University Club Point of Sale System Improvements by Z5HN4T6E

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									                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 1. Air Conditioner Demand Scheduler Improvements
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Keith Benson, President
Organization: Bonitron, Nashville, TN

This project is the continuation of an upgrade of a 1990’s era design. The device
to be upgraded monitors signals from two thermostats that are used to control
two different air conditioners or heat pumps, and arbitrating the control of the
HVAC units to permit only 1 to run at a time. The existing system is in
production, and in need of an upgrade to a modern microprocessor. The existing
microprocessor is no longer in production. Last year, the project team
successfully implemented a rapid prototype utilizing an Altera FPGA
development kit. This development kit was interfaced to the existing unit, and
basic functionality demonstrated. However, the reliability of the prototype was
poor. It was felt by the project team that this had to do with poorly constructed
interface cabling.

This year, the project team will ruggedize the cabling for the existing prototype,
and demonstrate reliable and reproducible performance with the development
board. The circuit design of those portions of the development kit will then be
replicated, stripping all unnecessary circuits out of the development kit to only
those required to achieve the prototype functionality. This will result in a new
schematic diagram for the upgraded circuit.

Upon completion of this task, a redesign of the existing Printed Circuit Board
(PCB) will be accomplished, a new board constructed, and assembled with new
parts procured by the project team. The new PCB assembly must accommodate
the form, fit and function of the original design, but utilize the FPGA and
associated circuitry of the development board.

The design team recommended for this project should include a materials
engineer to develop the PCB and assembly processes, one computer
engineering student with microprocessor experience, and an electrical engineer
to develop the interface circuitry.




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Project 2. Improved Robotic Arm Project
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Alban Cambourne & Bill Stottlemeyer
Organization: Square D, Nashville, TN

Preface:

The following information is presented to allow a better understanding of this
project and, hopefully, communicate project goals and expectations. It is not the
intent of this spec to override the designer’s and builder’s creative thinking
process and stifle innovation. There may be better approaches to bringing this
project to fruition than the specific details outlined here. Innovation is
encouraged. The final result, however, should meet the overall goals and
expectations presented in this document.

Contact Information:

Please direct any questions or concerns to the following individuals:

Bill Stottlemyer, 615-287-2294, william.stottlemyer@us.schneider-electric.com
Scott Rae, 615-793-1581, scott.rae@us.schneider-electric.com
Charles Reneau, 615-287-3525, charles.reneau@us.schneider-electric.com

Purpose:

This project is an improved version of an existing robotic arm that was developed
by a Vanderbilt project team last year. The existing arm is used in the
characterization and determination of sensitivity parameters of Square D
occupancy sensors. The purpose of the robotic arm is to provide a mechanical
stimulus while positioned inside the coverage area of an occupancy sensor, and
to motivate the sensor circuitry to acknowledge or ignore the motion. This testing
is commonly referred to as “minor motion detection”. This minor motion is
defined as the characteristic motion exhibited by an individual seated at a desk
while performing normal office chores. The predictable and controlled movement
of the robotic arm assures test objectivity and repeatability, thereby lending
scientific credibility to the test results.

Overview of Project:

The original robotic arm arm performed satisfactorily, but in the course of testing
activities, several minor shortcomings were noted. It is the intent of this project to
redesign the robotic arm to improve the performance of the arm and overcome
these shortcomings. The improved robotic arm should incorporate the features
and concepts specified on the original robotic arm, with the exception of the
items listed here as improvements.



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Existing requirements for the robotic arm include:

   1. Controlled movement through a 90 degree arc in one second.
   2. Both vertical and horizontal motion required. Simultaneous movement in
      the horizontal and vertical directions will not be required.
   3. Arm mounted exactly 36 inches from the floor surface.
   4. Robotic arm mounted on movable cart.
   5. Remote control (≥50 feet) via PC computer.
   6. Detailed documentation, commented source code, and lab notes.

Remote control of the robotic arm will be via PC desktop or notebook computer
using standard ASCII character codes generated from a terminal program (a
custom terminal program could also be developed running on the Windows
platform). Preference should be given to a Microchip PIC microcontroller due to
the availability of existing development tools and expertise.

It is highly desirable to integrate the robotic arm control with the turntable system
(another project).

If possible, data collection in the form of recognized cell pattern information
should be captured by the microcontroller.

Data transfer between the microcontroller, turntable, robotic arm, and PC can be
via cables or wireless links. Interface to the PC should be RS-232 or USB.


Project Details:

The following lists the areas of improvement to be addressed by this project:

   1. Use motors (servo or stepper) with more torque. Allow motors to hold a
      fixed position for extended periods of time (>5 minutes) without
      overheating.
   2. Improved power supply. The current robotic arm power supply was
      replaced with a modified 5 volt supply to provide 6 volt drive signals to the
      servo motors. This improved torque considerably. However, this modified
      power supply occasionally shut down due to the internal overvoltage
      protection circuit. Note that a level converter circuit was designed to
      interface the microcontroller’s 5 volt output to the 6 volt drive line. The
      improved robotic arm power supply should be chosen carefully to assure
      sufficient power margin.
   3. Use heavier wiring to avoid IR drops between the power supply, driver
      circuit, and drive motors.
   4. Larger heating area (full 15 inches) of the robotic arm. The total length of
      the arm will now be approximately 18 inches.




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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


   5. Use of aluminum or other material that will provide a more uniform thermal
       profile. The existing arm used a heat “pad” over PVC tubing which
       created hot spots due to the thermal insulating properties of the tubing.
   6. Implementation of a PID temperature controller to maintain the arm
       temperature within ±2 degrees F. The temperature should be adjustable
       from 80 to 120 degrees F (nominal temperature is 95 ±2 degrees F. The
       existing robotic arm heater was modified to accept an Omron E5CN-
       R2MT-500 Digital Temperature Controller and this worked very well.
   7. Use interrupt driven routine for firmware serial port communications to free
       up the microcontroller for other tasks.
   8. Integration of the software control functions of the improved robotic arm to
       the functions of the test turntable to allow ease of testing using one PC
       (Windows based) program to control both systems.
   9. One microcontroller to share its duties between the improved robotic arm
       and the rotating turntable.
   10. Optional (Not required): Data collection. Monitor the sensor output
       (switched light bulb) and record whether or not the stimulus resulted in
       sensor recognition. Recognition could be determined by monitoring the
       lamp with a CdS cell which feeds either a digital or analog input on the
       microcontroller. Display this information on the PC either as a table of test
       results, grid pattern, or some other graphics method.


Testing of the occupancy sensors will be in compliance with the references
mentioned at the end of this document.

The basic test outline will be as follows:

   1. The test panel/turntable will be positioned a fixed and measured distance
      from the robotic arm (stimulus).
   2. The DUT will be mounted on the test panel.
   3. The DUT will be wired into the power and monitoring circuit.
   4. The turntable will be rotated to the desired angle and stopped.
   5. The robotic arm will be activated to sweep through a 90 degree arc.
   6. The data will be collected, displayed on the PC monitor screen, and
      optionally, stored as a data file on the PC’s hard drive.
   7. The turntable will be rotated to a new position and the robotic arm
      movement detection process repeated.




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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008




                        LINE OF SIGHT BETWEEN ROBOTIC ARM AND SENSOR DUT
                                                                                             DUT
       ROBOTIC ARM

                                                                                                             TEST
                                                                                                            PANEL


       POWER SUPPLY


                                                         DUT RECOGNIZATION SIGNALS

                                       (DID SENSOR RECOGNIZE ROBOTIC ARM MOVEMENT?)




                                                                                                   TURNTABLE



   ROBOTIC ARM             MICROCONTROLLER                    TURNTABLE DRIVE
                        AND INTERFACE CIRCUIT                  AND CONTROL                    DRIVE CIRCUIT
 CONTROL SIGNALS


                                         RS-232 OR USB

                                                               Schneider Electric
                             PC COMPUTER                       295 Tech P Drive S
                                                                         ark      uite 100             Test Turntable
                                                               LaVergne, TN 37086
                                                               Bill Stottlemyer
                                                               9/10/2007




References:
1. Specifier Reports – Occupancy Sensors – National Lighting Product
Information Program
2. A New Method for Assessing Occupancy Sensor Performance Using Robotics
– IES Paper #32
3. NEMA Guide to Lighting Controls – National Electrical Manufacturers
Association




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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 3. Turntable Project
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Alban Cambourne
Organization: Square D, Nashville, TN

Preface:

The following information is presented to allow a better understanding of this
project and, hopefully, communicate project goals and expectations. It is not the
intent of this spec to override the designer’s and builder’s creative thinking
process and stifle innovation. There may be better approaches to bringing this
project into fruition other than the specific details outlined here. Innovation is
encouraged. The final result, however, should meet the overall goals and
expectations presented. Please direct any questions or concerns to any of the
following individuals:

Bill Stottlemyer, 615-287-2294, william.stottlemyer@us.schneider-electric.com
Scott Rae, 615-793-1581, scott.rae@us.schneider-electric.com
Charles Reneau, 615-287-3525, charles.reneau@us.schneider-electric.com

Purpose:

The purpose of the test turntable is to allow characterization of wall switch
occupancy sensor coverage patterns. This is accomplished by mounting the
sensor on a support panel, then rotating the panel through a 180 degree arc.
The panel can be rotated to any position within the arc. Rotation is stopped while
a recognition test is made using the robotic arm assembly. Provisions may also
be included to allow tilting the panel on the vertical axis to determine the y-axis
sensitivity. This provision will not be deemed mandatory and will instead be
based on time to implement this feature and the available expertise.

Overview:

The test turntable consists of a round platform designed to support the existing
wall switch occupancy sensor test platform. The turntable shall be capable of
supporting the weight of the test platform while rotating 90 degrees either
directions from the 0 degree on-axis reference point. Total rotation will be 180
degrees. Full 360 degree rotation is not necessary. Rotation of the turntable
shall be by stepper motor, servo motor, or other type motor sufficient to provide
adequate torque and rotation accuracy in one degree increments. Remote
control of the turntable will be via PC desktop or notebook computer using
standard ASCII character codes generated from a terminal program (a custom
terminal program could also be developed running on the Windows platform).
Preference should be given to a Microchip PIC microcontroller due to the
availability of existing development tools and expertise. It is highly desirable to
integrate the robotic arm control with the turntable control. If possible, data
collection in the form of recognized cell pattern information should also be


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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


captured by the microcontroller. Data transfer between the microcontroller,
turntable, robotic arm, and PC can be via cables or wireless links. Interface to
the PC should be RS-232 or USB.

Project Details:

The turntable will use the existing test platform for sensor mounting and support.
The bottom support tier of the existing test platform can be removed from the
support platform. The test platform can then be placed on the rotating turntable
platform and bolted in place.

The width of the existing test platform is 25 inches. Therefore the diameter of the
turntable should be sufficient to allow a comfortable margin on all sides (typically
36 inches in diameter). The platform should be constructed to position the
mounted sensor DUT (device under test) exactly 48 inches above the floor
surface. This equates to the mounting of the existing test panel base support 4
inches from the floor.

Testing of the occupancy sensors will be in compliance with the references
mentioned at the end of this document.

The basic test outline will be as follows:

   1. The test panel/turntable will be positioned a fixed and measured distance
      from the robotic arm (stimulus).
   2. The DUT will be mounted on the test panel.
   3. The DUT will be wired into the power and monitoring circuit.
   4. The turntable will be rotated to the desired angle and stopped.
   5. The robotic arm will be activated to sweep through a 90 degree arc.
   6. The data will be collected, displayed on the PC monitor screen, and
      optionally, stored as a data file on the PC’s hard drive.
   7. The turntable will be rotated to a new position and the robotic arm
      movement detection process repeated.

References:

1. Specifier Reports – Occupancy Sensors – National Lighting Product
Information Program
2. A New Method for Assessing Occupancy Sensor Performance Using Robotics
– IES Paper #32
3. NEMA Guide to Lighting Controls – National Electrical Manufacturers
Association




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                     EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008




                       LINE OF SIGHT BETWEEN ROBOTIC ARM AND SENSOR DUT
                                                                                            DUT
      ROBOTIC ARM

                                                                                                            TEST
                                                                                                           PANEL


      POWER SUPPLY


                                                        DUT RECOGNIZATION SIGNALS

                                      (DID SENSOR RECOGNIZE ROBOTIC ARM MOVEMENT?)




                                                                                                  TURNTABLE



  ROBOTIC ARM             MICROCONTROLLER                    TURNTABLE DRIVE
                       AND INTERFACE CIRCUIT                  AND CONTROL                    DRIVE CIRCUIT
CONTROL SIGNALS


                                        RS-232 OR USB

                                                              Schneider Electric
                            PC COMPUTER                       295 Tech P Drive S
                                                                        ark      uite 100             Test Turntable
                                                              LaVergne, TN 37086
                                                              Bill Stottlemyer
                                                              9/10/2007




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EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008




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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 4. Data-Driven Assessment/Evaluation System for EECE
Laboratory Courses
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Lason Watai, Instructor
Organization: Vanderbilt EECS, Nashville, TN

As part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science’s
(EECS) ongoing development effort in its undergraduate instructional laboratory
courses, the database driven assessment and evaluation lab evaluation system
will be continued from last year. At the present time, the existing system requires
additional security features. In addition, new labs and reporting capabilities must
be added. Since last April, upgrades to the departmental MS IIS server have
been accomplished, with loss of functionality. These issues must be corrected.

The developed system is being used by TAs for grading,professors to evaluate
student progress, and by the EECS Department for ABET assessment. Part of
the assessment process is the evaluation of trends in performance outcomes
over longer periods than one year. These reports are used for ABET
accreditation and other departmental requirements.

The system must also have provision for surveys, and evaluations of these
survey results. The current system was developed using Gentoo Linux, MySQL,
and PhP. The web serving application is Apache server. The development
system has been migrated to the MS IIS environment using MS compatible
versions of MySQL and PhP. Knowledge of these applications is required for
successful implementation of this project.

Project 5. Safety Plug Manufacturing Project
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Chuck Riddle

The project sponsor retains a patent, and other electrical plug embodiments, on a
110 V electrical safety plug, whose purpose is to prevent electrical shocks and
fires. When plugs on today’s market are slightly pulled from the wall, the
conductive metal prongs in those plugs are exposed to whatever may be nearby:
couches, curtains, blinds, liquids, hands, fingers. Herein lies the possibility of fire,
and in the cases of hands and fingers, electric shock. This patented plug
prevents such incidents. If the plug is pulled slightly from the wall, its protective
element remains in place, and prevents electrical shocks and fires. The project
team is to further develop this concept into a commercially viable product, both
functionally and economically.

The design should incorporate a compatible relationship between the safety plug
and the many female receptacles on the market. The design must also be
compatible, yet tough and stable enough to withstand abuse. Prototypes of the
candidate design(s) must be produced, tested, and replicated in order to submit



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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


to United Laboratories testing. UL is an internationally accredited testing facility.
The UL must perform necessary tests on the product, and grant it entry into the
marketplace. This safety plug will protect lives and prevent injury wherever it is
used. Low manufacturing cost is essential to the market opportunity.

Project 6. Polymorph Gripper
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Dr. Kazuhiko Kawamura
Organization: Center for Intelligent Systems

System Description:

The gripper is the device at the end of a robotic arm, designed to interact with the
environment. Robotic grippers are commonly required to grasp and manipulate
loads under a wide range of conditions, without the load slipping from the end-
effector, and avoiding damage to the load.

One of the most interesting and dexterous, but mechanically simple gripper
which has seven degrees of freedom gripper, is shown in Figure below;




Figure 1. The figure on the left demonstrates the five finger gripper and the figure
                 on the right demonstrates one of the fingers. [1]




                      Figure 2. The structure of one finger [1]



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                       EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


The kinematics of this gripper has several interesting features, including the
capability of firmly grasping objects with irregular shapes and with a rather wide
range of dimensions.

On the other hand, we have a new material, polymorph that can be used for the
construction of this gripper. Polymorph is a thermoplastic material that can be shaped and
reshaped any number of times. It is normally supplied as granules that look like small
plastic beads. In the lab it can be heated in hot water and when it reaches 62 degrees
centigrade the granules form a mass of ‘clear’ material. When removed from the hot
water it can be shaped into almost any form and on cooling it becomes as solid as a
material such as nylon. Although expensive, polymorph is suitable for 3D modeling as it
can be shaped by hand or pressed into a shape through the use of a mould.

Requirements:

      Our existing grippers are not dexterous enough to grab various objects.
       We need a more dexterous gripper which can grab various objects such
       as pen, glass, bottle and etc.
      We need a humanlike robot hand, which will be used psychology
       experiments, so it should be similar to a real human hand.

Objectives:

      Design a five-finger gripper and construct it by using polymorph material.
      Design a circuit board that will drive the five actuators and establish the
       communication with the PC.
      Design controller for the gripper to grab various objects.

Project Tasks:

The students are supposed to construct the 5-finger gripper and write a real-time
computer program to control the actuators. The students can use the devices
located in the control lab.

Team Skills and Knowledge:

      Modular Control Techniques
      Basic computer programming skills ( C, C++ or C# )
      Basic circuit design skills
      Microcontroller design
      Basic mechanical design
      Basic biomimetics, which is the art and science of duplicating the
       functional anatomy of a biological organism in engineering materials




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                       EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


References:

1. Keith Wait, Design of a Goniometric input device for master/slave control of a
transhumeral prosthesis, Ms Thesis, Vanderbilt University, May 2007

Projects 7-9.
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsors: See Below
Organization: Qualifacts

     Project                                        Description
CFIT                 Sponsor: Troy Abruzzo, Director of Customer Support
Web-based
outcomes             CFIT (Contextualized Feedback Intervention and Training) is a Web-based
measurement tool     tool that tracks questionnaires administered to adolescent mental health
                     patients. CFIT provides weekly and quarterly feedback reports to help
                     organizations tailor professional development and quality enhancement
                     through:

                         1) Outcome measurement and client satisfaction
                         2) Practice based evidence and quality assurance
                         3) Comprehensive need based training identification

                     Overall, CFIT provides a standardized means of determining whether
                     treatment for a client is successful or not.

                     For the project, students will design and implement a fully functioning
                     standalone Web-based system with project activities including: database
                     architectural decisions, software analysis and design, software
                     development, and quality assurance testing. Development will be done
                     using Java or Oracle PL/SQL technology.

                     The existing CFIT product was developed in partnership with the
                     Vanderbilt Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement (CEPI)
                     department (where active/dedicated resources are available).The system
                     enhancements developed from this project will be used by clinicians
                     nationwide across 50 healthcare regions.
Real Time EDI (837   Sponsor: Gerry Andrady, Director of Product Strategy
Files)
                     Real time Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is used by our customers’
                     billing offices to electronically submit/receive claims/payments to/from
                     payers (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, etc)

                     For the project, students will build a web-based configurable EDI engine
                     that allows end users of the core software to selectively create and modify
                     billing interfaces through the system. The primary activities include taking
                     an existing EDI Web application framework and enhancing it to do real
                     time multiple system interfacing.

                     EDI knowledge is beneficial to those wishing to enter the information
                     technology side of the healthcare, banking, or retail space.




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                      EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 10. Registration System
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Amanda Traylor
Organization: Campus for Human Development

The Campus for Human Development serves the homeless community in
Nashville. In conjunction with over 150 religious institutions in Nashville, it
provides a safe place to stay during the cold months of the year. Over 1,000
homeless clients are served. They have a capacity of about 350 individuals per
night. Currently, the registration, assignment, and information on the clients,
religious institutions, and transportation arrangements is handled manually. All of
the registration is accomplished in 45 minutes each evening. This project will
develop a more automated approach to the manual, form-based approach
currently used. The architecture of the system is anticipated to use open source
software products, including database managers, web servers, and hypertext
preprocessors. Both hardware and software must be specified. The team
members should have strong database, web development, and user interface
development skills.

Project 11. Automotive Instrumentation System
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Dr. AB Bonds
Organization: Formula SAE Racing Team

This project will develop a data acquisition and display system for the race car
that is developed by VUmotorsports, and used to compete in the annual Formula
SAE national event. The Formula SAE team will be the requirements developer.
It is anticipated that the design team will implement an on-board module that can
capture critical data from the car and drive train. If possible, wireless
communication to a control station is desired. It is anticipated that the system will
be prototyped using National Instruments Labview, and commercially available
off-the-shelf data acquisition modules. If time permits, a smaller on-board
module will be developed that can meet the stringent size/weight/power
requirements of the race car will be developed. The design team should be
knowledgeable in the area of data acquisition, microprocessors, user interface
development, and Labview.




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                     EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 12. Electric Motor Dynamometer
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Dr. Patrick Taylor
Organization: U.S. Army Research, Development, & Engineering Center

This project is anticipated to be similar to a previous dynamometer development
for the Formula SAE team two years ago. The AMRDEC will provide an eddy
current dynamometer that is rated at a maximum of 8 horsepower. The
application is test and characterization of DC electric motors that are used for
unmanned aerial vehicle applications. The eddy current dyno must be mounted,
motor mounts designed, and instrumentation that can acquire data to be
specified by AMRDEC. It is anticipated that this system will use National
Instruments hardware and software, which is available from the previous project.
The goal of the project is to finish the dyno design and implementation early
enough in the Spring semester to allow test and characterization of a variety of
electric motors to be provided by AMRDEC. The design team should be able to
implement the mechanical mounting fixtures, and be familiar with the NI Labview
suite of hardware and software products.

Project 13. Book Sorter
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Giani d’Aprile
Organization: NetCentral/Books-a-Million

This project is a continuation of a project developed last year. The book sorter is
a mechanical device that is installed in a warehouse in Florence, AL. Some
modifications and improvements of the existing sorting machine are required.
The project team last year developed a set of macros that allows control of the
sorter and data acquisition from the scanners and sensors in the book sorter.
These macros, software, and hardware will be utilized to develop a real-time
control system. Code listings in the C programming language are available from
a similar machine. The majority of this effort will entail porting the existing code
to a modern, PC-based system, integrating it with the existing NI Labview utilities
and hardware, and successfully testing the integrated system. The team should
be knowledgeable in the design of electrical interlocks for the sorter, C
programming, and development of script files in either Unix or Windows based
environments.




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                     EECS Sponsored Projects - 2007/2008


Project 14. Smart Thermostat & Water Heater
Faculty Mentor: Andrew Dozier
Sponsor: Terry Slattery
Organization: Netcordia

This is a continuation of a project that was started last year. The emphasis on
the project is to finalize the design of a microprocessor based smart thermostat,
and water heater instrumentation module. After development of these modules,
they must be integrated into the existing web-based environment, tested, and
characterized. The project team should be knowledgeable in microprocessor
development, data communications, and web-based applications.




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