# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
59 Dynamic Ferrofluid Lamp
Chen Huang
Chong Lu
Luke Wendt design_document0.pdf
Chen Huang chuan102
Chong Lu chonglu2

My partner and I would like to take on the challenge left over by group 32 of last semester in building a lava lamp with ferrofluid replacing wax and heaters.

Like group 32 of last semester, we would like to use a stronger permanent magnets controlled by a servo to manipulate the main up and down motion of the ferrofluid. Expanding upon their previous work, we would like to develop a way of controlling the distance the permanent magnets are pushed and pulled along the chamber to increase the degree of control the low power consuming permanent magnets have on the ferrofluid. We might scrap the idea of controlling these magnets with electromagnets and use servos instead for more precise manipulation.

Also, we would like to add an array of electromagnets that directly interact with the ferrofluid, giving us even more means of manipulating the display. And in the case of us using servos to manipulate all the permanent magnets, this array of electromagnets will provide us with the ability to produce much faster changes to the magnetic field. Due to possible power restrictions, these electromagnets can be relatively weaker and produce more subtle manipulations on the ferrofluid. Since the main motion of our ferrofluid lamp will be up and down, controlled by the permanent magnet on the top of the lamp, it will not be necessary for all electromagnets to be powered at the same time.

The basic construction of the lamp will be two concentric cylinder containers, with the outer compartment holding ferrofluid and the suspension fluid, and the inner container holding electromagnets and possibly permanent magnets. We would also like to experiment with the effects of electromagnets on the outer casing of the lamp. These electromagnets would have to be relatively weak due to physical space restrictions in the location they are placed. However, we would like to experiment with the degree of manipulation and possible display effects this configuration can provide.

The electromagnets will be arranged such that the magnetic field is perpendicular to the central cylinder axis and forms a grid of electromagnets on the surface of the center cylinder. We would like to experiment with arranging the electromagnets in a Halbach array to increase the magnetic field on one side of the array. We believe this may enable us to produce stronger magnetic fields using electromagnets with lower current draw.

The aim of the project is not to make high resolution display, but to create an artistic art piece that can manipulate ferrofluid in a relatively controlled to create a wide range of display patterns.

Idea Link:
Last Semester Group 32 Link:

Wireless IntraNetwork

Daniel Gardner, Jeeth Suresh

Wireless IntraNetwork

Featured Project

There is a drastic lack of networking infrastructure in unstable or remote areas, where businesses don’t think they can reliably recoup the large initial cost of construction. Our goal is to bring the internet to these areas. We will use a network of extremely affordable (<$20, made possible by IoT technology) solar-powered nodes that communicate via Wi-Fi with one another and personal devices, donated through organizations such as OLPC, creating an intranet. Each node covers an area approximately 600-800ft in every direction with 4MB/s access and 16GB of cached data, saving valuable bandwidth. Internal communication applications will be provided, minimizing expensive and slow global internet connections. Several solutions exist, but all have failed due to costs of over $200/node or the lack of networking capability.

To connect to the internet at large, a more powerful “server” may be added. This server hooks into the network like other nodes, but contains a cellular connection to connect to the global internet. Any device on the network will be able to access the web via the server’s connection, effectively spreading the cost of a single cellular data plan (which is too expensive for individuals in rural areas). The server also contains a continually-updated several-terabyte cache of educational data and programs, such as Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg. This data gives students and educators high-speed access to resources. Working in harmony, these two components foster economic growth and education, while significantly reducing the costs of adding future infrastructure.