Senior Capstone Projects Summary for the 2014-15 Academic Year

Introduction to the 2014-2015 Capstone Projects

Red Team

Cody Chen, Dong Park, Bryan Zhang

UAV Navigation System (NaviSys)

The project focuses on creating a modular program to autonomously guide the Parrot AR Drone to a destination. The aim is to provide a lower cost quadcopter alternative to hobbyists and academics who can employ this autonomous drone for video and image collection, rather than the drone market mostly dominated by military and large private corporations. The main components are: quadcopter, Arduino Yun microcontroller, digital compass, GPS, and Linux module. The latter interacts with the drone’s built-in functionalities. As drones popularity increases, ethical questions are rising as to who is responsible in accidents involving autonomous drones, and what are the privacy constraints of the drones. Future steps may involve creating a more intuitive interface. One such interface might draw upon Google Maps API for user-selected destinations and an app performing object detection for autonomous flight.

Orange Team

Cooper Loughlin (with Jonathan Gilad, Computer Science)

Visually Programmable Audio Effect Processor

The objective of this project is to design and build a graphically programmable audio effects processing platform that will consist of a software interface and a physical effect pedal for use by musicians. A “drag-and-drop” software interface will allow the user to combine audio processing blocks in various schemes in order to create unique effects such as reverb, distortion, and delay. The created effect will then be transferred to the pedal, which can be used in performance to process an instrument. The intended user is one who is interested in developing digital audio effects, but lacks the necessary computer programming experience. The value of the project is to provide a unique solution for musicians seeking to create their own sound.

Yellow Team

William Lenk, Michael Nuzzolo, Ean Wong

Wireless EEG for Neuromonitoring

The goal of this project is to create a wireless encephalography headset for real time read-out of low frequency neuronal signals in the frontal cortex of the brain. The headset features custom dry electrodes, a custom front end system for amplification, digitization, and a Bluetooth chip for wireless communication to a nearby computer or smart phone. At the nearby device, plots of the neuronal signals are generated in real time, and data is exported to signal processing software where relevant spectral analysis is displayed. The key novelty and value in this system is the use of dry electrodes and wireless data transmission for minimal user discomfort. A relatively low cost, wireless EEG system is of high interest to the neuro-feedback market—a technique in which EEG is utilized to help train the brain to better regulate the body—and for markets interested in brain-machine or brain-computer interfaces.

Green Team

Jacob Rosenberg (with Nathaniel Tenczar, Computer Science)

Environment Process Sensing

This project is to design and build a sophisticated wireless sensor control system to measure the density of a two-phase fluid. The commercial application is the monitor the fermentation process of beer for the home brewery market. The novel density measurement method allows the presentation of real-time data about the brew to users. More predictable and more consistent product yields are expected when using this system.

Blue Team

Nicholas Andre, Andrew Carp, Karman Chu, Connor Cunningham, Steven Howard, Katherine Levinson

3D Synthetic Aperture Radar on a UAV

The goal of this project is to implement synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The system will integrate radar scans and positional data to generate 3D imagery for potential military reconnaissance and natural disaster aid. The UAV platform has the potential to host other imaging technologies and data processors, as well as to operate autonomously in swarm-bot configuration.

Purple Team

Christopher Rodriguez, Kyle Slinger, David Wiegard

Solar Insolation Calibration Device

Solar energy is a field of increasing interest as the world starts looking towards renewable sources of energy. Current technology allows for power readings of the sun to be taken statically at one angle at one time of day—a statistic that is not representative of the abundance of energy that the sun can provide. This product is a 6-inch radius, hemispheric dome covered in 256 evenly spaced light-sensing photoresistors able to record the power of the sun at all angles and all times throughout the day. The device requires an external power source, but is itself weatherproof and shields the electrical components inside its hollow core. The data collected could be used for a number of applications; for example, having a feedback system for solar panels to rotate to face the most powerful rays of the sun, or for individuals to more accurately model how much energy and money they can expect to save by installing their own solar panels.

Infrared Team

Ryan Doughtery, Shitoshna Nepal (with Jimmy Bonish, Computer Science; Emily Eng, Computer Science; Bernita Ling, Computer Science; Emily Taintor, Engineering Psychology).

Smart Objects / Table

This project involves combining a touch interface enabled “Smart Table” with “Smart Objects” that use wireless communication to create an interactive 2D surface. The table surface serves as the display while the objects interact with the computer underneath the table to alter what is displayed in response to physical commands from the user such as pressing buttons or turning dials. The interactivity made possible by this setup is then used in a middle school classroom setting to educate students about concepts in physics. For this purpose, several multi-player games have been designed that require understanding of basic physics. It is hoped that this approach will lead to improved education experience for students as well as greater flexibility for teachers.

Lavender Team

Alice Lee, Stephen Panaro, Courtney Won

Smartphone RFID Reader and Writer: Improving Healthcare in UN Refugee Camps

In refugee camps, it is difficult to track patient information because refugees frequently move between camps and medical clinics. Working with doctors from Harvard, this project develops a solution that will allow patients to carry their medical information on a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. The smartphone (or table) and associated device allow physicians to read and write information to RFID tags storing relevant patient data. This lowers the cost to care and monitor transient patients in a chaotic environment.

Platinum Team

Bradley Frizzell, Cornell Wilson

Real World Measurements from Stereo Imaging

The objective is to design and implement a stereoscopic camera and user interface for obtaining real world measurements from pictures. The project allows a user to take a photo of their surroundings, and then open the photo on their computer and obtain as many measurements of interest as they desire from a single stereo image pair. This project has many possible future applications in computer vision, such as giving human-like sight to robots, 3D security cameras, and mobile devices.