Senior Design Project Ideas

In summary, the electronic compass would be used to locate the sound source and the central blind device would log the information.f
  • #1
I'm starting my undergrad senior design course and I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with a good project idea. The team consists of 2 EE's and 2 CpE's. Our project is supposed to take 2 semesters ( design / build and test ). I want to do something challenging and fun. Please share some thoughts or suggestions. Note we must design our own PCB.
  • #2
What are you interested in? Computers, RF, Audio...

If you are interested in getting off the beaten path, I’m writing about a cosmic ray detector based on an article by Bob Pease, “What All This Teflon Stuff, Anyhow?” The article by Bob Pease can be viewed at,1562,4,00.html [Broken]
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  • #3
and what is a CpE? :smile:
  • #4
  • #5
Not that this is interesting or even cool...but perhaps you can brainstorm off of it.

We did a digitial senior design. A parking garage that counted cars coming in and out. The cars were simulated by a credit card tripping the laser lights. When the card went one direction the LED light counter would count up. When the other direction it would count down. When the lot got to 250...the LED display would read full. When a car left it would go back to 249. This was done by programing with VHDL (state machine and so forth) and then burned on a chip...then implemented into reality.

The other people in the group set up a way to check the circuit on the internet. And it would graph throughout the day how many cars went in and out and so forth. Not sure how they did this...but they sure did.

Nothing that great about this idea...but perhaps it will spur something that is actually cool.
  • #6
Electrical Engineer + Computer Scientist = Computer Engineer (CpE)

Thanks for the idea psparky. My professor told us some one proposed that exact idea in the past and he did not allow it simply because it wasn't complex enough as it was just a counter. He did say this would be acceptable if it is was slightly more complex e.g. several cameras throughout the lot since we'd have to deal with image processing.

I'm interested in all of it to be honest it's so hard for me to choose. I will be taking a look at that article as i have never heard of a cosmic ray detector, hopefully that will spark some interesting ideas.

Edit: Thanks for your input so far guys :)
  • #7
Here's one idea since you are 4 people?

A device with a wheel and a meter. You trace a closed path and it gives you the enclosed area. ;)
  • #8
a planimeter? I wonder how challenging that would actually be
  • #9
I did not know there's already one called planimeter :D

What about this:

An electronic compass that locates things by giving the direction where you need to head to find it. The system consists of two devices, the compass and another device you attach to the object you want to find...such as a parked.

I'm just throwing ideas though I'm no expert on the requirements and what courses you need to implement such a project.

Good Luck!
  • #10
I think you're in my class Haxor, judging by your comments.

Do you go to UCF?

I as well am in the process of coming up with ideas. My (somewhat yet to be established) group has a few ideas but nothing has clicked just yet. We will probably sit down and have a brainstorming session, write some stuff on a whiteboard and hopefully come up with a cool idea.
  • #11
Here's an idea that has been floating in my head for the last week or so. How about a set of magnetic/adhesive attached wireless battery powered transducers that can be positioned around a vehicle. The transducers will measure the acoustic spectrum with a little microphone (mechanical vibrations with an accelerometer for extra credit?). They will communicate wirelessly to a central blind device plugged into your 12V outlet that logs all of the information.

Then, the information is downloaded to a computer via USB and the acoustic channels are analyzed. The user can choose to identify certain sounds with the software (frequencies, rattling, grinding, scraping, bumping, etc.) and the software will use the channels to locate the most probable area that this sound is coming from.

You could build just 2 transducers for your project as a proof of concept, but more would give more resolution. The application I'm thinking of would help me find where the awful grinding sound is coming from in my car while I drive fast without sticking my head out the window (which brake pad is completely worn out?) or identify a misaligned/worn tire by the sound it makes. It could also find rattling sounds inside the car too. Another form of this could exist in the car and give the driver an indicator light that there's something wrong before its bad enough that the driver can hear it.

So the project would be :
Hardware for transducers (PCB layout, mixed signal circuit design, wireless communication)
Hardware for the receiver (PCB layout, circuit design, wireless communication)
Firmware for the transmitters and receiver
Software for the PC application (GUI, USB interface, Signal processing).

Its one of those applications that probably does not have a market for the cost it would take to make it, but would still be useful enough that interviewers might be impressed.
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