Need Ideas on Choosing a Senior Design Project

Thread Starter

Gerardog2000

Joined Jan 23, 2015
13
Hello everybody,
Forgive me if I am posting this in the incorrect place. I am an Electrical Engineering Technology student and I need some help. I am a senior and am taking a senior design project class. I was excited all last semester about this class but now I’m starting to feel like I may not get as much out of it as I originally thought.

Usually, each group is given a project to design and then implement by an advisor. My group was given a project to design (op-amp tester) but have also been given the choice of coming up with another project if it solves a real world problem or improves upon a current idea. The reason that I am looking for a different project is because this op-amp tester idea doesn’t really excite me. I have been trying to come up with ideas all day but I am currently coming up empty. My interests are PLCs, microcontrollers, electronics, and programming. I was thinking something along the lines of home automation but am now feeling that it is probably a bit overdone. Anybody out there have any good ideas for a senior design project? Any ideas are most welcome.

Thank you all for your time.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
Yes. We've had a few requests for that lately and most of them were thwarted by the multitude of batteries to consider.
This seems to qualify as, "solves a real world problem".
 

Thread Starter

Gerardog2000

Joined Jan 23, 2015
13
Thank you for the reply. We will be meeting with our advisor this coming Thursday and I will present all these ideas to him. As #12 mentioned, this issue is a huge one. One that I don't believe that we have the resources to solve for this project. None of my group members have much, if any experience with the different batteries and their respective technologies. Thank you though for taking the time to respond.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
Just to make it harder, I'm not AS interested in state-of-charge (SOC) as I am in capacity. Rechargeable batteries lose capacity over time but it's very hard to judge how bad they are until they simply won't hold a charge at all. Otherwise, you put them in a charger and in a few minutes they can appear to work just fine. You have to run them down or let them sit a few days to tell if they are really working. SOC is nice and is part of the story, but it's not the whole story.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
Or a million other projects the OP might consider instead. ;)

How about a smart pet door, one that can recognize the animals that are allowed to pass from those that are not. With a 4-position lock; full closed, full open, in only, out only. Better still, add internet connectivity so I can tell when Porky has come home from wherever I am.
 

Thread Starter

Gerardog2000

Joined Jan 23, 2015
13
Or a million other projects the OP might consider instead. ;)

How about a smart pet door, one that can recognize the animals that are allowed to pass from those that are not. With a 4-position lock; full closed, full open, in only, out only. Better still, add internet connectivity so I can tell when Porky has come home from wherever I am.
I like this idea. I had thought of something similar a while ago but it just slipped my mind. Like I said, I will run these ideas by our adviser to see if he would prefer one of these or if he still would prefer the op-amp tester.

Another idea that I thought of after the pet door example is a smart brake that I thought of a while ago. Maybe it's already out there. I was thinking some sort of smart brake for automobiles. I am not very familiar with automobiles but I know that currently when you are at a stop light, you have to keep the brake pedal pressed down with your foot. What if the brake pedal locked in place when you reach 0mph and you could move your foot to the gas pedal. As soon as you pressed on the gas, the brake pedal would release. There are several advantages to this system, I think. Increased performance, if somebody falls asleep at the wheel, the car would not move, along with other safety advantages. I realize that there would also be safety hazard s with these but they can be fixed. For example, we can eliminate accidental brake presses when there is an obstacle in front by employing a camera in the front of the car. What do you guys think? Is this brake pedal idea already out there?
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
That's an interesting idea. On the way home from the birth of my first child, I fell asleep at a stop sign (it was a long night!) and was creeping into the intersection. I was awakened by a semi horn and a moving wall of truck in front of me. The adrenalin got me the rest of the way home. I couldn't help but think about my daughter almost losing her dad that day.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
In the UK (at least) you would fail if you did that during the official driving test ;).
Don't worry. In the U.S. you fail your driving test for any life threatening move.
In fact, I failed a driving test because I used the mirrors!
I was used to driving trucks, so I didn't turn my head way around to see beside me. I used the double mirrors that I had attached to the van I was driving. The proctor did not understand that you can't see through the side of a truck, so all truck drivers always use their mirrors. He failed me.

Safe enough for you?
 
Last edited:

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
In the UK (at least) you would fail if you did that during the official driving test ;).
Fail for keeping your foot on the brake? On what grounds?

An impact from the rear might be slightly mitigated if your car can absorb it by moving forward, but you would be pushed into the intersection, which could be far worse. And what if you're on a hill?
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
That's crazy. In the U.S., the chances of the handbrake actually working are very low, and I'd wager that many drivers (ie. women) don't even know they have one.

Any idea what the reasoning is, for having the brake on and tranny in neutral? Maybe so that your foot doesn't slip off the clutch and lurch you into the intersection?
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,630
The OP should hurry to design a brake to stop the derailing of his thread. :p :p

Me too, I fell asleep twice, after stopping at the same traffic lights, with few weeks difference, when driving back to home. At that time I used to spend around 30 hours awake to complete a vessel that seemed to last forever...:( No more now. No more. :)
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
I'm afraid that no amount of Laws or microprocessors can compensate for falling asleep while driving.
Just quit doing that or Darwin will get you!
 
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