Here is a sample of projects from past design days.

Modernized PLS for Nuclear Power Plant Fuel Transport

Sponsor: Framatome
Within the nuclear refueling process, a Programmable Limit Switch (PLS) is used to determine and display the absolute position of various equipment utilized in the transport of nuclear fuel. Our PLS provides a suitable replacement for obsolete units currently operating in nuclear power plants.

BIG EARS Infrasound Geographic Estimation and Ranging System
Sponsor: Army Research Office
In Sub-Saharan Africa, elephant habitats are being replaced by small farms. Elephants will frequently raid and destroy these farms, leading to injury and death when farmers try to retaliate. If elephants could be detected from a distance, this conflict could be avoided. Our project aims to establish the feasibility of this solution by designing and testing a system which detects low frequency elephant communication. We utilize a network of battery-powered Raspberry Pis with buried infrasound microphones to capture, identify, filter, and triangulate elephant communications in real time. Elephant detections are then logged and accessible via a REST API and website.

Chronicles of Power Grid Generation – A Game for STEM Education
Sponsor: FREEDM Center
Chronicles of Power Grid Generation is an educational game designed to teach high school STEM students the design decisions involved when meeting the demands of today’s modern power grid. It is a dynamic, easy to understand rendition of the U.S power grid, allowing players to manage resources, strategize, and weigh cost versus value scenarios. Upon playing, players will experience 3 distinct time periods across the continental United States. Player’s main objective will be to become the most economically successful utility within the United States by securing critical power plants needed for each region. Overall this game will allow STEM students, and other to better understand the current problems facing the power grid. This will offer a fun, and insightful way into solving future engineering challenges that await power engineers in the not too distant future.

Robotic Stair-traversing Universal Cleaning Companion
Sponsor: Marc Johnson
We are designing an automated mechanism used to clean a home’s staircase. It is designed to simplify cleaning stairs, aiding those who are too busy or physically unable to do so. We have settled on a design that descends down each stair in a controlled manner using a simple, cost-effective design. It has an array of intelligent sensors and motors to make it fully autonomous, and also provides the user with relevant feedback along the way.