A ram pump uses gravity and inertia to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher one. Build a demonstration model.
This page contains some links to development systems for use in energy harvesting systems: http://www.digikey.com/us/en/techzone/energy-harvesting/resources/articles/standards-drive-energy-harvesting.html?WT.z_sm_link=FB_ergyhartz_0627. Come up with ideas of your own for an application.
This device allows you to use wifi to control servo’s and/or read from A/D
When devices aren’t plugged in but turned off they still take a small amount of power from an outlet. Design a system that avoids this.
Use SolidWorks (or Matlab) to generate a 3D Koch’s snowflake (link)
Animate the formation of a Koch’s snowflake, in MATLAB with smaller triangles gradually emerging out of the larger ones.
The robot your built is more accurate at some locations than others. Do a sensitivity analysis (this involves some derivatives) to quantify this sensitivity function.
Make a MATLAB model of your e5 robot that animates the motion on the screen as the arm moves in the real world.
Make a SolidWorks model of the robot you built during E5. There are online models of servo motors.
Find interesting application for an interesting sensor (compass, accelerometer, touchscreen, proximity…)
Build a dual slope A/D converter. Quantify it’s performance.
Build a cardiotachometer – a device that measures pulse rate. The signal from the heart can either be from an ECG (electrical) source, or from a light source (measuring light transmission through skin)
At the link below you can download a MATLAB toolbox that connects MATLAB to Solidworks. You should be able to use this to control a SolidWorks object from MATLAB.
Design and build a solenoid actuated valve to restrict air or fluid flow. Some info is here Solenoid Valve Basics.
A background article (from IEEE Spectrum) on wireless power transmission. Design and implement such a system.
Spectrum article about quadrotors that get power wirelessly.
Research the carbon footprint tradeoffs of accessing files “in the cloud” (i.e., on a distant server), on a local server (i.e., on a server at Swarthmore) and on your personal machine.
Use Solidworks to create working model (i.e., an assembly) of the Ericsson cycle engine in the lobby of Hicks. Have it printed.
Use Solidworks to create a 3D model of Hicks and have it printed.
Anadigm® makes a field programmable analog array that allows for dynamic synthesis of analog circuits (much as an FPGA does for digital circuits). This might be useful as a general purpose signal conditioner – or perhaps used with a genetic algorithm for analog circuit design.
APC has developed a 49$ Android computer. This might be an interesting platform for an embedded system for somebody who wants to learn app development on an Android system. It should have very powerful low level control of hardware and a very nice user interface.
Do something with a small FPGA package (in a USB dongle).