Senior Capstone Projects Summary for the 2013-14 Academic Year
The objective is for a wireless device to monitor oxygen concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Measurements from NIRS devices show real-time changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin correlate a user’s attention level. This technology has a wide range of applications: safety precautions for air traffic controllers, education software for children with ADHD, patients with sleep apnea, and older adults with Alzheimer’s.
The Red Team members, along with three computer science doctoral students, were awarded the 2014 Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize, which is awarded annually to student teams that demonstrate exceptional interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit.
Steinway and Sons Company funded this project with the objective to integrate functionality of digital keyboards and music software with the preferred authentic feel of an acoustic piano. The challenge is to monitor the keystroke mechanism with force sensors to obtain expressive motion data. The data is used to perform MIDI conversion for authentic sound reproduction. The technology must function with low latency, integrate musical expressiveness, and install hardware unobtrusively to acquire the motion data.
Stephen Akaeze, Chima Chiamaka
Indoor High-Speed “LIFI” Network Based on Optical WDM:
Data communications has bandwidth bottlenecks in many applications especially in indoor environments. The solution explored in this project is to eliminate the data transfer traffic challenges for mobile devices in indoor settings using Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM). The technique delivers a higher aggregated data transfer rate by exploiting energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LED) to construct a dual-purpose lighting system providing illumination control and optical wireless communication. Security environments may benefit as eavesdropping is more difficult as line of sight is required to monitor the data signals.
Preschool-aged children need to sequence to read and acquire academic knowledge. Sequencing is the ability to recognize patterns. Preschool children utilize toys to learn about the world and how to interact with it. This project is to design and build several toys that interact with the five senses, introduce challenges to promote sequencing, and to make children interrelate to their environment sooner.
The objective of this project is to develop a noise-cancelling iPhone app that could serve as a low-cost alternative to expensive headphones. The app is specifically designed for the Apple iPhone using the Apple Earbuds accessory. The algorithm predicts the noise the user is hearing at each ear utilizing a mathematical model of nearby ambient noise. This implementation of noise cancelling has wide applicability to reduce undesired noise to improve productivity or enhance leisure, e.g., airplanes, air conditioning units, and traffic sounds from nearby highways.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants through water-based nutrient solutions without soil. This project designed a data model and algorithm to monitor the hydroponic environment of plants to facilitate and optimize their health and growth. The self-contained system incorporates user observations to care for plants via the Internet. A database stores user feedback and history of control states for data visualization and to provide information to the learning algorithm. Optimization is achieved by utilizing plant state history and growth parameters according to gradient decent algorithm. The application is intended for people in urban settings and confined spaces that desire to growth plants and vegetables.
Delay-tolerant networking (DTN) seeks to remove the technical challenges in data networks that do not have necessary continuous connectivity between nodes. Mobile networks are the focus of this investigation. Service interruption often occurs due to the range of wireless radio devices and the sparse distribution of the mobile nodes. This project sought to design an autonomous electric vehicle able to locate a stationary charging station to re-charge itself through the use of a DTN. The vehicle finds the charging station after obtaining the station’s GPS coordinates through the DTN from other mobile nodes and then uses image-processing techniques to locate the charger ports on the station. The entire processing takes place in a mobile app that relays the data signals to a microcontroller that operates the vehicle.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Flight control is achieved through autonomous onboard microcontrollers or via a remote ground-based pilot. UAVs are primarily utilized for military operations, but a growing number of civil applications—surveillance, police and fire, and dangerous tasks. The goal of the project is to implement a risk detection system on a UAV platform. Custom radiation detection via a high voltage converter circuit provides real-time environment data to the operator. The application is to enable rapid response teams to reduce response times while acquiring actionable intelligence about the environment.
Technology is rapidly approaching the physical limits on transistor size making the speed and cost of computing improvements via reducing transistor size impossible. Three state logic, rather than two state logic, is proposed as a way to reduce speed, power consumption, and cost of computing due to less data lines required and simplicity of computing algorithms. In this project, ternary logic is explored in the form of an 8-bit calculator ALU capable of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of two numbers.
Powder Blue Team
Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children (eSWYC):
This project implements a web-site front end to an electronic system created by clinicians at Tufts Medical School for the collection of survey data of young children. Birth to sixty months is a critical time in the wellbeing of human beings. Early detection of development, behavior, and cognitive function problems supports practitioners in the care and treatment to these young patients. The system has two separate user interfaces: 1) for parents to create an account, log in, register their children and enter survey data; and 2) for pediatrician and clinicians to view the data through tabular or graphical charts.
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