# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
32 Ferrofluid Lava Lamp
Hanyao Zhang
Ting-Wei Hsu
Zhiyuan Yao
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
Our project consists of creating a decoration similar in concept to a typical lava lamp, but using ferrofluid and magnetism instead of wax and heat. We would also like to allow the user a good degree of interactivity with the display.

The design is as follows:
A ferrofluid will first be mixed into a liquid of similar density. This will then be placed into a glass cylinder, at the top and bottom of which will be electromagnets. This will be used to control the upwards and downwards flow of the ferrofluid.
Our design will also have electromagnets that can be made to move vertically up and down the "lamp." We propose three separate magnets situated around the central cylinder in equal increments, each in its own separate, and smaller cylinder.
These can be made to pulsate, which we expect can be used to either split the liquid apart should it turn into a single ball (turning all 3 on simultaneously and briefly) or induce circular motion of the ferrofluid.

The plan is to allow the user to specify the speed at which the main electromagnets (ones on top and bottom) move the liquid up and down, as well as the movement and on/off operation of the three vertical magnets (interestingly, the user could have the 3 magnets do completely different things... the result of which we are yet unable to visualize).

To achieve the vertical movement of the three outer magnets, motors will be incorporated into our design.

As an aside, we realize that the three outer magnets can be used to achieve upwards and downwards movement. In this way, our design is somewhat redundant. However, we also want to allow the user the option to simply have the fluid drift upwards and downwards, without any horizontal interference.

Prosthetic Control Board

Caleb Albers, Daniel Lee

Prosthetic Control Board

Featured Project

Psyonic is a local start-up that has been working on a prosthetic arm with an impressive set of features as well as being affordable. The current iteration of the main hand board is functional, but has limitations in computational power as well as scalability. In lieu of this, Psyonic wishes to switch to a production-ready chip that is an improvement on the current micro controller by utilizing a more modern architecture. During this change a few new features would be added that would improve safety, allow for easier debugging, and fix some issues present in the current implementation. The board is also slated to communicate with several other boards found in the hand. Additionally we are looking at the possibility of improving the longevity of the product with methods such as conformal coating and potting.

Core Functionality:

Replace microcontroller, change connectors, and code software to send control signals to the motor drivers

Tier 1 functions:

Add additional communication interfaces (I2C), and add temperature sensor.

Tier 2 functions:

Setup framework for communication between other boards, and improve board longevity.

Overview of proposed changes by affected area:

Microcontroller/Architecture Change:

Teensy -> Production-ready chip (most likely ARM based, i.e. STM32 family of processors)


support new microcontroller, adding additional communication interfaces (I2C), change to more robust connector. (will need to design pcb for both main control as well as finger sensors)


Addition of a temperature sensor to provide temperature feedback to the microcontroller.


change from Arduino IDE to new toolchain. (ARM has various base libraries such as mbed and can be configured for use with eclipse to act as IDE) Lay out framework to allow communication from other boards found in other parts of the arm.