Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
51 Power Bank Sharing System
Fangwei Gao
Hanlei Gu
Huiwen Song
Shaoyu Meng
Fangwei Gao(fangwei2), Hanlei Gu(hgu7), Huiwen Song(hsong38)

Power Bank Sharing System

Problem:

Think about this scenario: when you are out in a restaurant, shopping mall or a Starbucks trying to reach your friend, your phone is out of battery. This could possibly happen to anyone who has a mobile phone. However, most people don’t carry cables or power banks with them all day long because, first, this situation normally does not happen; and secondly, cables entangle and become a mess in the bag and power banks are not only heavy (inconvenient), but also very expensive for some high-performance models. However, once this situation happens, people run out of options.

Solution Overview:

Power bank sharing station system. Place the stations in shopping malls, restaurants and other public places where people do not have the convenience to stick to a power outlet to charge their phones. Each station holds several power banks. When customers would like to borrow a power bank, they could scan the QR code on the station and the station would automatically pop out one power bank with a enough charge. When customers would like to return the power bank, they need not necessarily return it to the station where they originally borrowed the bank, but they can just find a nearby station with an empty slot and insert the bank into the station. This service can solve the problem because first, the banks provide portability that charging cables does not have; second, people do not need to pay for the bank, they are just charged for the service provided.

A deposit and a payment option would be required from the user. The customers should simply log in to their mobile app (which is part of our system) to scan QR code to check out the bank and the charge would be automatically placed on their accounts when they return the power bank. And the deposit would be returned when they return the power bank. If at place where a valid credit system is implemented, like a U of I, the credit system can be incorporated, so that student could check out banks with their i-card and the fees will directly posted on the the student account. Each power bank should have USB A, USB C, and lightning cables to cover customers with different models of cellphones. The bottom side(to connect with the station) should have metallic parts as a connector and a "charging cable". That is, when the power banks are in the station, they should be charged and stick to the station, which could not be unplugged.

Solution Components:

Hardware:

1. The station will have a power unity that power the station and charge every power bank in the station.

2. The slots that hold the power banks should be capable of detecting if the banks are checked out or returned back. It would also be able to detect how much power is left in each bank.

3. Locking unit should be able to lock the banks before the checking out process is completed and release the bank when checked out.

4. Each power bank should be identified when checked out and returned in order to calculate the time and rate.

Software:

1.We would like to design an Android app that allows users to locate power bank stations, unlock power by scanning QR code on a power bank station and check the status of the power bank brought. Our current plan for this app is React-Native + Flask + MongoDB.

2. We need to program a microcontroller in a power bank station as the main interface. The microcontroller should be connected to the internet and communicate with our central server to handle unlocking and returning processes.

Criterion for Success:

A good interaction between users and our power bank sharing system can be achieved. Users can borrow a power bank in a short time by simply opening a mobile app and scanning a QR code. The returning process should be smooth as well to create a good user experience. The power banks should be stored and kept correctly and securely when not been checked out.

Interactive Proximity Donor Wall Illumination

Sungmin Jang, Anita Jung, Zheng Liu

Interactive Proximity Donor Wall Illumination

Featured Project

Team Members:

Anita Jung (anitaj2)

Sungmin Jang (sjang27)

Zheng Liu (zliu93)

Link to the idea: https://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece445/pace/view-topic.asp?id=27710

Problem:

The Donor Wall on the southwest side of first floor in ECEB is to celebrate and appreciate everyone who helped and donated for ECEB.

However, because of poor lighting and color contrast between the copper and the wall behind, donor names are not noticed as much as they should, especially after sunset.

Solution Overview:

Here is the image of the Donor Wall:

http://buildingcampaign.ece.illinois.edu/files/2014/10/touched-up-Donor-wall-by-kurt-bielema.jpg

We are going to design and implement a dynamic and interactive illuminating system for the Donor Wall by installing LEDs on the background. LEDs can be placed behind the names to softly illuminate each name. LEDs can also fill in the transparent gaps in the “circuit board” to allow for interaction and dynamic animation.

And our project’s system would contain 2 basic modes:

Default mode: When there is nobody near the Donor Wall, the names are softly illuminated from the back of each name block.

Moving mode: When sensors detect any stimulation such as a person walking nearby, the LEDs are controlled to animate “current” or “pulses” flowing through the “circuit board” into name boards.

Depending on the progress of our project, we have some additional modes:

Pressing mode: When someone is physically pressing on a name block, detected by pressure sensors, the LEDs are controlled to

animate scattering of outgoing light, just as if a wave or light is emitted from that name block.

Solution Components:

Sensor Subsystem:

IR sensors (PIR modules or IR LEDs with phototransistor) or ultrasonic sensors to detect presence and proximity of people in front of the Donor Wall.

Pressure sensors to detect if someone is pressing on a block.

Lighting Subsystem:

A lot of LEDs is needed to be installed on the PCBs to be our lighting subsystem. These are hidden as much as possible so that people focus on the names instead of the LEDs.

Controlling Subsystem:

The main part of the system is the controlling unit. We plan to use a microprocessor to process the signal from those sensors and send signal to LEDs. And because the system has different modes, switching between them correctly is also important for the project.

Power Subsystem:

AC (Wall outlet; 120V, 60Hz) to DC (acceptable DC voltage and current applicable for our circuit design) power adapter or possible AC-DC converter circuit

Criterion for success:

Whole system should work correctly in each mode and switch between different modes correctly. The names should be highlighted in a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing way. Our project is acceptable for senior design because it contains both hardware and software parts dealing with signal processing, power, control, and circuit design with sensors.

Project Videos