Project Ideas
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The following projects are to be used a guide. Remember that you must meet the project specifications in any project you select. This means you may have add on to or modify any project idea you find here or elsewhere. 

Project #1 - Home Safe Home

An investor has purchased a new tract of land on which he intends to build a subdivision with Senior friendly homes. These homes will be smaller with low maintenance yards. Many older people need to feel safe and secure and their own homes. The investor wishes to provide a facility with state of the art entrance, sensor and security systems for his residents.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, safe solution for the residents of the new subdivision.

bulletThe successful solution will allow the home owner to:
bulletcontrol the house from a control panel (electronic interface)
bulletautomatically open doors with a touch switch (such as wheelchair access)
bulletset lights to come on and go off at regular times
bulletto arm and disarm the security system (scare away intruders with flashing lights and an loud audible alarm when armed if they open a door or window)
bullethave a motion sensor detect movement in the main rooms
bulletautomatically adjust temperature to a owners setting
bulletmanually test all the house system

Project #2 - Over and Under

The only bridge connection to the east and west ends of River Town has to be replaced. An increase in tourist traffic and the upgrading of facilities in the nearby lake requires larger than usual boats to navigate the river. Presently this is a problem since larger boats and sail boats cannot pass through under the bridge. Cargo for upstream has to be offloaded to smaller boats at a considerable cost and inconvenience. Fog often impacts bridge operation and the visibility of the bridge operator, vehicle and boat traffic. Since the bridge is to be replaced the Town has decided to install a new bridge which can be raised and lowered.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, safe solution for the citizens of River Town and allows larger boats and sail boats to navigate the river.

The successful solution will:

bulletallow the bridge to be raised automatically
bulletprovide a set of stop lights and an audible warning system that the bridge will be raised.
bulletdetect if there is a presence human or vehicle on the bridge
bulletdetect fog
bulleta barricade to prevent vehicles from entering the bridge when it is raised.
bulleta manual method of testing all the systems

Project #3 - Please Feed Me

Many pet owners go on short trips and for many reasons have to leave the family pet at home. Not all owners can afford kennels or have some one to come in to feed the pet. One pet owner requires and Automated Pet Food Dispenser.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, safe feeding solution for the pet owner and the pet.

The successful solution will:

bulletprovide timed feeding intervals
bulletprovide a gentle warning system for the pet
bulletprovide a manual trigger the pet can use to get food if the automated system fails.
bulletprovide a visual clue that the pet food dispenser is working
bulletdetect and warn the owner if the dispenser is not full or not working

Project #4 - Entertaining Idea

An old amusement park has seen better days. The crows attracted by the old rides are dwindling and the owner needs to attract a new crowd to stay in business. The owner thinks a new-fangled Ferris wheel which has bright lights and smooth rotation would do the trick. Part of the problem is that with dwindling customers the owner will not be able to hire additional staff so the Ferris wheel will have to be for the most part automated.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, attractive, fun and safe solution for the amusement Park owner and the customers.

The successful solution will:

bulletprovide a semi-automated Ferris wheel
bulletonce started the wheel automatically rotates one seat at a time, moves on when the safety cage is in place and the seat belt connected.
bulletdetect when all seats are full or start after a sufficient waiting period.
bulletrotate for the required period with lights flashing when all seats are full.
bulletprovide a set of manual controls in case the automated system fails.

Project #5 - All Growing Up

Newfoundland has a very short growing season. Tomatoes are expensive at the local supermarket in the early and late part of the seasons. Farmer Jed wants to grow tomatoes all year round. He decides that he will need to build a greenhouse which will provide all the necessary condition for tomatoes to grow well even in the winter.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, effective, safe solution for Farmer Jed.

The successful solution will:
bulletprovide a semi-automated green house.
bulletprovide heat on days when the temperature falls below the optimal temperature for tomatoes.
bulletprovide a means of ventilation when the temperature rises above the optimal temperature for tomatoes.
bulletprovide sunlight when the required sunlight is below the optimal amount for tomatoes.
bulletprovide a means of watering the tomatoes when dry conditions are detected.
bulletdetect excess humidity and provide ventilation.
bulletprovide a set of manual controls in case the automated system fails.

Project #6 - Moving On Up

An old apartment building is being renovated by the landlord to accommodate older citizens. Many of these seniors have problems with stairs or problems carrying packages up and down stairs. The landlord needs an elevator in his four story building.

The design task is to design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, effective, safe solution for the Landlord and his tenants.

The successful solution will provide a:

bulletsemi-automated elevator
bulletmeans of calling the elevator from each floor
bulletvisual and audible cue when the elevator reaches a floor
bulletdetect something in the doorway and give an audible signal.
bulletprovide a set of manual controls in case the automated system fails.

Project #7 - Bring on the Show

Billy Bob and his investors want to provide a first class entertainment center for the community of Rickety Flats. The large Town just acquired a new basketball franchise - the Rickety Flat Falcons. The new center will not only host the basketball team but will also hold other community events. In the new era of sports entertainment fans in larger centers expect to see a show.

The Design Task

To design and build a prototype which presents a satisfactory, effective, safe solution for Billy Bob, his investors and their customers and the Falcon fans.

The successful solution will provide:

bulletan automated solution to raise and lower the basket assembly.
bulletprovide a timed dimmer for the lights which allow the lights to be dimmed and brightened.
bulletthe ability to select and play music.
bulletprovide additional features to entertain fans before and after games and during intermissions.
bulleta manual control for the basket should the automated system fail

Other Ideas from other years

bulletAutomatic Door Openers
bulletSecurity System (door alarm)
bulletA car that rides on a track through the use of a computer interface.
bulletA robotic arm that is capable to pick up objects on high shelves, bookcases, etc
bulletA system of locks which through the instruction of a computer interface will lock or unlock based on timers or instant instruction.
bulletAutomatic house door locker
bulletNew improved lighthouse
bulletAn alarm system for the school/home/work
bulletAn alarm clock
bulletA touch (finger sensitive) keyboard
bulletAlarm clock that tells you the time when you walk by.  
bulletRemote control truck
bulletA machine that calls out to the dog to tell him that there's food there.
bulletA chair that comes to you when you call it.
bulletAutomated Coffee maker
bulletAutomated Drink Dispenser
bulletAutomatic Drawbridge