The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Team Ganz Wins on Senior Design Project Day

The results are in for the annual Senior Design Project Day, when 20 creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions were unveiled by seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) and judged on their technical design, understanding of realistic constraints, and other criteria. The judges awarded Team Ganz first place, Team Jackson second place, and Team Siqueira third place. The Senior Design Project provides a capstone experience for undergraduate students in the ECE department, when students work in teams of four during a year-long course to design and build systems of their own conception.

First-place Team Ganz, composed of Dan Bercht, Joshua Lowe, Kyle Stearns, and Tim Boisvert, created an Automated Relearning Hand Therapy system of sensors that facilitates hand rehabilitation. Through the use of EKG sensors and an IOIO, a device that lets you connect electronic circuits to an Android and control it from an Android application, the system can guide manually disabled people to re-learn using their hands and simultaneously track their progress through the rehabilitation process.

Second-place Team Jackson has designed a device that combines the large workspace of a smartboard with the portability of a tablet. The Large Portable Projected Peripheral Touchscreen displays a computer screen onto a flat surface, either a wall or a table, and users interact with the computer by using laser pointers on the projected screen to indicate touch locations. Team Jackson is made up of Brian Gosselin Jr., Dmitry Kovalenkov, Greg Langlois, and Nick Jacek.

Third-place Team Siqueira includes Sandra Jenkins, Imen Ben-Neticha, Snigdha Jonna, and Steve Bennett. Their “Theremillusion” project has created a user-friendly interface to teach people how to play a theremin, a musical instrument that has existed for many decades and can be played by moving one’s hand through an electric field, disrupting the field and outputting a note. However, it is very difficult to master the theremin without the kind of learning tool provided by Theremillusion.

Senior Design Project Day is a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. Besides the three winning projects, this year’s inventions included devices that assist special-needs students to perform important everyday activities independently, that teach sign language electronically, that monitor vital safety factors for firefighters, and that make drivers aware of pedestrians and cyclists in the road.

Each team is advised by a faculty member in the department, and projects undergo several formal reviews. (May 2012)