Samples of projects run out of the Sears Undergraduate Design Laboratory

Servo-Centered Laser - class design project

This is one of the weekly projects for “Applied Circuit Design”, EECS 397. Students were provided with a laser pointer mounted on a gearmotor, and a solar cell. They were required to design a servo control which would rotate the motor to search for the solar cell. Once the cell was detected, the control was to drive the motor until the laser beam was pointed at the exact center of the cell. Most students used analog circuitry, an H-bridge motor driver, and proportional control.

Toaster Control - class design project

This was another project for EECS 397. The students were given a toaster (with electronics removed) and were assigned the task of designing their own µP-based controller. Most groups used a PIC processor, and triacs to drive the heater and solenoid. Students were required to use a tranformerless power supply, so power consumption was important.

FPGA Motor Controller - class design project

This project aims to design a bi-directional motor control for a ~20HP brushed DC motor for a formula hybrid student competition vehicle. The electric motor will be used to augment an internal combustion engine as well as for regenerative braking. Energy recovered from braking will be stored in a large(many farad) capacitor bank which can later be used for acceleration. To accomplish this a bi-directional buck-boost architecture is used. An FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is used to manage all aspects of the motor control.

Musical Tesla Coil - extra-curricular project

A team of students and alumni created a musical tesla coil to perform along-side local musicians, actors, and dancers at the 2009 Ingenuity Festival. Read more at the Tesla Orchestra website.