Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
47 Automatic cake decorator
Honorable Mention
James Zhu
Muye Yuan
Rui Gong
Jason Zhang design_document1.pdf
design_document2.pdf
final_paper1.pdf
presentation1.pdf
proposal2.pdf
proposal1.pdf
video
# Team Members:
Muye Yuan(muyey2)
Rui Gong(ruigong5)
James Zhu (tianyi9)

# Problem

The current challenge lies in manual application of cream on cakes, prompting the need for an automated solution. Traditional methods often result in variations in cream thickness, coverage, and overall quality due to the nature of manual application. This not only demands skilled workers but also leads to increased production costs and the potential for human errors. Moreover, labor costs can be a significant factor in the overall production costs.

# Solution

We decided to make an automatic cake decorator, which puts creams with shapes and curves around the edge of the top surface of the cake. By automating this process, we aim to eliminate the inconsistencies associated with manual application, enhance the overall quality of decorated cakes, and reduce production costs. Ultimately, this device can offer a more efficient and cost-effective solution for the baking industry. The decorator can move along the edge of the cake detected by the camera. According to the input, the movement will be divided by x and y components which can lead the stepper motor to the appropriate position. This system differs from existing food printer solutions, which only print pixelated images on the food. It leaves a vectorised, continuous trail of cream. So it requires a more dedicated CV algorithm to recognize the shape of cakes.

# Solution Components
##Subsystem1 Computer vision and detector:
1x 1080p usb camera, laptop
A frame holds the camera hanging it on the top of our decorator machine, looking down to the cake in it. It’s connected to a laptop running our recognition program. The program would recognize the edge of the camera with a CV algorithm. It could identify the cake successfully even with other distractions (like the machine itself) in the view, and fit the edge into a set of waypoints for the cream extruder to follow. The program presents a preview of it for the user to confirm. The laptop is connected to MCU PCB with USB. Once a key is pressed, it would send out a waypoint to the MCU and signal for it to start moving the mechanical parts.

##Subsystem2 MCU and PCB
1x ATmega328P MCU, 1x self designed PCB with the MCU and the motor driving circuit
Input: Usb connected from the laptop
Output: Control signal to the step motors driving the extruder and the cream syringe.
Once a set of waypoints is received, the trajectory following the waypoint would be converted into its projections on the x and y axis, and the function of x and y position over time would be calculated. (these calculations might be done on the laptop as well). Then the program on the MCU would start and drive the two sliding rail motors, as well as the motor pushing the syringe.

##Subsystem3 Mechanical structure
3x 42-40 Stepper Motor, Cake Decorating Tools Cupcake Injector, rectangular frame, and 2x Linear Rail Guide, height adjustable base (placing the cake)
The structure of the machine resembles that of a cartesian robot, or a 3D printer, which is two perpendicular sliding rails (powered by motors) connected to each other, able to move its tips to arbitrary x-y positions. A large syringe with cream inside is mounted at the tip, extruding the cream uniformly when pushed by a motor.

# Q&A
##1.Decide whether to implement a 2D or 3D movement system.

We want to implement the 3D movement system, but we don’t know how complex it is. Thus, if the 3D system is too complicated for us to implement, we will change to implement a 2D movement system.

##2.Clarify the mechanisms you plan to use for x, y, and z movements. Will they be similar to those in a 3D printer, and how will you ensure movements, when working with a medium like cream?

Yes. It is similar to 3D printers with two perpendicular sliding rails. And we are planning on putting a rubber hose on the syringe and the end factor of the mechanism grabbing the other end of the hose, keeping the relatively heavy syringe static.

##3.Determine the dimensions of the machine(syringe size, etc). Are you considering a vertical actuator to push the cream out of the syringe? Detail out all the electrical components required for this idea.

We want to start from a small size, so the amount of cream will not be large. For example, we start from using the Cake Decorating Tools Cupcake Injector and a step motor pushing it to get the cream out.

##4. The incorporation of a camera for position detection adds complexity. How do you plan to convert the camera inputs into xyz position? The coding required to convert camera output into g-code(x,y,z) is critical.

The z position is fixed for a cake. We first require the user to place height of the cake manually so that its top surface is near the extruder. Later we might add an ultrasound system and an automatically adjustable base for the cake. For x,y coordinates, we might first try to mount the camera high enough, so that we can assume it’s a planar projection from the pixel coordinates to the physical. We would first fix the relative position of the machine and the camera and do calibration (mapping from pixel coordinate to physical) manually. But later we could try adding some marks on the edges on the machine, the camera can automatically figure out the linear translation without the need to calibrate every time. If the error of assuming planar projection turns out to be too large, we could still figure out the intrinsic of the camera and do unprojection with formulas.


# Criterion For Success
-CV system recognize the edge of the target successfully

-Moving system can successfully follow the input instruction

-Put cream with a curve around the edge of the top surface of the cake.

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Jackson Lenz, James McMahon

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Featured Project

Jackson Lenz

James McMahon

Our project is to be a reliable, robust, and intelligent irrigation controller for use in areas where reliable weather prediction, water supply, and power supply are not found.

Upon completion of the project, our device will be able to determine the moisture level of the soil, the water level in a water tank, and the temperature, humidity, insolation, and barometric pressure of the environment. It will perform some processing on the observed environmental factors to determine if rain can be expected soon, Comparing this knowledge to the dampness of the soil and the amount of water in reserves will either trigger a command to begin irrigation or maintain a command to not irrigate the fields. This device will allow farmers to make much more efficient use of precious water and also avoid dehydrating crops to death.

In developing nations, power is also of concern because it is not as readily available as power here in the United States. For that reason, our device will incorporate several amp-hours of energy storage in the form of rechargeable, maintenance-free, lead acid batteries. These batteries will charge while power is available from the grid and discharge when power is no longer available. This will allow for uninterrupted control of irrigation. When power is available from the grid, our device will be powered by the grid. At other times, the batteries will supply the required power.

The project is titled S.I.P. because it will reduce water wasted and will be very power efficient (by extremely conservative estimates, able to run for 70 hours without input from the grid), thus sipping on both power and water.

We welcome all questions and comments regarding our project in its current form.

Thank you all very much for you time and consideration!