# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
26 Smart Ladder
Bradden Pesce
Lingying Cai
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
Problem: There are many instances in the workplace where a ladder is required and workers might not take the proper care to insure that the ladder they are using is on a level surface and not on a dangerous incline. It is also a hazard if the worker using the ladder does not notice if the ladder begins to slightly shift or becomes unstable.

Solution: Either a tilt sensor or a flex sensor would be used to detect the stability of the ladder, and then a microcontroller would read the output and tell the speaker to produce a warning if the ladder is not placed on a level enough surface or on an unsafe angle. If the ladder begins to shift while in use, an accelerometer would be used to detect it and the user would be warned to use caution. The warning sound would be saved as a digital sound bit file, and we would implement a DAC so the speaker can play the warning.

Challenges: The worker might not be able to hear the warning sound in many situations, and therefore we would implement LEDs as well so that there is a visual cue for the worker. There could also be a problem where the operator of the ladder has secured the ladder so that the level surface is not an issue; we would add a sound override button that the user can press to disable the sound if necessary. The temperature outside could also affect safety as ice can be present during below freezing temperatures; temperature sensors would be used to detect the temperature outside, and if it is too cold the LEDs would light up to warn the worker to be cautious. Another challenge is that the ladder would be unsafe if too much weight is applied; a pressure sensor would be used on the first step to determine if the ladder would be able to support the weight, and the worker would be warned before they climbed any further.

We are going to determine where the center of gravity of the ladder relative is to the base of stability. A % margin of stability will be calculated based on this signal. We are going to calculate the direction of all the forces on the ladder including gravity and work out the center of mass. This information will be sent to a display that the user can view in order to show the user how close the ladder is to becoming unsafe. We would need load sensors at the base and we will implement a power management system.

Master Bus Processor

Clay Kaiser, Philip Macias, Richard Mannion

Master Bus Processor

Featured Project

General Description

We will design a Master Bus Processor (MBP) for music production in home studios. The MBP will use a hybrid analog/digital approach to provide both the desirable non-linearities of analog processing and the flexibility of digital control. Our design will be less costly than other audio bus processors so that it is more accessible to our target market of home studio owners. The MBP will be unique in its low cost as well as in its incorporation of a digital hardware control system. This allows for more flexibility and more intuitive controls when compared to other products on the market.

Design Proposal

Our design would contain a core functionality with scalability in added functionality. It would be designed to fit in a 2U rack mount enclosure with distinct boards for digital and analog circuits to allow for easier unit testings and account for digital/analog interference.

The audio processing signal chain would be composed of analog processing 'blocks’--like steps in the signal chain.

The basic analog blocks we would integrate are:

Compressor/limiter modes

EQ with shelf/bell modes

Saturation with symmetrical/asymmetrical modes

Each block’s multiple modes would be controlled by a digital circuit to allow for intuitive mode selection.

The digital circuit will be responsible for:

Mode selection

Analog block sequence

DSP feedback and monitoring of each analog block (REACH GOAL)

The digital circuit will entail a series of buttons to allow the user to easily select which analog block to control and another button to allow the user to scroll between different modes and presets. Another button will allow the user to control sequence of the analog blocks. An LCD display will be used to give the user feedback of the current state of the system when scrolling and selecting particular modes.

Reach Goals

added DSP functionality such as monitoring of the analog functions

Replace Arduino boards for DSP with custom digital control boards using ATmega328 microcontrollers (same as arduino board)

Rack mounted enclosure/marketable design

System Verification

We will qualify the success of the project by how closely its processing performance matches the design intent. Since audio 'quality’ can be highly subjective, we will rely on objective metrics such as Gain Reduction (GR [dB]), Total Harmonic Distortion (THD [%]), and Noise [V] to qualify the analog processing blocks. The digital controls will be qualified by their ability to actuate the correct analog blocks consistently without causing disruptions to the signal chain or interference. Additionally, the hardware user interface will be qualified by ease of use and intuitiveness.

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