Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
67 Trail Mix Dispenser
Andrew Ma
Kanav Kariya
Mathew Jacob
Dongwei Shi design_review
other
proposal
Trail Mix Dispenser

Original thread: https://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece445/pace/view-topic.asp?id=25864

Sometimes you don't have time make a snack. Sometimes you just want trail mix.
We would like to build a fully customizable trail mix solution that’s completely controlled through your smartphone. The dispenser will be able to deliver a wide range of customizable and pre-made trail mix recipes in a bag, stapled and ready to go.
Individual ingredients would be stored in separate bins that would be brought to a dispensing position to be poured into a mixing bowl. Once the desired weights and proportions are achieved, the ingredients are then mixed for a more homogeneous mix. We are also considering mixing the ingredients simultaneously to eliminate the need for the mixer.
We would then pull a paper bag from a tray using a vacuum, inflate it, and fill it. We will then fold the top of the bag over and staple the bag to seal it.
This video is the inspiration for filling and sealing the bags: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIwsmAEzgTc&feature=youtu.be
We would have one container for each ingredient in a dispenser similar to the dispensers for cereals in dining halls. We plan on having 4 total such containers.
They will look similar to these: https://secure.img2-ag.wfcdn.com/im/37019053/resize-h800%5Ecompr-r85/4588/45889352/Double+2+Container+Cereal+Dispenser.jpg
Each container module would contain a stepper motor that would dispense the ingredient onto a bowl with a weight sensor. Once the appropriate weights have been reached the ingredients will be mixed with some sort of actuator. We will use small fins to ensure that we have smaller dispensing increments. We will also begin by dispensing quickly and slow down as we approach the target weight to minimize error. In addition we will set design constraints on the error by mass to ensure that the final product is of sufficient quality. Finally, the completed trail mix will be dropped into a bag and sealed by an electric stapler. We could also potentially incorporate weight sensors in the individual container modules and alert the user via the app when they are low on ingredients.
Overall we would require stepper motors with encoders, vacuum pumps, blower pumps, weight sensors, limit switches, an actuator to mix the ingredients, a microcontroller with wifi connectivity, a stepper motor driver, and a stapler.

Assistive Chessboard

Robert Kaufman, Rushi Patel, William Sun

Assistive Chessboard

Featured Project

Problem: It can be difficult for a new player to learn chess, especially if they have no one to play with. They would have to resort to online guides which can be distracting when playing with a real board. If they have no one to play with, they would again have to resort to online games which just don't have the same feel as real boards.

Proposal: We plan to create an assistive chess board. The board will have the following features:

-The board will be able to suggest a move by lighting up the square of the move-to space and square under the piece to move.

-The board will light up valid moves when a piece is picked up and flash the placed square if it is invalid.

-We will include a chess clock for timed play with stop buttons for players to signal the end of their turn.

-The player(s) will be able to select different standard time set-ups and preferences for the help displayed by the board.

Implementation Details: The board lights will be an RGB LED under each square of the board. Each chess piece will have a magnetic base which can be detected by a magnetic field sensor under each square. Each piece will have a different strength magnet inside it to ID which piece is what (ie. 6 different magnet sizes for the 6 different types of pieces). Black and white pieces will be distinguished by the polarity of the magnets. The strength and polarity will be read by the same magnetic field sensor under each square. The lights will have different colors for the different piece that it is representing as well as for different signals (ie. An invalid move will flash red).

The chess clock will consist of a 7-segment display in the form of (h:mm:ss) and there will be 2 stop buttons, one for each side, to signal when a player’s turn is over. A third button will be featured near the clock to act as a reset button. The combination of the two stop switches and reset button will be used to select the time mode for the clock. Each side of the board will also have a two toggle-able buttons or switches to control whether move help or suggested moves should be enabled on that side of the board. The state of the decision will be shown by a lit or unlit LED light near the relevant switch.

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