Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Students Display Class Projects at Design Exposition

David Liu and Adam Schrems show off their work at the Fall 2006 College of Engineering Design Exposition. During this one-day event at the Duderstadt Center, held December 7, 2006, students from several disciplines showcased more than 40 projects. Liu and Schrems, both undergraduate students in Computer Engineering, are displaying their senior-level project, SensorNet, a system to wirelessly monitor and control a home. Not shown are team members Eric Moore and Neil Pankey.

With this system, a variety of wireless sensors and actuators would be installed in a personís home to provide this service.  Sensors monitor temperature, motion, doors, cabinets, and a variety of other things.  Actuators control lighting, heating, cooling as well as other home devices.  All sensor and control modules communicate wirelessly with a base station to maintain a current state of the home.  A wireless handheld device is used to monitor and control the home while inside the wireless network.  The base station also serves as a web server to provide remote access from any web browser.

The initial motivation for this system was to monitor the home and actions of an elderly person.  Installing SensorNet would ease the mind of worried family members at a fraction of the cost of a nursing home.  In conjunction with some basic artificial intelligence, these sensors could be used to monitor everyday actions.  For example, if a cabinet containing pills was opened and the water faucet was turned on, it could be conjectured that the person had taken their medication. 

Another use of SensorNet is monitoring and controlling a home. SensorNet allows household heating, cooling and lighting to be monitored and controlled remotely.  For example, you can turn up the heat in your home from work so that it is comfortable when you arrive home.

Liu said he appreciated the opportunity to present the teamís work at the Design Exposition, and he hopes others will take advantage the course, Advanced Embedded Systems. Also presenting projects at the Design Exposition were team members Andrew Cramer, David Masselink, Jacob McCrary, and Jeffrey Rogers, who displayed their Solar Car Micro-Controller System, and Pritpaul Mahal, Douglas Li, and David Miller, who displayed their iBrick MP3 Player.