Geek Out! CSTEM Students Demo Senior Projects

Its like a Maker Fair gone wild. A giant wood wind turbine takes up the south wall. A Gesture-Controlled Vehicle zooms around the floor between peoples legs. David Covillo explains how his team’s wireless Smart Sprinkler Head (which team member Andrew Decker 3-D printed) wastes far less water than conventional sprinklers. As opposed to just spraying everywhere in a circle, overlapping other sprinklers, or pointlessly spraying the sides of buildings, its range and path can be fine-tuned via Google Earth. Using a laptop and their user-interface, simply draw over a Google Earth view of your lawn; that data is transmitted to the sprinkler head.

Walking into the atrium was like a Maker Fair gone wild. A giant wood wind turbine takes up the south wall. A Gesture-Controlled Vehicle zooms around the floor between peoples legs. David Covillo explains how their 3-D printed (3D modeling and printing by senior Mechanical Engineer Andrew Decker), wireless, battery powered Smart Sprinkler head wastes less water than conventional sprinklers. Its nozzle can be fine-tuned for range and ultra-precise Google-Earth-mapped spray path as opposed to just spraying everywhere in a circle, overlapping other sprinklers, or pointlessly spraying the sides of buildings. Using a laptop and a user-interface, you simply draw a path over a Google Earth view of your lawn, and that data is transmitted to the sprinkler head via Bluetooth. The other benefit is their sprinkler head is hot-swappable, meaning you can easily adapt an old system without digging the lines up. Just replace traditional head with their model, everything else is controlled remotely, (though a sustainable power system is still in the works). Outside on the lawn an autonomous, auto-charging quadcopter is humming and lifting off the ground, (though tethered today for safety purposes.) Puneet Janda and Rudolph Hulse designed the MC charging station, which allows the drone to sense when it is running low on power and automatically return, dock and recharge, and then take off again. Janda says her biggest challenge was coding, and she taught herself a lot on the internet, and from her classmates, too. Suzanne Rieseberg, senior Electrical Engineer, designed the GPS features. She explained the purpose of their camera equipped quadcopter is to examine replace helicopters and pilots used to inspect rural power lines. She formerly worked as a Navy aviation technician on H60 helicopters before coming to EWU to study engineering. She describes her experience at Eastern as overwhelmingly positive, and praised the professors. Rieseberg has already secured a job at Garmin. The Rocket team conducted a test burn of a small rocket, and wisely advised the spectators to cover their ears (see video). In two weeks they will be returning with the EWU Rocket Team to Utah to compete at IREC for their second time. They placed third last year, just behind MIT and Brazil. They are bringing down their biggest rocket ever, hoping to double their altitude over last year. This year the group has fabricated and test-fired half a dozen hand-mixed propellant motors, and have settled on five daisy-chained proprietary motors to hopefully reach 22,000 feet.
Self Charging Autonomous Quadcopter and the proud engineering team

A dozen other projects too large to fit inside are out on the lawn: an autonomous, auto-charging quadcopter is hovering (though tethered today for safety purposes.)

Quadcopter team-members Puneet Janda and Rudolph Hulse designed the MC charging station, which allows the drone to sense when its running low on power, automatically dock and recharge, then take off again.

Puneet Janda with the MC charge station she engineered.
Puneet Janda with the MC charge station she engineered.

Suzanne Rieseberg, senior Electrical Engineer, designed the GPS features. She explained the purpose of their HD camera equipped quadcopter is to replace expensive helicopters used to inspect rural power lines. Rieseberg formerly worked as a Navy aviation technician on H60 helicopters before coming to EWU to study engineering. She describes her experience at Eastern as overwhelmingly positive, and praised the professors. She has already secured a job at Garmin, and will start just two weeks after graduation.

Rocket Team's display their smaller rocket housings
Rocket Team’s display their small-scale rocket housings, with the propellant “motor” at far left.

The EWU Rocket Team conducted a test burn of a small rocket, and wisely advised the spectators to cover their ears (see video). In two weeks they will be returning with the EWU Rocket Team to Utah to compete at IREC for their second time. Last year they placed third out of over 30 teams, just behind MIT and Brazil. This year they are  and beat the most prestigious engineering school in the US. The team has fabricated and test-fired a number of custom propellant motors, and have settled on five proprietary motors to launch their rocket above 20,000 feet, this would effectively double their altitude from 2015.

Electric Motorcycle Team
Electric Motorcycle Team (with stunt doubles)

Other Senior Capstone team projects included 100% custom-built Li-Ion electric go-kart; an electric motorcycle; Smart Outlets; Automated Hydraulic Pressure Brake; Silica Dust Pressure Sensing System; a rocket launch tower; and a full scale support frame for a tear-drop style camper, among many others. It was an impressive display of the many talents of EWU’s Science and Engineering Majors.

A "Homestead Wind-Turbine" Capstone project
A “Homestead Wind-Turbine” Capstone project

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