Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
7 Electronic Toilet Paper Dispenser and Tracker
Honorable Mention
Kevin Wang
William Rick
Kexin Hui design_document0.pdf
final_paper0.pdf
presentation0.pdf
proposal0.pdf
video
Group Members (Name - NetID):
Kevin Wang - klwang4
William Rick - wrick2

Title: Electronic Toilet Paper Dispenser and Tracker
IDEA post link: https://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece445/pace/view-topic.asp?id=22549

Description:
Living with multiple roommates, one is often thinking, "I just bought toilet paper last week. How are we out already?" Our project is an electronic toilet paper dispenser and tracker that can reduce waste. Each roommate will have their own ID, with multiple ways to sign in to the toilet paper dispenser: RFID card, username and pin button input, and possibly NFC on their phone. Once signed in, we will use an infrared or ultrasound sensor to detect a wave of the hand, which will dispense one “serving” of toilet paper. (The serving size can be adjusted to accommodate different usage levels.) This will be accomplished using a geared DC motor, continuous rotation servo motor, or stepper motor, in a mechanism similar to that of an automatic paper towel dispenser. This will take experimentation to determine the most accurate method. Each roommate's usage will then be saved and displayed on an LCD screen along with other statistics and options.

Additional optional components may include a piezo beeper for sound alerts (an alarm when someone has taken way too much toilet paper in one sitting) and some LED’s to flash for different signals, such as when the toilet paper is low. Another feature we will add is alerting a user if the toilet paper is out at the moment when they sit down on the toilet. This can be done with an additional ultrasound or IR sensor to detect when a person has sat down or is near the toilet.

We intend to prototype using an Arduino, but then move to a PCB with an Atmel AVR ATMEGA* family microcontroller for a more permanent installation. The PCB will also contain the motor driving circuit and DC power regulation.The device will be powered by battery or DC power (6-12V).

Few current solutions exist for toilet paper and are not widespread. The closest product is the automatic paper towel dispenser in public restrooms, which only dispense based on a hand wave, but do not track usage in any way. Furthermore, there are no solutions in this space that track usage, not to mention usage for individual persons.

Environmental Sensing for Firefighters

Andri Teneqexhi, Lauren White, Hyun Yi

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Hyun Yi, Lauren White, and Andri Teneqexhi earned the Instructor's Award in the Fall of 2013 for their work on the Environmental Sensing for Firefighters.

"Engineering is all about solving real life problems and using the solutions to improve the lives of others. ECE 445 allows you to actually delve deeper into what this really means by providing students the chance to undergo the engineering design process. This requires taking all of the theoretical knowledge, lab experiences, and ultimately, everything that you have ever learned in life, and applying it to your project. Though, there is structure to the course and deadlines in place to measure your team's progress, the actual design, implementation, and success of your project is all determined by you. Unlike any other course that I have taken, I've gained an appreciation for the utilization and benefits of external resources, unforeseen scheduling delays, delegating tasks, and most importantly, teamwork. I consider ECE 445 to be a crash course into real life engineering and a guide to become a successful engineer." -- Lauren White