# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
67 Aliased Water Illusion Screen (AWIS)
Chaoyu Zhou
Shan Zhao
Yixiong Li
Luke Wendt
idea sponsored by Luke Wendt

Team Members:
Chaoyu Zhou (czhou16)
Yixiong Li (yli161)
Shan Zhao (szhao27)

Project Description:
During the pitching session, we heard our TA Luke Wendt talked about the Aliased Water Illusion project. The project is based on the stroboscopic effect. Essentially by adjusting difference between sampling rate, we can create an illusion of objects floating in the air or flying up. We want to create a screening wall for interior house design.

Hardware Description
The undersampling of water is achieved by having a matching frequency for the vibration of water/falling objects and the observant (usually a frame rate of a camera or the rate of flickering light if you want it to be captured by human eye). Therefore I believe our system would consists of four parts.
1. a speaker (or a speaker array) that create the right amount of frequency with a water hose attached to it
2. Array of LED light for strobing effect
3. A water pump system so we can recycle the water.
4. And of course an control system that controls all of this.

Procedure by Steps
Rome ain’t got build in one day.
We project to work on this project in the following steps.
1. We would purchase the water pump, make sure water is running alright, preferably controlled by our controller. Get the easy part out of the way.
2. Meanwhile get LED and speaker. Connect it to the controller we design. Attempt to make levitating effect.
3. Evaluate remaining time, if we have time, implement the additional music component, if not, ready to proceed to encapsulation.
4. We would reserve enough time to make sure we get to design the illusion pattern for the droplets. Luke mentioned no one has done anything like this before, for example a drop going in a loop. Meanwhile evaluate the potential of doing other medium. (For example apply the system to an huge hourglass. (God that would be fun)
5. Wrap up, finish final report and presentation.

Significance of the Project
We do realize there has already been commercialized version of this effect. But we believe through the process of innovation, we can push this idea beyond what it currently could be.

The first argument we have is utility. Right now this “gadget” is just “a nifty thing” to have or to show off. But we believe it could be so much more. In architecture design, there exists the need for a screen to provide division and privacy between rooms. Nowadays we have wood/bamboo based screen as the dominating choice for screens, alternative choices includes having a beads curtain, or a fishtank. We believe our product can fill in the void of lacking of technology centered decoration and join the competition for screens. Using an array of levitating water droplets as a screen could grant the satisfactory division and privacy (we could incorporate a piece of mosaic glass as background) like the traditional screen provide, meanwhile give an modern taste to the whole room.

If we could finish this on time, we could add in an AUX input port, having our control system read the waveform of input music and help the droplets form a pattern with it. We could’ve also add in a speaker system into it if we are doing AUX input, but that’s out of the scope of our budget and not the focus of our research. We are merely pointing out the potential room for improvement if things go well and it gets commercialized.

Thank you for your time, and this is our project proposal.

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Anuraag Vankayala, Amrutha Vasili

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Featured Project


To build a GPS-assisted, cloud-controlled quadcopter, for consumer-friendly aerial photography.


We will be building a quad from the frame up. The four motors will each have electronic speed controllers,to balance and handle control inputs received from an 8-bit microcontroller(AP),required for its flight. The firmware will be tweaked slightly to allow flight modes that our project specifically requires. A companion computer such as the Erle Brain will be connected to the AP and to the cloud(EC2). We will build a codebase for the flight controller to navigate the quad. This would involve sending messages as per the MAVLink spec for sUAS between the companion computer and the AP to poll sensor data , voltage information , etc. The companion computer will also talk to the cloud via a UDP port to receive requests and process them via our code. Users make requests for media capture via a phone app that talks to the cloud via an internet connection.

Why is it worth doing:

There is currently no consumer-friendly solution that provides or lets anyone capture aerial photographs of them/their family/a nearby event via a simple tap on a phone. In fact, present day off-the-shelf alternatives offer relatively expensive solutions that require owning and carrying bulky equipment such as the quads/remotes. Our idea allows for safe and responsible use of drones as our proposed solution is autonomous, has several safety features, is context aware(terrain information , no fly zones , NOTAMs , etc.) and integrates with the federal airspace seamlessly.

End Product:

Quads that are ready for the connected world and are capable to fly autonomously, from the user standpoint, and can perform maneuvers safely with a very simplistic UI for the common user. Specifically, quads which are deployed on user's demand, without the hassle of ownership.

Similar products and comparison:

Current solutions include RTF (ready to fly) quads such as the DJI Phantom and the Kickstarter project, Lily,that are heavily user-dependent or user-centric.The Phantom requires you to carry a bulky remote with multiple antennas. Moreover,the flight radius could be reduced by interference from nearby conditions.Lily requires the user to carry a tracking device on them. You can not have Lily shoot a subject that is not you. Lily can have a maximum altitude of 15 m above you and that is below the tree line,prone to crashes.

Our solution differs in several ways.Our solution intends to be location and/or event-centric. We propose that the users need not own quads and user can capture a moment with a phone.As long as any of the users are in the service area and the weather conditions are permissible, safety and knowledge of controlling the quad are all abstracted. The only question left to the user is what should be in the picture at a given time.

Project Videos