I2S is a popular digital interface for audio, but is not supported on many microcontrollers. Design an interface from I2S to SPI (or I2C) that uses the smallest possible processor to do the work. Build a PCB/develop software….
See file here The file links to a paper entitled “Extracting the fingering and the plucking points on a guitar string from a recording”. Either explore the process (E12 project), or implement it (E71) in real time (E90)
Develop a low power (battery driven) wireless device/sensor.
The Bluetooth Smart SensorTag is designed to shorten the design time for Bluetooth App development from months to hours by allowing App developers to write Apps that enable and use advanced sensors directly from a smartphone without any firmware or embedded software development.
The pdf http://www.marvell.com/led-lighting/assets/Marvell_88EM8189_IC-01_product_brief.pdf describes a chip that can be used for low power wireless control, and can be powered directly from 120V line voltage. Build a small wireless device (motor control, light dimmer….) Note: this uses zigbee so you’d need to work on both ends of the network.
DLP LightCrafter. I don’t really have any ideas for this (they mention 3-d printing – see also this link). It would have to be a well thought out idea (the device isn’t cheap ($600 – maybe less for University Discount)).
Design and build a wireless timer for students giving talks. The student tlaking would have an LCD display that counts down the time left in the talk. A green LED could come on at some time as a warning, followed by a red one (and a buzzer?) closer to the end.
The person moderating the talk would have access to the timer through a web page.
The project is not incredibly difficult, but there is a wide variety of tasks (hardware/software/networks…) and the system must be robust and low power.
Build a shaker table (a building on a table that undergoes forced vibrations) for E12 labs that demonstrates modes of vibration. This is a nice project if you want a mix of electronics, hardware and software.
For control theory (or as E90) implement an active damping system for building.
Design and build an wing (or other structure) with integrated digital pressure sensors (perhaps with wifi or bluetooth) so that multiple pressure measurements can be taken with minimal (or no) physical connections to the data acquisition system.