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Electrical Engineering (1st)

These projects are at the midpoint of a two-semester sequence.  They are not completed.

Rainfall Detection and Alarm System


Sponsor: Ingram Ready Mix

Student Team Bravo: Michael Rodriguez, Alison Chan, Darryl Balderas

Student Team Charlie: Jeff Kilgore, Tyler Shafer, Matt Smith

Faculty Advisor: Dr. William Stapleton

This design project will create a sensor system that is used for optimizing the current process of the Discharge Monitor Reading. The current methodology is composed of the technician visually detecting rainfall to conduct the DMR. Our implementation will consist of a microcontroller that will detect the duration of rainfall and wirelessly transmit a signal to the alarm system. The stand-alone alarm system uses visual and audible notification to prompt the technician to extract discharge samples. This will increase work productivity by automating rainfall detection.

R5 Robotics Competition


Sponsor: IEEE

Student Team Delta: Eric Foote, David Vasquez, Jorge Villalobos

Student Team Echo: Geovanni Hernandez, Woodrow Bogucki, Davis Votra

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Larry Larson

The 2017 IEEE R5 Robotics competition is comprised of student teams which design, implement, and program autonomous robots charged with multiple tasks. Each team will research which combination of sensors and microcontrollers will best suit their needs. The present challenges include tunnel detection and mapping, obstacle detection and avoidance, “cache” detection and mechanical manipulation, algorithm development, and computer vision. The challenge will be timed, and carefully judged over three increasingly difficult configurations of the field to be mapped.

Machine Vision Burr Detection


Sponsor: Hunt & Hunt Ltd.

Student Team: David Ikemba, Justin Jordan, Thuong Nguyen

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Fred Chen

This design project will create an automated method for detecting burrs on machined parts. In the process of machining parts burrs can be generated that must be removed in the finished product. The current detection and removal method relies heavily upon manual inspection. By successfully demonstrating a machine vision burr detection system, the process can be fully automated thus freeing up a person for more productive tasks. This design will employ a machine vision system, and digital image processing algorithms, to positively identify burrs and verify they have been removed after being processed.

Turbo Installation Manipulator


Sponsor: Caterpillar Inc.

Student Team: Aron Hoffman, Steven Binkley, Nick Manrique

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Casey Smith

The Caterpillar Inc. engine manufacturing facility located in Seguin, Texas produces large diesel engines for generator and vehicle use. One step of the manufacturing process requires a manipulator arm to pick up and translate large turbos into the appropriate position and location on the engines. This project will optimize this particular device for shorter process times, a safer work environment, and fewer installation errors caused by operator error.

Orion Heat Shield Spectrometer – Application Software


Sponsor: NASA

Student Team: Leanna Francesca Williams, Jeff Meehan, Steven Starnes

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Semih Aslan

The Orion Heat Shield Spectrometer (OHSS) Application Software is designed to take data gathered from the OHSS on the Orion spacecraft and create a multitude of representations for the user(s) to analyze the data. The team, along with the faculty advisor are developing various components of the MATLAB code to achieve the needs of the NASA team for what they’re looking for in this application. The software will be able to provide the following information: statistical summaries, movie displays of the spectral movement, data smoothing and filtering, and a series of other visual representations for the NASA team. The program will be able to run on Windows 7, using MATLAB and requiring no other installation of programs onto the users' computer(s). The overall goal is for NASA to be able to implement this software for their next flight of the Orion spacecraft.

SDR Band Output Test Apparatus


Sponsor: FlexRadio Systems

Student Team: Zachary Gonzalez, Yusuf Agoro, Jonathan Tavira

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Harold Stern

The SDR band output test apparatus will serve as an I/O go-between by reading test outputs for a range of different frequencies from a software-defined radio, performing an analysis on the output data stream, and feeding that analysis back into the SDR. Since the radio can remotely run its own test software, the apparatus will allow for a fully-automated troubleshooting process that greatly increases time efficiency by reducing or eliminating the downtime between customer and vendor. This device will replace the current, slower and less efficient test process of manually tuning a transceiver to different frequency ranges to find errors in the SDR.

FRDM Trainer Board


Sponsor: Ingram School of Engineering

Student Team: Jose Luis Lacavex, Admir Husejnovic, Jacoby Pierce

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. William Stapleton

This project will design and create a printed circuit board to be used as a training platform in conjunction with several NXP Freedom Microprocessors (formerly Freescale). The hardware components on the board will include general I/O capabilities, SPI, PWM, MOSI/MISO interfacing, character and seven-segment LCD’s as well as DC motor and power regulation chips among many others. The trainer board will allow the KL46Z, K64, KW24 and KL25Z microcontrollers to be interfaced with an all-in-one platform with all necessary tools needed in general MCU applications. Our final product will streamline future-student’s skillsets and comprehension of microcontrollers and the peripherals associated with them.

Implementation of a Database


Sponsor: Continental Automotive Systems

Student Team: Adam Traxler-MacDonough, Taylor Henry, Allen Roy, Dave Barth

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Heping Chen

This project shall implement a database that collects data regarding a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and a Universal UR-10 robotic arm. Information containing types of faults the robot encountered throughout its tasks and any logic error that the PLC might contain will be collected and stored in the database. This will be beneficial because the current process does not accommodate previous knowledge of issues or problems. By having the database, a person will know about any issues prior to approaching the robot. This will save time and money by allowing for troubleshooting of the robot before being on site.

Industrial Safety with Hexiwear


Sponsor: NXP Semiconductors

Student Team: Gregory Folker, Natalie Thornton, Marco Melcio

Faculty Advisor: Dr. William Stapleton

The goal of this project is to help develop a prototype for a sensor system using the Hexiwear hardware and associated "click" sensor modules. This sensor system will have the ability to detect numerous gases such as carbon monoxide and methane, and then transmit the data via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to a cloud server that will store and graph the data. If there is an immediate threat, the device will trigger an alarm similar to that of a fire alarm system. The team will also design and build an extension PCB in order to include more sensors and make the device more universal. With this system, companies will be able to better ensure the safety of their workers by having the ability to constantly monitor the air quality within their industrial environments.

Hexiwear Sensor IoT


Sponsor: NXP Semiconductors

Student Team: Dean Britt, Ashley Drost, Taylor Helton

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Semih Aslan

This project will use the Hexiwear sensor and docking station to create a beneficial product to increase safety for elderly people. The Hexiwear pod contains an Optical Heart Rate Monitor, Accelerometer and Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Temperature, Humidity, Light and Pressure sensors and has Bluetooth capability. The goal of this project is to create a device that will monitor the user’s health and safety. By using the optical heart rate monitor plus the accelerometer and magnetometer features, the Hexiwear sensor will determine when the heart rate is too high, too low or if the wearer has fallen. If any of these cases occur, a message will be sent to the watch requesting that the wearer indicate that they are safe and they will have a certain amount of time to respond. Failure to do so will trigger the watch to send a signal via Bluetooth to the Hexiwear app on the user’s phone to contact emergency personnel. The GSM click will be able to supply the current location of the user.

Power Integration for Solar Car


Sponsor: Ingram School of Engineering

Student Team: Isai Hernandez, Austin Block, Kyle Fishbeck

Faculty Advisor: Nathan England

The Power Integration for Solar Car project involves the design and fabrication of a working electrical system targeted for a solar car so that Texas State can compete in the American Solar Challenge. This cross-country time/distance rally event is driven entirely by solar-powered cars. Solar energy captured through the array will be stored in a battery pack which will then drive the entire electrical system. Voltage regulators along with pulse width modulators will be used for control purposes. Active monitoring of several electrical parameters will be employed and displayed to the driver.