Up-and-coming engineers design dream machines


The University of Akron's electrical and computer engineering seniors shared a lot of great stories during a "show and tell" at the College of Engineering's annual Senior Design Expo, held this year on May 1. Visitors saw plastic cubes that flash colored light to the beat of "Put Me Up" by Mike Perry, an illuminated arrow that points a billiard player straight to a pocket shot, and an electric car battery monitor that tells vehicle owners, by mobile app, when it's time to recharge the battery, among several others.

Here's a preview of just some of the futuristic inventions:

Audio Light Cubes

Senior electrical engineering student Tim Bresson, left, demonstrates his “Audio Light Cubes” at RoboGames for Grant Imahara of the Discovery Channel Show "MythBusters."

A team of senior electrical engineering students designed and built a portable, easy-to-use audio-visualizer system that can turn even the most casual get together into a club-like atmosphere. Their wireless alternative decodes audio signals in real-time to produce a fascinating light display. Typical audio-visual equipment can be cumbersome, cost hundreds of dollars and require wired connections that make it impractical for the average person to enjoy. 

Precision Pool-Aid

Three senior electrical engineering students created a system to help beginners learn to play pool faster. The "Precision Pool-Aid" uses a digital camera to capture the relative position of pool balls on the table, as well as the cue stick. It then sends the coordinates to a computer that calculates the trajectory of the intended shot. The trajectory is projected onto the table as an illuminated arrow that adjusts itself as the player repositions the cue stick. Learning to play pool has never been easier.

Remote IOS Monitoring System for Electric Vehicles

The RiOS is a device designed by senior electrical engineering students and allows users to monitor battery performance on any electric vehicle via a mobile app. The system measures battery charge, battery temperature, an estimation of miles left before the battery needs recharged – all from the user's smartphone, no matter where they are.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.