Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
32 Ferrofluid Lava Lamp
Hanyao Zhang
Ting-Wei Hsu
Zhiyuan Yao
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
final_paper0.pdf
other0.pdf
presentation0.pptx
proposal0.pdf
video
video
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.

Amphibious Spherical Explorer

Kaiwen Chen, Junhao Su, Zhong Tan

Amphibious Spherical Explorer

Featured Project

The amphibious spherical explorer (ASE) is a spherical robot for home monitoring, outdoor adventure or hazardous environment surveillance. Due to the unique shape of the robot, ASE can travel across land, dessert, swamp or even water by itself, or be casted by other devices (e.g. slingshot) to the mission area. ASE has a motion-sensing system based on Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and rotary magnetic encoder, which allows the internal controller to adjust its speed and attitude properly. The well-designed control system makes the robot free of visible wobbliness when it is taking actions like acceleration, deceleration, turning and rest. ASE is also a platform for research on control system design. The parameters of the internal controller can be assigned by an external control panel in computer based on MATLAB Graphic User Interface (GUI) which communicates with the robot via a WiFi network generated by the robot. The response of the robot can be recorded and sent back to the control panel for further analysis. This project is completely open-sourced. People who are interested in the robot can continue this project for more interesting features, such as adding camera for real-time surveillance, or controller design based on machine learning.

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