Thursday, November 20, 2014

Group Two has Picked a Project

Our EDD class split into two groups.  One group has worked on a Nitinol engine, and my group has worked on several other several other ideas.  Group 2, consisting of Chris Engborg, Shibo Jiang, Jordan Klapp and Rob Spzak  initially focused on the concept of building an RFID card.  The two main thoughts were to either make the card store general information such as name, address, phone number, medical info ect.  The other option, would have been to build a card for use in schools that preform a variety of different tasks such as checking out library books, preforming lunch transactions and keeping track of attendance.  To look farther into this, we each downloaded Netbeans, a program that codes with databases.  After working with the program we found we were left with more questions than answers.  We also wondered whether or not there would be a market for such a technology.

  Putting this idea to the side, we started brainstorming other topics.  We considered designing a gps that could be mounted on your bike and powered by pedaling.  Unfortunately, pedal powered charging devices already exist, and even have battery storage.

  We then proceeded to look further into a few more ideas.  We wanted to focus on things that could be useful in everyday life, and have a broad market.  One idea was an easy way to remove lint from a hairdryer.  Another potential project might be, a dryer machine that tests for dampness, drying clothes perfectly and fully. 
Finally, we have come up with two ideas we will decide between, to be our final project.  The first idea, is an electric bicycle that would use some of the energy from pedaling and regenerative braking to charge a battery that would be attached to a motor, allowing the rider to get an extra speed boost when riding up hills or just when it was convenient.  Our other idea was some sort of box that, once the user inputted the settings, would be able to grow a variety of plants automatically.  The user would have to add soil and a seed to the device and they would need to regularly fill up a water reservoir.  This idea will allow people to grow produce organically in their own home at any time of the year regardless of the season. 
As of today, we decided to pursue the plant growing box as our project for the year.  It will present a unique challenge with the pairing of electronic elements to various mechanical elements of the system.  We eagerly accept the challenge and are ready to get to work.