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.
A sample of a sensor (cheaper sensors are available) is at: SSCDANT030PG2A3 Honeywell Sensing and Control | 480-3338-ND | DigiKey.
Click link to show video of inverted pendulum moving with sinusoidal position. Implement something similar. Inverted pendulum
No screen, for use with computer but potentially very useful for projects.
MGC3130. The MGC3130 is the world’s first electrical-field (E-field) based three-dimensional (3D) tracking and gesture controller. The chip is based on Microchip’s patented GestIC® technology and enables user command input with natural hand and finger movements in free-space. The GestIC Colibri Suite is processed on-chip and enables a wide range of gesture applications shortening development cycles of developers. Through its configurable sensing states mobile friendly power consumption as low as 150 microwatts can be realized.
Be creative and come up with a project idea of your own. The major factor is time – you have only 3 weeks to complete the project.
Explore some of the more advanced features of MatLab or SolidWork in some creative way.
Build a virtual model of a 3-D world and use MatLab to “fly” through it.
Try to control a SolidWorks model from MATLAB. I’ve never done this so some initial research will be necessary to make sure it is feasible.
Try to model fluid flow in SolidWorks. I’ve never done this, so some initial research will be necessary to see if it is feasible.
Make some other robots with servos…
Attach a joystick (or use a wii nunchuck) to control the x,y position of your robot.
A software package that takes a schematic of an electrical system, or block diagram of mechanical system, and derives relevant equation (nodal analysis, or free body diagrams).