Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Ferris State University BulldogFerris State University Logo

2008 Senior Projects


This project proposes building a XYZ table that could be used to cut designs and different shapes into various materials. The project will utilize a servo drive system connected to lead screws that will convert rotary motion into linear motion to move a cutting tool in the x, y, and z direction. The cutting tool will either be an engraver, wood router, or dremel depending on the applications needs and the total work envelope of the table will be a 4’x 4’ x 30”. The work space of the cutting tool will be 42” x 42” x 8”. The processor used to control the servo drive system will be an Allen Bradley ControlLogix Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The Allen Bradley Web+ module will be the Human Machine Interface (HMI). The PLC will be programmed using RSLogix 5000 and the HMI will be programmed using RSView32. The project build will begin on January 15, 2008 and to be completed by April 16, 2008. The estimated budget of the project is $1119.17.


The Remote Surveillance Vehicle (RSV) is a dual mode semi-intelligent optical tracking unit capable of replacing a soldier on the battlefield. As reported in ICASUALITIES.ORG 3867 deaths have occurred in the Iraq war. By deploying the RSV in place of a soldier, the risk of losing American lives immediately decreases. The RSV will be driven by an internal processing core coupled with a subsystem for guidance control and an external base station for user input. The tracking system consists of two optical cameras continuously searching for a differential video signal indicating movement. This detection will be completed in software. The RSV is designed with a weapons attachment dock and a laser target designator. The project will begin on January 14, 2008 and will be completed and presented on April 16, 2008. The budget to build the RSV is estimated at $865.


This project proposes building an Imaging Inspection System that is going to be used in an assembly line at the Gentex Co. in Zeeland, Michigan. Every day parts are passed from one station to the next, and there is no way to make sure the part has the correct number and type of screws except to take time and look at the part. The Imaging Inspection System will eliminate the need for humans to perform this task. A Disruptive Visual Technology (DVT) camera will be used to check the parts and determine if the parts meet specifications. When the operator shuts the door, the Imaging Inspection System will lock the door, clamp the part, and a picture will be taken with the DVT camera. The Imaging Inspection System will then determine if the part meets the specifications. If the part does not meet specifications the door will remain locked until a supervisor will use a key to gain access to the system. The total time of the Imaging Inspection System to cycle for a part will be less than 30 seconds. The project will begin on January 14, 2008 and be complete by April 16, 2008. The budgeted cost estimate of the project is approximately $10,000.



Cell phones, calculators, and iPods™ all have one thing in common: they are often carelessly left behind in public places. FOMENO™ is a mobile handheld prototype that immediately rings to alert its user when a personal valuable is in the process of being, or has been left behind. This prototype’s main components are a PALM® Zire™ 21 PDA, a long-range UHF RFID-reader, and two personal-asset RFID tags. The tags would be attached to any two of the user’s non-metallic personal assets. The project involves 4 major work phases: 1 Planning & Purchasing, which is already being completed 2 Software Development, during which an RFID-reader controller application will be custom-built to run from the PDA 3 a Hardware Work phase, during which the two main functional modules (PDA & reader) will be hard-wired together and troubleshot, and finally 4 The Presentation phase. Primarily, 3 key deliverables will be met: overall, software, and hardware deliverables. Furthermore, 4 risk areas have been identified, subsequently a roster of contingency procedures have been drawn up to deal with each of them. The team will accommodate, and document any changes to the project’s scope in a weekly logbook. The project’s external advisers have been Professor Warren Klope, Professor Robert Most & Juan Lubian (of AAID Security Solutions). The budgeted cost estimate is $644. The project will begin on January 14, 2008, and will be presented on the 16th of April 2008. 


This project proposes building a fully automated ethanol fuel distillation machine that regulates and controls the temperature, pressure, fluid levels, and flow; and can be used to make one’s own ethanol fuel for a vehicle. The machine will be hooked up to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and the PLC will control the temperature, pressure, and the alcohol content, allowing us to make any grade of ethanol fuel. In this project the team will be going to make E85 fuel, which is a fuel that's 85% ethanol made from corn and 15% conventional gasoline. The machine will make a batch of one gallon and will cost $4.50 per gallon to make. The price per gallon is higher than normal gasoline, but the trade off is that the mixture the machine will produce will be a clean burning fuel and that it has a renewable source. The project will be split into five different stages. The first is the planning stage. The second is building the distillation machine. The third stage is synchronizing the PLC to the distillation machine. Stage four is testing and debugging the machine. And the fifth stage is the presentation of the project; the project will begin on January 14, 2008 and will be completed by April 16, 2008. The budgeted cost estimate of the project is $589.


The purpose of our project is to quickly and accurately notify large groups of people of emergencies, weather advisories, and other important events. The key deliverables of the project will include a fully manageable website, a MYSQL database server and a system to send out emergency notifications. The emergency notifications are going to be a mix of emails, text to LAN messages, or SMS text messages to all who sign up on the website. This will allow different corporations and educational intuitions to make quick, efficient announcements that will be delivered to the recipient in several different ways simultaneously.

To create a six sensor package for a boat, that detects the depth of the water and tilts the prop according to depth in relation to boat. Ultrasonic sensors will be placed around the boat hull and will detect objects in proximity to the boat. A display will show the distance of the objects, as they get close. Also, ultrasonic sensors on the bottom of the boat will determine the depth of the water and will automatically adjust the motor tilt if the water becomes too shallow. The sensor package for docking the boat would have a range of approximately 5 feet to a few inches from the edge of the boat. For sensing the depth of the water a distance of 3 to 4 feet is assumed.


This project proposes the construction of an automated disc loading mechanism for use in consumer or commercial applications. Instead of looking through many different discs on a rack or shelf, the user simply selects the wanted disc via an LCD display or remote control and the robotic arm will retrieve it and place it in the drive. Deliverables for this project include a functioning prototype and software for PC CD/DVD Rom control via a USB port. The Automatic Disc-Loader (AD-L) will have a carousel type storage device for up to 150 discs, and a robotic arm that features two degrees of freedom to retrieve and load the discs. An optional force feedback device will be implemented to control the ejection mechanism for applications other than a PC. The budget of the project includes specifications for mechanical components for robotics applications, electronics, and software. The project will begin on January 14, 2007 and be completed by April 15, 2008. The budgeted cost estimate of the project is $873.72.