Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
46 Cat Selective Automated Food Dispenser
Advika Battini
Ali Yaqoob
Vibhu Vanjari
Yuchen He TA design_document0.pdf
final_paper0.pdf
presentation0.pptx
proposal0.pdf
Problem:
People with two or more cats often have one cat eating way too much food leaving the other pet starved. The chubby cat tends to eat all the food before the other one gets to it. It is also tedious to control how much food each cat gets.

Solution and features:
We aim to solve these problems by designing an automated system which controls how much food is given to each cat. The system stops the cats from eating each others food and controls how much food and at what time the cats are being fed.

Dispenser:
A desired quantity (weight) for food can be entered. The dispenser, will have a flap door that opens/closes based on feedback from a weight sensor placed under the area/bowl the food is dispensed. Times the food is dispensed when a cat approaches can also be controlled to control when the cat eats.
The food container will have IR sensors/LEDs to indicate to the person if the level of food.

Cat Detector:
Methods to detect which cat is approaching:
RFID detection: most existing dispensers / gates use RFID concerned about IP
Cat collar color detection: The part of the collar on the cats back will be distinctly colored and will be detected by a downward facing camera.The camera will take a picture as the cat approaches the device. A motion sensor can be used to activate the camera.
A sliding door to close the access to the food bowl if the wrong cat tries to eat the food.

All the above functionality can additionally be controlled by the owner of the cats using an attached screen.

Power Considerations:
The device will be powered through the wall socket and we will implement a voltage regulator to appropriately power our PCB.

Control System and User Interface for Hydraulic Bike

Iain Brearton

Featured Project

Parker-Hannifin, a fluid power systems company, hosts an annual competition for the design of a chainless bicycle. A MechSE senior design team of mechanical engineers have created a hydraulic circuit with electromechanical valves, but need a control system, user interface, and electrical power for their system. The user would be able to choose between several operating modes (fluid paths), listed at the end.

My solution to this problem is a custom-designed control system and user interface. Based on sensor feedback and user inputs, the system would change operating modes (fluid paths). Additionally, the system could be improved to suggest the best operating mode by implementing a PI or PID controller. The system would not change modes without user interaction due to safety - previous years' bicycles have gone faster than 20mph.

Previous approaches to this problem have usually not included an electrical engineer. As a result, several teams have historically used commercially-available systems such as Parker's IQAN system (link below) or discrete logic due to a lack of technical knowledge (link below). Apart from these two examples, very little public documentation exists on the electrical control systems used by previous competitors, but I believe that designing a control system and user interface from scratch will be a unique and new approach to controlling the hydraulic system.

I am aiming for a 1-person team as there are 6 MechSE counterparts. I emailed Professor Carney on 10/3/14 and he thought the general concept was acceptable.

Operating modes, simplified:

Direct drive (rider's pedaling power goes directly to hydraulic motor)

Coasting (no power input, motor input and output "shorted")

Charge accumulators (store energy in expanding rubber balloons)

Discharge accumulators (use stored energy to supply power to motor)

Regenerative braking (use motor energy to charge accumulators)

Download Competition Specs: https://uofi.box.com/shared/static/gst4s78tcdmfnwpjmf9hkvuzlu8jf771.pdf

Team using IQAN system (top right corner): https://engineering.purdue.edu/ABE/InfoFor/CurrentStudents/SeniorProjects/2012/GeskeLamneckSparenbergEtAl

Team using discrete logic (page 19): http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/86206/ME450?sequence=1