Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Engineering students' projects at the cutting edge of technology

Engineering students' projects at the cutting edge of technology

From a stabilization system for an unmanned plane to a glove that will change the channels on the television with a flick of a finger, York’s fourth-year engineering students are putting practical twists on their research projects.

Seven teams of students from the capstone senior design project course displayed their work in the lobby of the Science & Engineering Building for the sixth consecutive year.

Right: The first place team of Sriyan Wisnarama (left), Shahroukh Sotodeh and Gowry Sinnathamby, with an unmanned remote controlled plane with their stabilization system

Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 were given to the first, second and third ranked team project, donated by Com Dev International. The project involves the design of complex engineering solutions to a real world problem.

Left: Second place winners, from left, Niken Goswami, Stephen Low, Chris Carmichael and Yan Ying Fang. Insert: Stephen Low showing the e-Glove to the judges.

The whole point of it is to come up with a marriage between the idea and the practical outcome, said one of the judges, Michael Sasarman (MBA ’05), director, strategic partnering and sourcing at Ericsson Inc.

“This is very good. It’s better than previous years,” said capstone project course instructor Professor George Zhu, director of the Space Engineering Undergraduate Program and the Space Engineering Design Laboratory. “There is more wireless technology on display this time.”

The project involves specifying the requirements of a suitable solution, selecting and designing a solution, implementing the design, and then testing, evaluating and documenting the chosen solution.

Right: From left, students Thaslim Ghani, Sowmiya Rajagopalan and Tamara Tanurdzic, with their smartphone remote controlled vehicle, which placed third in the competition

The group of students who took first place for their project had a remote controlled plane on display with an installed stabilization system. The Design and Implementation of a Stabilization System for a Remote Controlled Fixed-Wing Model (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) project would help prevent the plane from crashing out of control.

“Whatever orientation the plane has when the stabilization button is hit, it will return to level fight,” said student Gowry Sinnathamby. He was joined by his teammates Sriyan Wisnarama and Shahroukh Sotodeh.

In second place was the Sync Engineering Entertainment Glove with students Stephen Low, Yan Ying Fang, Niken Goswami and Chris Carmichael. The intent behind the e-Glove was to design a remotely controlled single system that is able to universally control functions across a range of electronic devices. That means there would be one device instead of several. The e-Glove would use universal infrared technology with finger gestures, rather than buttons, to control and switch between items such as televisions, stereo systems and clock radios.

Above: From left, Professor George Zhu and Sunil Chavda, director of corporate development for Com Dev International, pose with first-place winners Shahroukh Sotodeh, Sriyan Wisnarama and Gowry Sinnathamby, along with Professor Richard Hornsey, associate dean of science & engineering.

The project that won third – Smartphone Control of an Unmanned Robotic Vehicle – was designed by students Thaslim Ghani, Sowmiya Rajagopalan and Tamara Tanurdzic. The team took remote control technology to a smartphone. Phone rotation would control direction and speed depending on the angle or tilt of the phone, said Ghani. Through a GPS system, the vehicle could also be tracked. The students had mounted a laptop to the top of a small vehicle so the user can see either on their smartphone, or from another laptop, exactly what the camera on the mounted laptop is seeing.

Right: From left, Dan Reynolds, Calvin Midwinter, Patrick Irvin and Bay Ming Jian with the mock-up of their satellite

The practical advantages of this technology, says Ghani, is it can go where a human can’t, such as inside the damaged nuclear plant in Japan or perhaps Mars.

Some of the other projects included a mock-up of a microsatellite (QuickSat) body that is designed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and is licensed to York for educational purposes. York is the first university in Canada to use it in the training of microsatellite technology where students not only design the satellite on paper, but also build a functional prototype. Students Dan Reynolds, Calvin Midwinter, Bay Ming Jian and Patrick Irvin worked on the design and fabrication of a solar panel assembly and its release mechanism under CSA's CAD model and technical specifications.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.