriate direction. The vehicle is powered by two 48:1 DC motors which operate at 7.5 V, each producing approximately 1.42 N*m of torque. Although fïshtänk does not work consistently on its own and has frequent technical mishaps, the project was successful. The tripwires, software and drivetrain all function properly, and the fish can direct the tank for a limited period of time.

Read Whole Paper here: Fishtank

2nd Semester

Shea Ketsdever: Designing and Building a Remotely Operated Car

This project explores creating an Arduino and XBee system for controlling a remotely- operated car. User input from a joystick is detected and encoded by a controlling module, which remotely transmits data to a receiving module that decodes these commands and instructs the movement of the vehicle. Each Arduino communicates serially with an XBee radio module that facilitates communication between the controlling and receiving ends.

Read Whole Paper here: Remotely Operated car

2nd Semester

Spencer Witte: Camera Tracking Marshmallow Shooter

The concept of this project is to build a device that is able to launch a marshmallow at a target. This entails a turreted marshmallow gun with some sort of tracking ability. While the task may be essentially pointless, it provides a challenging design task. The purpose of this project is to be ambitious and to explore a field that I normally do not touch. The Marshmallow Turret Project is not about the end product, but is actually about the task of designing it. A task this complex will require clever engineering, intricate geometry and complex software to solve it, but it should be a lot of fun and a tremendous learning experience. The idea originated from other projects such as the Confectionary Cannon1 built by students at Olin, and the Popinator2 from Popcorn Indiana, however, I would like to deviate from their designs and add my own unique features. This Project is not about coping what others have made in the past, but about building and thinking through my own ideas.

Read Whole Paper here: Marshmallow Shooter