# 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:

Smart Frisbee

Ryan Moser, Blake Yerkes, James Younce

Smart Frisbee

Featured Project

The idea of this project would be to improve upon the 395 project ‘Smart Frisbee’ done by a group that included James Younce. The improvements would be to create a wristband with low power / short range RF capabilities that would be able to transmit a user ID to the frisbee, allowing the frisbee to know what player is holding it. Furthermore, the PCB from the 395 course would be used as a point of reference, but significantly redesigned in order to introduce the transceiver, a high accuracy GPS module, and any other parts that could be modified to decrease power consumption. The frisbee’s current sensors are a GPS module, and an MPU 6050, which houses an accelerometer and gyroscope.

The software of the system on the frisbee would be redesigned and optimized to record various statistics as well as improve gameplay tracking features for teams and individual players. These statistics could be player specific events such as the number of throws, number of catches, longest throw, fastest throw, most goals, etc.

The new hardware would improve the frisbee’s ability to properly moderate gameplay and improve “housekeeping”, such as ensuring that an interception by the other team in the end zone would not be counted as a score. Further improvements would be seen on the software side, as the frisbee in it’s current iteration will score as long as the frisbee was thrown over the endzone, and the only way to eliminate false goals is to press a button within a 10 second window after the goal.