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2007 Senior Projects


The purpose of this project is to develop a handheld wireless voice over IP (VOIP) and video communication device known as the xCOM Wireless Communicator. The project team will develop a device capable of real time voice and video communication between two end users. Key deliverables include, two xCOM devices, Linux based backend server with database system for user management and communication control, and a Java based client for multi-platform usage. The timetable for the completion of this project is set to be completed before its due date of April 19, 2007, with development beginning in the summer of 2006 because of early interest in the project. For development purposes, the project has been broken into six main phases. Phase one is the planning phase which is currently completed. Phase two involves the development of a working 802.11x (a, b, g) communications device. Phase three will be the most time consuming as it will involve the development of the software which facilitates the end to end communications between the xCOM Wireless Communicators. Phase four will include the integration of the developed software and hardware. Phase five is the testing and debugging phase. Finally, phase six is the presentation phase in which the project will be demonstrated to a group of peers. The budgeted cost for this project is expected to be as high as $300, if donations come through, this project will never exceed that budget. This value includes, development materials, hardware costs, and if the project finishes ahead of schedule, PCB manufacturing to decrease the size of the device for the final product. 


The RFID License Plate Processor utilizes Radio Frequency Identification technology to assist Law Enforcement Officers in retrieving important vehicle and suspect information from the license plate. This project consists of RFID Tags, embedded in automobile license plates, and a RFID Reader, located in Law Enforcement vehicles. This system will have a range of 15 feet between the RFID Reader and RFID Tags. A 1MHz signal will be sent and received from the RFID Tag via a Yagi antenna. There will be 12 Volts DC supplied to the reader to meet power requirements. The most important deliverables of the RFID License Plate Processor are to ease reading of obscured license plates, and automatically retrieve essential information using Microsoft Access on the equipped laptop. The estimated cost of this project is $770.99 per system. The project has a start time of January 8, 2007 and finish time of April 18, 2007.


The purpose of this project is to construct a robot for automated and remote control as well as demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of such a system. This will be accomplished through the use of a programmable remote robot that will be modified to be controlled autonomously or remotely. The robot will be controlled wirelessly from a workstation or automatically from the built-in control system. The robot will contain built-in sensors which help with the guidance and steering and it can be controlled remotely through the use of an 802.11 wireless network connection. The hardware that is required for the successful completion of the project is budgeted to cost $500 to $700. The software that is required for the project will have zero cost as it is freely downloadable from company websites. The timetable for the project is approximately four months, starting in January of 2007 and ending near the end of April of 2007.


The objective of this project is to analyze and correct household power factor in real time. By using LabVIEW, the circuit will measure and correct real and reactive power. The corresponding amount of capacitance needed to correct the power factor is automatically engaged via relays. A user interface will be constructed to show instantaneous measurements on the front panel. The system will also have a safety voltage feature which monitors the voltage level entering the house. This voltage feature will warn when there is an over voltage & brown – out condition. This device will be aimed to correct the power factor in the range of 0.6 to 0.95. It will also be capable of power levels up to 5kW. If wattage is higher than 5kW, the Automatic Power Factor Correction System will bypass itself automatically. The key deliverables of this project are to analyze and correct power factor, monitor and warn against high or low voltages, and show instantaneous measurements at the power factor correction panel. The project duration is to start on January 9, 2007 and is estimated to last fourteen weeks. The final presentation will be held in the Dome Room on April 19, 2007. The total project budget will be $650.


This project proposes building an Autonomously Guided Vehicle (AGV) that could be used as the lead vehicle of an un-manned cargo train. Every year the US Government spends millions of dollars flying cargo to its research station at the South Pole. A land route has been plotted as a fuel-saving alternative means of shipping cargo to the Pole. The near future will see cargo “trains” traversing the continent of Antarctica. An autonomous lead vehicle would eliminate the need for humans to make this mundane yet dangerous trek. The AGV will be a self-guided vehicle that will follow a set of “way-points” (entered by the user and stored in memory) to a particular destination using GPS technology for navigation. The AGV will have a variety of sensors for obstacle recognition and avoidance. As a back-up to the autonomous controls, radio controlled operation will be available. The project will begin on January 9, 2007 and be complete by April 15, 2007. The budgeted cost estimate of the project is $1,529.17.


The purpose of this project is to construct a wind turbine on the roof of Big Rapids High School. The goal is to power a computer within a classroom of the school off of the power harnessed by the wind. To construct the turbine, a propeller with three blades that are three feet in length, will be used to rotate the shaft of a three-phase 40V DC motor. The electricity from the mechanical energy will be stored in a 12V battery. A voltage regulator, charge controller, and a D/A converter will also used. The total estimated cost of the project is $250. The project has a start date of January 8, 2007,and with a completion date of April 19, 2007.


The Open Linux Router project is a commercial-free software package that will deliver a centralized management software package for small business to enterprise level computer networks. The package will contain a seemingly simple, easy-to-use interface for setting up and configuring major networking services, as well as provides standard Internet and Intranet functionality. This will benefit the enterprise sector as well by allowing customers to choose based on their needs, while also allowing them the use of existing engineers to advance the device for their own purpose. The software package will utilize x86, MAC, embedded systems hardware as long as the necessary libraries are included. This project’s cross-platform approach will allow companies to utilize already existing hardware creating a lower cost solution. The project team is comprised of four Ferris State University students from the Computer Networks and Systems department.