# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
45 Programmable Ferrofluid Display
Bradley Anderson
Hao Jen Chien
Thomas Coyle
Luke Wendt
For our project, our team would like to build a lower cost programmable ferrofluid display than is currently available. We would be building upon the work of the team which worked on a similar project last semester in order to make a more feature-filled device.
The previous group project used an array of permanent magnets which moved by electromagnets along tubes to manipulate the magnetic fluid. Instead, we propose to build a device with at least a 5x5 grid of permanent magnets attached to small servos.
We would also like to add a layer of IR sensors in an array between the magnets and the fluid. We can then use these sensors to return information about fluid distribution within the display. This will allow software controlling the display to more accurately maneuver the ferrofluid.
All of the magnets and sensors would be wired into a microcontroller, which will have an IO port for control from a computer. The microcontroller will provide an API for the computer to interact with the display, which will include functions for enabling/disabling individual magnets and returning a 2-dimensional array of the IR sensor values.
Ultimately, the project should cost approximately $300 to $400. For a 5x5 magnet display, we will need 25 magnets, servos, and IR sensors to interact with the ferrofluid. We will also need a watertight enclosure for the display, as well ferrofluid and a PCB and microcontroller to manage the servos and sensors. The servos should be the bulk of the cost. Comparatively, the sensors, other electronics, magnets, ferrofluid, and enclosure will be relatively inexpensive. We will be sure to acquire non-toxic ferrofluid for the project to minimize the risk of accidental poisoning.

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.

Project Videos