UMass Amherst Engineering Students Display Inventions at Annual Senior Design Project Day April 24

AMHERST, Mass. – Engineering students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst will display their electronic inventions at the 25th annual Senior Design Day on Friday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gunness Engineering Student Center in Marcus Hall.

The 21 teams of seniors from the electrical and computer engineering department have projects ranging from those that help the blind, create a “smart kitchen,” offer digital exercise advice and an aerial camera for following action sports. There is also a wearable video camera for police, a brainwave-controlled robotic car, a virtual piano, a blast-impact measuring device for soldiers, and an indoor tracking device for emergency personnel such as firemen working in dangerous buildings.

The Senior Design Project provides a crowning experience for undergraduate ECE students. They work in teams of four during a year-long course to design and build systems of their own conception. Each team has a faculty advisor from the department, and projects undergo four formal reviews before faculty evaluators. The learning goals for the senior design project include technical design, an understanding of realistic constraints, teaming societal impact, and much more.

One project is BluEye, a virtual navigation application that safely guides a blind or visually impaired person through unfamiliar indoor and outdoor environments. The system uses a mobile application that communicates with Bluetooth low energy beacons to establish user location and provide voice instructions to a specified destination.

Sudo Chef, creates a virtual “smart kitchen” with an application that can keep track of the ingredients stocked in a kitchen, find recipes, manage shopping and guide the user through the process of cooking. Sudo Chef integrates the stovetop, oven, microwave and mobile device into a single cooking experience.

The Digital Fitness Trainer is a piece of exercise equipment combined with wearable technology that will allow athletes to do strength training with a reduced risk of injury. The Digital Fitness Trainer’s software warns users of improper form or alerts them when they are reaching the fatigue threshold and could risk an increased danger of injury.

There is also “Otto,” a system based on a camera-equipped quadcopter that automatically follows and videotapes a user performing an individual action sport. By maintaining a visual lock on the user during his or her performance, Otto is able to capture the entire experience through an onboard high-resolution video camera.