Archive for the 'Final Reports' Category
Prototype I Final Reports

Final Reports for Prototype I:

[Team PGH] – Prototype I Final Report: [Motion RC Car]



Give a brief description of what you are trying to solve. Include a high-level overview of what you made, why you made it, what parts you used, and what it does.

In today’s growing technology, it seems every little electronic is becoming touch or motion sensored. Our team wanted to incorporate that type of technology into a non traditional device. We modified an RC car toy to be controlled by motion instead of the traditional remote. The project’s materials list are as followed: arduinos, h-bridge motor chip, bread board, xbee transmitter/receivers, RC car, accelerometer, (possibly) tilt switch, and (possibly) flex sensors. 


Our team bought a regular RC car toy with four basic functions: turn left, turn right, reverse, and accelerate. We then took the car apart to analyze the circuit and internals of the car. The car is powered by a 7.2V battery in which we will use to power the arduino and xbee. The battery will of course power the car’s two motor which the arduino will control. To control the car, we opted to use the xbee communicator to send and receive signals between the two arduinos. The other arduino (the remote) will be attached to a human arm in which the arm will act as the control. Attached to the breadboard will be an accelerometer for motion type function, a tilt switch for acceleration or decceleration and a flex sensor for turning. Our team is working on the coding for the simple functions of turning and accelerating the car using a push button. We are in the progress of working on a code to incorporate the accelerometer and other sensors as our project progress.



Here we have the actual pictures of the internals of the RC car and the internals of the “remote.”  The othe diagrams shows the wiring of the RC car and the glove/remote.


Our project is still in the beta testing stage. We have a lot of programming to do and explore the different outcomes. If we were to continue our project, we will shift our focus on the glove/remote and program it to actually funtion with motion commands.

Team Gryffindor – Prototype I Final Report: Cyclemetrics


For the past month, we have been collaborating in an attempt to fabricate a bicycle computer. Our goal for this computer was to have it measure various forces and values, such as velocity, distance traveled, acceleration, power output, as well as total mechanical efficiency. Basically, we wanted a device that would output all of the relevant information a cyclist would need to make sure he/she is using his/her power output as efficiently as possible. What we were able to accomplish for our first prototype is a hall effect sensor that counts the number of times a magnet passes by and uses that number to calculate the speed of the wheel, which is then output to an LCD display. For us to accomplish this, we used a hall effect sensor, an arduino microcontroller, an LCD display, and all of the wires, resistors and capacitors in between. We made a small circuit board for the hall effect sensor using Eagle and mounted that to the front fork of a bicycle with wires running to a bread board which housed the LCD display. A magnet on the spokes of the bicycle then passes by the sensor once per revolution at which point the hall effect sensor sends a pulse to microcontroller uses this in its calculations to measure the speed.


We created a PCB board using the CAD software Eagle for our hall effect sensor.  To create the PCB board we used a method called photolithography, which uses light to transfer a geometric shape from a transparency to the photoresist on our copper clad.  We then soldered a pull up resistor, bypass capacitor , and our hall effect sensor onto the copper clad. Next we mounted the front wheel of the bike using some pvc piping and plywood. 

Parts used:

Copper Clad

Arduino Pro & code



LCD display



For our project we did what’s already been done before and for the most part our hall effect sensor does work.  However, if the wheel spins too fast, the sensor does not register all the revolutions.  We assume it is the drop across the cable we are using, but we are not 100% sure.   The next step for our project would be to fix the hall effect sensor so it registers all the revolutions.  Also, we are going to implement wireless communication between the sensor, LCD display, and the arduino microcontroller.

DSSP – Prototype I Final Report: Smart Mailbox for Smart Wheelchair



We started our project roughly about two months ago with the theme of a smart mailbox.  After giving some more thoughts on the topic for the project, we came up with an idea of a “Smart Mailbox for Smart Wheelchair.”  We see Mailbox in every house, and most of us have access to mailbox fairly easily.  However, there are many disabled people out there who do not have all the independencies to get to their mailbox easily.  So, our project intends to help the disabled to get notifications when they receive mail by developing a self guided wheelchair that tracks and avoids obstacles.  We plan on using 3D mapping to help in self guiding, with our main aim to help avoid wheelchairs hitting the obstacles such as wall, chairs, tables, etc.  

We used Arduino, XBEE, Ultra sonic sensor, LCD display, and potentiometer to build our prototype.  The Arduino is the main processor that sends command to the other circuit elements.  The Ultra Sonic sensor detects the mail and the XBEE’s wirelessly transmit the information about the arrival of the mail displaying it on the LCD display.  The potentiometer is a device to adjust backlight contrast. 




LCD Display


We started with setting up the LCD display by using the soldering station. 

  • We used the Arduino cookbook to get help with the setup of the LCD.  It took us roughly about an hour to setup the LCD since it was our first time using the Solder Station.


  • We connected the LCD to the Arduino and applied some basic examples to test out the LCD.  We used the code that displayed, “Hello World” on the LCD Display.  We were also able to edit the message and make it to whatever we wanted to display. 



Ultrasonic Sonar

   We were given an Ultrasonic sensor that required basic circuit setup to function.  We used the Arduino Cookbook for the setup process.  The design is shown below:


XBEE Setup


The next step in our prototype was to build XBEE’s, wireless communication device.

  • The first step is to insert the resistors, capacitors, LED’s, etc. that are included in the XBEE package
  • Assemble everything together using the soldering station.
  • We assembled two XBEE’s using the above methods since one works as a transmitter and the other as a receiver.
  • We then connected the XBEE’s to the Arduino using the setup instruction from the Arduino Cookbook.
  • We tested to make sure that we were able to receive and send information from one terminal to the other. 


Basically, once the sensor detects the mail, it communicates with the transmitting XBEE, which then sends the information to the receiver XBEE, and then displays the information in the LCD display.  This concludes our first prototype of our senior design project.  



            We were able to transmit the information about mail arrivals on the LCD display using the XBEE’s.  We were unable to try out the 3D mapping or the GPS tracking since we didn’t have any Wheelchair to work on.  We had quite some troubles getting the XBEE to work.  We realized that the XBEE itself was not working and so next time, we will be more cautious in testing out the elements ahead of time.  We still have a long way to go, but we are all very hopeful in doing the best we can.    

Resource: O’ Reilly- Arduino Cookbook  

Team Name – Prototype I Final Report: DoorTextChecker


The goal in the long run is to make a security system that can be managed from a phone and doesn’t cost any additional monthly fees. What was made was off of an arduino board if a toggle switch is triggered a serial input is sent to a java program that will send a text message to a phone indicating that it had been changed


For the switch we went for the 5v pin to the reed switch, from that a wire went to pin 2 and a 6.8 kohm resistor. That then went to the ground pin on the micro controller. For the program the swing library was used for the gui and a visual builder and the texting was handled by the java mail api. The code is attatched. For serial communication in java the rxtxcontroller.dll was used that is included with the arduino software and the api the rxtxcomm was used and also included with the arduino software.

Arduino switch and serial code

Main class of program





Screenshot of the program sending a text





Everything worked according to plan on our project, we think that this was a good starting direction on our project. We wouldn’t do anything differently on the project except possibly had the xbees working so the arduino wasn’t tethered to the computer.  As far as solving the problem we thought we solved it efficiently and it uses the bare minimum to get the project to work.  The next goal would be to get the arduino to open and close a garage door based on whether or not the door was open and do that by either a smartphone app or by text.

[Team Omega] – Prototype I Final Report: [Steering Wheel]



The objective of this device is to measure whether or not (and at what degree) a person is grasping their steering wheel. We have a main design on how this will be done which involves measuring ultrasonic signals.

The expected result of this prototype is getting some readable data which can be used further in prototype 2.


The circuitry involves an Arduino, a wein-bridge oscillator,  1-2 amplifiers, a half-wave diode rectifier and sufficient power supplied. The Arduino will turn on/off a transistor attached to the output of the oscillator, effectively start/stopping it. The output transducer in this prototype is attached to a piece of aluminum, as is the input transducer.

Needed Materials:

RD25K2 Transducer (2)
LM386 Low Voltage Audio Power Amplifier along with the data sheet
Metal Plate
Few Jumper Wires
LED (if applicable)
Arduino Duemilanove single-board microcontroller along with the USB code
5V power supply
Relevant Arduino code

(see our forum for the code)

->Pick one RD25K2 Transducers and connect to the PWM 3 port in Arduino
->Place the negative path on same Transducer to the ground in Arduino
->Pick the other Transducer and connect to one of the i/p terminals in Arduino
->Place the negative path on same Transducer to the ground in Arduino
->Connect the positive terminal of DIODE to the V out terminal (port 5) in Audio AMP.
->Connect the negative terminal of the DIODE to the Analog IN port 0(A0) in Arduino
->Place the both ends of the Capacitor to the GAIN ports (port 1 & 8) in Audio AMP.
->Connect the V source port (port 6) of the Audio AMP to the 5V power port in Arduino
->Finally connect the Ground ports of Arduino and the Audio Amp.

Getting started:

*Connect the CKT to the 5V power supply.
*interconnect the USB cable with Arduino and your workstation (laptop)
*Start Arduino software boot loader along with the compiler from your workstation
*Copy and paste the Arduino code to the sketch board
*Verify / Compile the code
*Run the code




We achieved the original goal, seeing the output we expected to see.  We haven’t applied filtering yet. The details about our conclusions can be found on our forum under Proto 2 thread.

[ACRA] – Prototype I Final Report: [MyHomeAudio]


My Home Audio project is inspired by a subtle problem but yet it affects the quality of music listening. More and more mobile computing devices are becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Music has become an important part of our new portable life as music and media files are more accessible than ever before. This high accessibility came at the expense of the quality of sound.  

Size is one of the main design considerations for the production of mobile devices; cost and quality being the other two. Manufacturers must either compromise on the level of technology being delivered, or run up a high production cost in order not to compromise on features and size. Unfortunately, quality sound systems are not a primary feature concern for most mobile device manufacturers due to cost and size considerations.

MyHomeAudio project provides the user with the best of both worlds, allowing convenient mobility across various portable platforms. While keeping the features and conveniences a mobile device provides, a user can utilize the high quality sound and media system at home. MHA project design and implements a complete Home Media Network (HMN) that delivers portable media content across high end sound systems.


Project Objectives:

MHA project objective was to build a complete Home Audio System that allows the users to move around their house and have their music follow them from one area to the other. We have broken the building blocks of the project into three different components:

  1. Server Component: A Media Center or a Home media Server type of device that will either house all the media files or interfaces with other media devices such as DVRs, Blu-Ray players, TV/Radio Tuners and  re-serve this media content.
  2. Client Component: A mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet. The client will provide the user interface and control and will also act a locator and an identifier device
  3. Node Component: A small form factor simple computer device that will act as discovery device readers and will also act as an interface to control the Home Audio Systems (i.e. Built In Speakers).

Project Scope:

MHA Project scope was defined as follows:

Build a server side applications that can reside on a PC based Media Server that allows the following functionalities:

  • Stream Various Media content to the appropriate media node
  • Give a full user control interfaces that will have more detailed features and preference settings that will not be available on the client side.

Build a client side app. for the most popular mobile platforms, starting on Android then iOS, and perhaps Windows 8. The mobile app will be responsible for the following functions:

  • Communicating with the media nodes within a range via Bluetooth to allow the media nodes to identify the client which in turn the media node will communicate to the server giving needed information to resolve the user identity and his/her location within the Home Media Network.
  • Communicating with the Media Server via WiFi. This will allow the user control and interface to control media content as well as set some user preferences on the fly. The type of functionalities and features will confined to the most useful features needed on the go, leaving the more detailed full user preference table and rule settings as a separate web based application.

Integrate a Hardware solution that will become the Media Node(s) and develop and embedded application to interface with the system. The Media Node will have 3 main functionalities:

  • Discover any mobile client within its range
  • Communicate with server to send information about discovered users within Bluetooth range
  • Receive a media stream from the server, buffer it and output it to the Home Media System or the local speaker.

Work Conducted:

MHA Prototype I work done so far consists of the following:

Design and implementation of a Java server application that is has the following working features:

  • Communicate and stream audio files to various media nodes simultaneously.
  • Communicate and receive control commands from a mobile client on the network

Design and implementation of An Android App that has the following features and functionalities

  • Communicate with Media node
  • A Full Interface to allow for user control

Design and implementation of a single board microcontroller to act as the Media Node. Arduino prototyping platform was selected. We have utilized an Arduino UNO board with 2 Arduino shields one for Wifi and one for the Bluetooth module. We were able to accomplish the following:

  • Communicate and send messages to the server.
  • Receive a data stream from the server.


Our main challenge at this point has to do with the media node component of the project. The selected prototyping platform has severe limitation on the size of flash memory. The issue resides in the need to be able to buffer the media stream coming from the server before sending through into the output port. With only 32KB size memory, we are encountering a challenge in being able to output a correct audio stream.

Other challenges resides in the multiplicative effort needed to adapt to a wide variety of streaming formats, however we view this issue as only a matter of time resource. Same goes for the amount of features and functionalities we were able to implement from both the main system control and the client app.

Possible Solutions:

Original factors went in making the decision to adopt the Arduino as our hardware platform were the low cost,  group experience with platform, and good support. However, the buffer limitation is forcing the group to look elsewhere. We are considering some alternative hardware solutions such as an ARM based embedded system, or an Intel Atom based system. Our Major challenge will be keeping both cost and size at minimal while overcoming the limitations encountered with the Arduino.


This far we feel as a group good overall about our project. A clear vision of the project goals, scope and market potential is a strong enough motivation for us to continue further on expanding the MHA project.

Our Future improvement/expansion goals for the project can be summarized in the following:

  • Resolve node to speaker output streaming issue by selecting a more suitable platform while retaining per node cost as low as possible
  • Expand on the amount of features offered on the client app
  • Develop a versatile main control user interface that allows for setting users setting preference and allow for full customization of control behavior
  • Expand to multiple mobile platforms such as iphone and Windows 8 devices.
  • Expand the design to allow for the Media Server to server content from other external devices including mobile clients.
  • Expand the MyHomeAudio project to allow for Video Streaming as well (MyHomeMedia). This will allow users to stream their live or recorder Video media right to their mobile client.

Source Code:

SAMOV – Prototype I Final Report: Touch Projector


Team SAMOV is working on an interesting device – “The Touch Projector”.  The product is a touch capable projector that can work on any flat surface without the need for a special screen or external sensors.  This projector can be used by anyone and for multiple purposes. This projector can be used for:

Presentations at meetings or seminars
Class room instructions
Recipe look-up while cooking


For our first prototype we decided to use the following to create small scale version of what we are trying to achieve :
6 Sharp Analog Distance sensors – GP2Y0A02YK0F

The 6 sensors are lined up to cover an area of 9 inches wide and 0-6 inches away. The sensors pick up the distance of the object in its way and give us an output numerically (cm) in Arduino’s serial monitor and an output graphically via “Processing”.

The 6 sensors are each connected into the analog inputs A0 – A5 of the Arduino. The Arduino was connected via USB to a laptop which processed the outputs with the help of a program. These outputs were then outputted in corresponding general location in cm. and represented graphically to show the purpose of the prototype 1.

Code : PrototypeICode





Prototype Schematic:
Simulated Outputs : 
Sharp Analog Distance Sensor Schematic:







The prototype detected the distance of objects in the area covered by the sensors and displayed a numerical output. This still needs to be improved for covering a larger area such as a wall and not just the dimensions covered at present though this is a problem for us since our distance sensor readings are not accurate enough. A projector will be incorporated into the current setup so as to enable projection of images. We will also need to work on the “touch” aspect of the product to make it usable for the purposes it is intended for.

[Team Name] – Prototype I Final Report: [Title of Project]


Team 2 of the steering wheel sensor has been working toward the goal set about a month ago, to develop a  sensor that would be placed under a car steering wheel, to help drives focus on the road.  the objective is , as a seat belt, make drives keep hands on the steering wheel when driving. This device made of capacitor and integrated circuit (Arduino) is  designed to be sensitive to motion. The implementation of this device is intended to use a motion to close and open the electrical circuit design with the Arduino and  a capacitor to turn an LED on once the driver let go on the steering wheel.


The project is to come out with a Prototype  that can well describe the final product that we will present  next semester. After searching for many days we finally found a steering wheel that fits perfectly to our design. We used Arduino and a capacitor as a circuit integrated, all hooked everything to an LED that comes on and off. The touch of  the steering wheel creates a signals, the software loaded allows the Arduino to pick up that signals and outputs it by modifying the state of the LED.




We run into a lot of trouble finding the proper materials to use to complete this prototype.  we could not get rid of the external ground from the arduino. Also had an issue setting up the timing on the Arduino, in addition; Writting and uploading the software to Arduino in order to give  more sensibility to the steering wheel and get the LED to light properly. The next step in the project is to mount the wheel on his stand and check all calibrations.