Tag Archives: class projects

Electronics and Microcontrollers

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 9 November 2014

No… I am not an electrical engineer. But being an Engineering Technology and Management student, I receive a good taste of electronics and programming. In the final project for my electronics and microcontrollers class, we are creating a robot that is completely autonomous. The robot will drive forward until it reaches an obstacle which is sensed by an ultrasonic sensor. At this point the robot will reverse and the ultrasonic sensor will turn left and right, using a servo, sensing for more obstructions and determine which direction to turn and continue forward.

Mini Electric Car

This project is based on an Arduino microcontroller which is a platform programmable in the C computer language. It can accept digital and analog input signals from components such as switches and sensors and then process this data to command outputs for components such as motors, servos and lights. All of this is powered by a pack of 4 AA batteries fed through a voltage regulator providing a constant 5V to feed the Arduino.

Although you could probably tell from my past blogs I am more of a mechanical than an electrical person, but I’ve really been enjoying this class and especially this project as I have been learning a lot about how many of the devices in our everyday life work that you don’t really think about.

Applying Lean Methods on Campus

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 4 November 2014

One of the classes I’m taking this semester is ETM 4320 which is Lean Enterprise Methods, its main focus being Lean Engineering. For those of you who may not be sure what Lean Engineering is, it is essentially the practice of eliminating as much waste from a production process as possible. The lecture portion of this class is already complete; however, the remainder of the semester is going to be spent working on our group project.

We are assigned to choose any business in the Athens area and implement the Lean methods that we learned in class to the business, granted that we have the business’s approval. Our group chose The Front Room coffee shop in Baker Center; other groups chose Whit’s and a local body shop.

Some of the things we may try and change include anything from the layout of their equipment, how many employees they have per shift, what role each employee is going to take, and the line used to take the customers’ orders.

Work on the project is going to begin right away as there is a lot of data we must collect on the Front Room. One of the first things we are going to study is the process to make a cup of coffee. This may seem like a very simple task, but there are a lot of components that go into making one cup of coffee. We consider the beginning of the process right when the customer places the order; the process then concludes as soon as the cup is in the customer’s hand. We will be taking a look at all of the steps in between to determine where we can cut down on time to get the product to you quicker.

Hopefully by the end of this semester we will be able to work out all of the kinks in the operations so that the customer’s experience is improved. We should even be able to save them some money, which could mean lower prices for us?!?!?

Lean Enterprise Methods

Eric Abboud

Eric Abboud,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 5 December 2013 – This fall semester I decided to take an elective within my major called “Lean Enterprise Methods.” The class curriculum revolved around the concept that a workplace can operate smoothly and more efficiently if all the waste is removed from the system. This waste is defined as anything within a system that doesn’t add value to the final product; it can be in the form of time, physical objects, transportation, over-processing, etc.

I know it sounds kind of dry, and it was at times, but it was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. I really feel like I can go into my future job and add value to any process. This new-found confidence was largely in part due to the hands on group projects that were completed throughout the semester. Our first project was an in-class lab where we simply tried to improve the efficiency of a calzone production line. However, the other two labs actually required us to go out and find clients in Athens and remove waste from an actual work environment. One was in AutoZone and the other was Jackie O’s, a local brewery.

Jackie O's

The brewery was really cool! We had access to entire brewery and met with the owner and brew master on a weekly basis. They were unbelievably helpful and actually excited to work with us. By the end of the project my group had created a proper value stream map for the production of Mystic Mama, Jackie O’s famous IPA. The value stream map was merely one of the many documents that I will be adding to my portfolio!

Summer GCP Project in Greece

Daron DiSabato

Daron DiSabato,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 September 2013 – This summer was a long and very busy one. Immediately following the completion of spring semester, I had the pleasure of spending the month of May in Northern Greece. Through the Ohio University College of Business’ Global Consulting Program (GCP), a group of OU students and I traveled to Thessaloniki to work on a joint business and engineering consulting internship with a local Greek company. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, home to just over 1,000,000 people, and is located along the coast of the Thermaic Gulf.

Our mixed team of Greek and American students was paired with an elevator manufacturing company that had an impressive fabrication facility and showroom located just outside of the city. We were assigned the task of researching new technologies in lift interior compartments as well as researching strategies for the company to expand their business into northern Baltic countries.

One of our most well received recommendations to the company was to integrate a touch screen display in the lift cabin to add an innovative touch to the lift experience. The purpose of the system would be to give elevator riders quick access to information such as local weather forecasts, stock figures, or news headlines. We suggested that the use of a Raspberry Pi microcomputer installed with the Android operating system would offer the easiest and most cost efficient method of system implementation. The company was very receptive to the idea because the use of Android software would eliminate the need to hire a full time software developer, and this type of system would set their products apart from competitors.

After completing our program, we left Thessaloniki to get some much-needed R&R in the Greek islands of Ios and Santorini. It’s one thing to see the islands in pictures and movies, but it’s an entirely different experience to see them in person. Between the breathtaking views, the crystal clear water beaches, the people and the food, I couldn’t find anything I didn’t love about Greece. The trip was truly extraordinary and I can’t wait until I can go back again!

Greece

Greece

ME Controls Project: Controller Design

Scott Kostohryz

Scott Kostohryz,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 April 2013 – As the semester winds down, projects I have been working on are coming to a close. I have just finished my Capstone for ME 3012 and will be presenting my findings with my partner. It has been a great exploration into controls, controller design and vibration analysis. I find it very exciting to be done. The use of Matlab and Simulink have been very helpful, and I am glad I have learned how to use these tools.

Ball on a Beam System

The above graphic is an example of our ball on a beam system for our Capstone. It was taken from the University of Michigan/Carnegie Mellon/University of Detroit Mercy controls and Simulink tutorials. For our project we are analyzing the system and designing a controller to keep a ball level on on a beam and balancing it. The general Idea, is we want to have the controller move the beam from an unstable position and bring the beam to a level position. This is done by taking the mass of the ball, length of the beam, angle and other parameters to account. I have found this class to be very fun, and to be able to have this project to show off is rewarding. The use of Matlab has been helpful in validating our findings.

I would like to take this knowledge and do something with controls for Senior Design next year. It is a very exciting topic. It is great to have this broad knowledge in so many subjects. I have no idea where I will be come this time next year with my Senior Design project. I am sure glad that I have this background because if my senior design requires a controller, I have the knowledge I have taken away from Dr. Bob’s ME 3013 Controls class here at Ohio University.

Highway Safety Class Project

Erica Toussant

Erica Toussant,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 26 November 2012 – A project I am finishing up for this semester is a Highway Safety project. In this class, we have been studying how to predict crashes based on elements of different types of roads, such as lane width, turning lanes, and phases of the stop lights. The project assigned is to actually perform a study and implement appropriate countermeasures to lower the number of crashes occurring at a location by 25%.

Each group had to pick a stretch of roadway that was at least a mile long and had two intersections. This roadway had to be divided into segments according to when portions of the roadway change. As an example, a speed limit change can divide a road into two segments. Our group had to go out to the roadway we chose and measure distances and fixed objects. We had to create drawings on AutoCAD in order to make collision diagrams. The next step was using online databases to find the crashes that actually occurred in 2009 and 2010. Through the actual crashes and the predicted number of crashes for these two years, we were able to predict how many crashes should have occurred throughout this year. Based on why these crashes occurred, we chose countermeasures to lower the expected number of crashes. After putting all of this together with pictures and other graphics, we have to present this project to the class and answer questions concerning our methods and reasoning.

This project is very useful to our education in this class. Sitting in class and learning how to do something is so much more different then actually doing this work ourselves. It helps to give us the confidence to conduct a study if we someday have to do this in our careers.

Kinematics Project: 4-bar Door Hinge

Scott Kostohryz

Scott Kostohryz,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2012 – This year has been very exciting and I have learned very much. One of my classes, Kinematics, has a term project everyone must complete. In groups of two, we have to choose a mechanism in which we analyze the position, velocity, acceleration, and the internal forces of this mechanism. My partner and I chose a 4-bar door hinge to analyze. We have to go through and derive all the formulas for analysis, as well as write a Matlab program that shows the motion of the door and links. The program also calculates the position, velocity, acceleration, and the internal forces inside the links.

The project has gone very well so far. As we have learned new topics throughout the semester, we have continuously been adding to our project. I have never been one to put things off till the last minute, and it has worked very well for this project. I have really enjoyed being able to look at something we see and use so often and be able to analyze and break it down and understand more about it. Below, there is an image of the mechanism my partner have been analyzing all semester.

Hinge

Dr. Bob has been a great help in completing our project and helps point us in the right direction if we need any, he wants to make sure we have a complete understanding of the topics we discuss in class. At the end of this project, we will present our findings to the rest of the class. I am looking forward to finishing our ME 3011 Capstone project and seeing what other topics have been chosen in the class.