# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
73 Occupancy Counter
Aryan Mathur
Ashwin Provine
Tanmay Kant
Jialiang Zhang design_document1.pdf
Team Members: Tanmay Kant (tkant2) Ashwin Provine (provine4) Aryan Mathur (aryanm6)


In large building environments, managing energy consumption efficiently, particularly for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, presents a significant challenge. HVAC systems often operate on a fixed schedule, with little regard for the actual occupancy of a space, leading to unnecessary energy use and increased operational costs. This inefficiency is especially pronounced in spaces like offices or small meeting rooms due to constant movement. The motivation for the occupancy counter project is to enable more intelligent and adaptive HVAC control by accurately tracking the number of people in a given space. Our experience in the ECE391 Lab (ECEB3026) was a perfect example of HVAC not recognizing the amount of students working late in the lab, with temperature fluctuating constantly. By aligning HVAC operations with real-time occupancy levels, this technology aims to significantly reduce energy consumption and operational costs for large buildings. Achieving precise occupancy counts allows for the HVAC system to adapt its output to the current need, ensuring that energy is not wasted heating, cooling, or ventilating spaces that are not in use or are only partially occupied. Additionally, this system supports a more sustainable approach to building management by reducing the carbon footprint associated with unnecessary energy use.


Our project is an occupancy counter for rooms. It will utilize [a] Time of Flight Sensor Module(s) for the recognition of room occupants, where we will either use one module, splitting between two zones, or use two modules in order to determine whether the target is entering or exiting the room. The brains behind the sensor will be a WiFi-enabled Arduino Board that will decide the direction of the person’s transit, keeping track of how many people are present in the room. It will update a web interface that can be connected to by any user. The whole device will be powered by USB power brick(s).


Control Unit “The ESP8266 is a high-performance wireless SOC that offers maximum utility at the lowest cost and unlimited possibilities for embedding WiFi functionality into other systems.” This module will be the brain and mouth of our project, where data received will be broken down into a few key components, calculated, and sent out as a summary. The data will be analyzed to decide whether the target is moving from Zone 1 to Zone 2 or conversely. From there, the brain will add or subtract to the room count. Once this is complete, the data will be beamed via WiFi to a digital display (monitor, tablet, phone).

Sensor(s) “The VL53L1X is a state-of-the-art, Time-of-Flight (ToF), laser-ranging sensor, enhancing the ST FlightSense™ product family. It is the fastest miniature ToF sensor on the market with accurate ranging up to 4 m and fast ranging frequency up to 50 Hz.” This module acts as the eyes for our project, where the timing of a person crossing the tracked region will be acted upon using a state machine to see the current status.

For example: Entrance ----- Zone 1 ----- Zone 2 ----- Room Stat. A Stat. B Stat. C Stat. D When a person enters, their status will change from A, B, C, to D finally. Should they be exiting, their status will change from D, C, B, to A finally. If a person reaches a status of B or C, but does not continue their transit entering or exiting, respectively, we will not update the counter of the room since the occupancy has not changed.

Power This is the simplest part of the build, where we will use a USB-enabled power brick to provide power to the modules and connect it through a slim and long USB cable. The power for the VL53L1X will be between 2.8V to 5.5V, with the voltage properly regulated by the sensor carrier board while the power for the ESP8266 will be a standard 3.3V input, both powered by DC current.


Exactness/error of count: the count must be exact for up to six occupants, and correct within plus/minus of one person for up to twelve. Since this project is being used as a dependency for a much bigger system, precision and accuracy are important. The actual display should update between two to ten times per minute. This is to ensure that our count is considered live and makes an impact on the energy-saving and HVAC procedures that will ensue. Output data will be transferred via a wireless (WiFi) connection to a display. The sensor we are using has a built-in web interface that can be enabled during setup which will allow for universal access for users of the project.

Electronic Mouse (Cat Toy)

Jack Casey, Chuangy Zhang, Yingyu Zhang

Electronic Mouse (Cat Toy)

Featured Project

# Electronic Mouse (Cat Toy)

# Team Members:

- Yingyu Zhang (yzhan290)

- Chuangy Zhang (czhan30)

- Jack (John) Casey (jpcasey2)

# Problem Components:

Keeping up with the high energy drive of some cats can often be overwhelming for owners who often choose these pets because of their low maintenance compared to other animals. There is an increasing number of cats being used for service and emotional support animals, and with this, there is a need for an interactive cat toy with greater accessibility.

1. Get cats the enrichment they need

1. Get cats to chase the “mouse” around

1. Get cats fascinated by the “mouse”

1. Keep cats busy

1. Fulfill the need for cats’ hunting behaviors

1. Interactive fun between the cat and cat owner

1. Solve the shortcomings of electronic-remote-control-mouses that are out in the market

## Comparison with existing products

- Hexbug Mouse Robotic Cat Toy: Battery endurance is very low; For hard floors only

- GiGwi Interactive Cat Toy Mouse: Does not work on the carpet; Not sensitive to cat touch; Battery endurance is very low; Can't control remotely

# Solution

A remote-controlled cat toy is a solution that allows more cat owners to get interactive playtime with their pets. With our design, there will be no need to get low to the ground to adjust it often as it will go over most floor surfaces and in any direction with help from a strong motor and servos that won’t break from wall or cat impact. To prevent damage to household objects it will have IR sensors and accelerometers for use in self-driving modes. The toy will be run and powered by a Bluetooth microcontroller and a strong rechargeable battery to ensure playtime for hours.

## Subsystem 1 - Infrared(IR) Sensors & Accelerometer sensor

- IR sensors work with radar technology and they both emit and receive Infrared radiation. This kind of sensor has been used widely to detect nearby objects. We will use the IR sensors to detect if the mouse is surrounded by any obstacles.

- An accelerometer sensor measures the acceleration of any object in its rest frame. This kind of sensor has been used widely to capture the intensity of physical activities. We will use this sensor to detect if cats are playing with the mouse.

## Subsystem 2 - Microcontroller(ESP32)

- ESP32 is a dual-core microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This MCU has 520 KB of SRAM, 34 programmable GPIOs, 802.11 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.2, and much more. This powerful microcontroller enables us to develop more powerful software and hardware and provides a lot of flexibility compared to ATMegaxxx.


- Product: [](url)

- Datasheet: [](url)

## Subsystem 3 - App

- We will develop an App that can remotely control the mouse.

1. Control the mouse to either move forward, backward, left, or right.

1. Turn on / off / flashing the LED eyes of the mouse

1. keep the cat owner informed about the battery level of the mouse

1. Change “modes”: (a). keep running randomly without stopping; (b). the cat activates the mouse; (c). runs in cycles(runs, stops, runs, stops…) intermittently (mouse hesitates to get cat’s curiosity up); (d). Turn OFF (completely)

## Subsystem 4 - Motors and Servo

- To enable maneuverability in all directions, we are planning to use 1 servo and 2 motors to drive the robotic mouse. The servo is used to control the direction of the mouse. Wheels will be directly mounted onto motors via hubs.


- Metal Gear Motors: [](url)

- L9110H H-Bridge Motor Driver: [](url)

## Subsystem 5 - Power Management

- We are planning to use a high capacity (5 Ah - 10 Ah), 3.7 volts lithium polymer battery to enable the long-last usage of the robotic mouse. Also, we are using the USB lithium polymer ion charging circuit to charge the battery.


- Lithium Polymer Ion Battery: [](url)

- USB Lithium Polymer Ion Charger: [](url)

# Criterion for Success

1. Can go on tile, wood, AND carpet and alternate

1. Has a charge that lasts more than 10 min

1. Is maneuverable in all directions(not just forward and backward)

1. Can be controlled via remote (App)

1. Has a “cat-attractor”(feathers, string, ribbon, inner catnip, etc.) either attached to it or drags it behind (attractive appearance for cats)

1. Retains signal for at least 15 ft away

1. Eyes flash

1. Goes dormant when caught/touched by the cats (or when it bumps into something), reactivates (and changes direction) after a certain amount of time

1. all the “modes” worked as intended

Project Videos