pov_globe_cropLast Friday Kelley Engineering Center erupted with ingenuity and excellence as more than 600 undergraduates demonstrated their senior projects capping their careers as OSU engineering students.

300-plus projects from all 8 engineering disciplines departments were on display and I was fortunate to talk with a few dozen of the groups about their work; here are my impressions of a few.

Healthy Cat is a smart feeding station that measures food and water consumption of the porculent puss when it steps onto the feeding platform so that feline guardians may adjust the amount and frequency of Meow Mix via a mobile app; I grey_catsuggested adding a camera to automatically upload kitty selfies to Instagram.

3D Printing Management is notable as this achievement is now deployed in the OSU Valley Library 3D printing system and has reduced order processing time by 75% which is outstanding given how popular the library’s 3D printing service has become in the year since it launched.

The Bird Detection System uses a GoPro camera and custom software to identify and track birds and achieved a breakthrough by removing non-moving elements of the scene, thereby freeing most of the processing power to more accurately follow the fowl in flight.

OSU_Rocketry_Logo_Alternate-300x295The OSU Rocketry Team is always a top contender at the Experimental Sounding Rocketry Association (ESRA) and this year is especially strong with a contribution from the Payload Electronics Team who designed on-board instrumentation that “parses GPS coordinates with altimeter data and plots a 3D visualization of the flight into Google Earth, showing a 2D representation of the flight profile.”

Master Hand DJ Glove controls electronic dance music by gestures, which looks and sounds cool; Michael Jackson would have loved it.

Persistence of Vision Globe produces an animated 3D image of the earth out of a spinning ribbon of programmed LEDs which made this one of the most visually interesting projects on display.

Autonomous Energy Harvesting optimizes the performance of solar powered instruments by smartly controlling the level of operation according to how much power is available, thus preventing battery drain and ensuring that the sensors will have sufficient energy to do their work.

OSU stormwater runs from campus directly into Oak Creek so this team measured contaminants and found a lot of zinc but no detectable E. coli, and acceptable levels of turbidity and conductivity.

Smart Disk is a wireless switching device that replaces traditional wall switches with programmable mobile controllers that work with conventional light bulbs which is wonderful since most commercial wireless light control systems require special bulbs at higher cost.

Baxter is a smart industrial robot that is state-of-the-art except for having only two fingers on each hand which makes it hard to turn door knobs and that is why the “Door-Opening Tools for Robots” team designed add-on prosthetics that Bather can use to accomplish tasks requiring three points of contact; even though Baxter’sbaxter_profile face is really an image on an iPad, it looked happy about this.

The “Self Orienting Puck” uses internal electro-mechanics and Netwon’s Third Law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, (not the metaphorical interpretation from “Interstellar”) to keep the puck up no matter how it lands.

The “Extreme Materials Tester” team designed a tool to analyze the materials that can be used to make amazing soft robots that move around like alien life forms and can be useful for many applications including search and rescue operations in disaster areas; I must say, however, that if I were trapped in an earthquake and then saw one of these jelly-fish like robots oozing towards me without warning, I’d feel anxious.

Engineers Without Borders is a global organization with an OSU student chapter that is currently participating in projects in El Salvador, Kenya and Nicaragua such as developing clean drinking water systems.

Phi Sigma Rho is a social sorority for women in engineering and having met some of the women in the OSU chapter I am certain that they have outstanding careers ahead with a lifetime of support from this group.

Phi_Sigma_Rho_heartMany more wonderful projects and groups were present at the 2015 Engineering Expo such that I wish we had more opportunities for all of campus to experience these outstanding achievements.

These brilliant beavers worked hard for a year or more to bring their ideas to reality and warrant our hardy congratulations for their successful projects and especially for bringing their academic efforts to commencement.

I thank all of these students and the College of Engineering for sharing these accomplishments at the Expo.

Now go forth dear graduates to make this world a better place and bring glory and honor to your alma mater!

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