EXPO Winner_ECE Innovation Award

A team of ECE students brought home a handful of awards for their senor design project. The team of Anthony Bertini, Dennis Goad, Nataliya Belyaeva, and Ryan Maurella were one of only two teams to win The Office of Technology Management Award for Innovation during the 28th Annual UIC Engineering Senior Design Expo on April 21, 2017, at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. The team picked up the award and $500 for their project Erebus: Automatic Gunfire Detection System.

The team also received a first-place Globe Award for the project. During the expo, the students competed against 130 projects, which were presented by more than 500 students.

The Erebus system is a device that will automatically recognize a gunshot and contact the authorities just like a fire alarm. The system continuously monitors sound levels and infrared light signatures. Using this data, it will determine if a gun has been fired. With the use of quick reference LED indicators, the system’s status will be shown.

There are outdoor gunshot detection systems available, but these systems use a triangulation method to pinpoint a shooter and have limited effectiveness indoors. Our proposed solution would be fully functional indoor system that effectively uses dual sampling to identify a gunshot.

“I was pleased that they won both of these awards as they worked very hard in making their project into a real product,” said ECE Clinical Associate Professor Vahe Caliskan, who was the team’s advisor and also guided one of the 2016 Innovation Award winners. “I met with the students in my office and we discussed different aspects of the designs and what it would take to construct and demonstrate the product.”

Additional projects to win Globe Awards at the expo included CAN based Traction Control for SAE Formula Car, Design of an Automatic Ping Pong Scoreboard, and Product Name “LayZe.”

Second Place Honorable Mention projects were IOT Portable Climate Controller, Solar Tracking and Monitoring, and Sleep Alert.

New Priemer Senior Design Award

Earlier in the school year, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering awarded the inaugural Priemer Senior Design Award to four senior design teams

The award, which is named after the donor and ECE Associate Professor Emeritus Roland Priemer, added $400 to each teams’ design budgets. All of the teams demonstrated the potential for an exceptional design project, which encapsulates the team’s knowledge of electrical and computer engineering.

The winners were Dennis Goad, Nataliya Beliayeva, Ryan Maurella, and Anthony Bertini for the Erebus: Automatic Gunfire Detection System (see description above); Giovanni Martinez and Daniel Diaz for Product Name LayZe; Nikola Jovic, Irineo Medina, Roderick Pahati, Genaro Rodriguez, and Andrzej Wsol for Smart Board Rack, and Matthew Goralka, Daniel Lauritzen, Steven Leib, and Nicholas, Zachary for Triplexer.

The purpose of Product Name LayZe is to create an efficient and cost-effective radio-controlled lawn mower for people who cannot or do not want to operate heavy machinery. The team designed it so anyone can use the machine without any more preparation than reading the user manual. The user interface is simple with buttons for basic commands and connectivity, and the lawn mower has wireless capabilities, which will allow for a remote control to be connected to the lawn mower.

The team’s long-term goal for this project is for the lawn mower to be completely autonomous. This will allow the mower to inform the user of when the grass needs to be cut and the user must do is set a schedule.

The goal of Smart Board Rack is to implement public board racks to provide an ideal solution to skateboard storage and theft prevention. Smart cards will ensure only registered users can interact with the rack. A mechanical locking mechanism per board slot will ensure each skateboard is properly secured. If a would-be thief were to tamper with the owner’s skateboard, then the rack’s onboard computer will immediately notify the owner via the web app that their skateboard’s safety is in jeopardy.

The aim of The Triplexer: Expressive Musical Foot Controller project is to develop a foot controller that allows for intuitive, simultaneous and independent control over three musical parameters using only one foot.

The team’s device measures the weight distribution of the user on a foot-sized platform using load cells, and an embedded system allows user-configurable scaling and routing of that information to outputs compatible with MIDI or Open Sound Control over USB. In many cases, The Triplexer device may be used as a direct replacement for existing pedals, but with simultaneous multi-parameter control, which has a wide range of potential applications.

“Our students continue to design innovative projects that address today’s engineering challenges,” said ECE Department Head Rashid Ansari. “The intent of these projects is to provide students with the experience and skills to be successful after they graduate from UIC.”

By David Staudacher, UIC

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