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Motion Simulators For Personal Use

Description

Motion simulators are a common feature in everything from high end science museums to amusement parks, allowing a full ride experience on a small footprint and at a comparatively low

Motion simulators are a common feature in everything from high end science museums to amusement parks, allowing a full ride experience on a small footprint and at a comparatively low cost relative to full size rides. The rapidly advancing field of virtual reality provides a potential increase in this desire for motion simulators, by combing virtual reality with motion simulation, total immersions can be created that is competitive with theme parks. While there exists a small number of commercially available consumer motion simulators, these tend to not have a wide enough range of motion to provide flexibility for use cases. This report is the documentation of an attempt to create a low cost consumer grade motion simulator prototype to determine to what extent an adequate motion simulation experience can be created in the home environment. This design made use of a two degree of freedom platform mounted on a universal joint as a trade off between flexibility of use and affordability of the end product. Ultimately, although the design and motor selection was sound, structural issues prevented the design from being capable of withstanding the necessary forces. However, as a prototype, important lessons were learned that could apply to a better-constructed second generation design. The results definitely show that motion simulators will, in the near future, become feasible for in-home amusement park recreation, at least for some amusement park rides.

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  • 2018-05

Design and Fabrication of Soft Robotic Nautilus

Description

The field of soft robotics is a very quickly growing field that has yet to be fully explored or implemented in all of the possible applications. Soft robotics shows the

The field of soft robotics is a very quickly growing field that has yet to be fully explored or implemented in all of the possible applications. Soft robotics shows the greatest degree of possibility for mimicking biological systems effectively and accurately. This study seeks to set the groundwork for the development of a biomimetic nautilus using soft robotic methods. The study shows background research and discusses the methods used to develop a nautilus themed sub aquatic robot that uses a double bladder system and a pump to generate thrust for movement. The study shows how the unit would be fabricated and constructed. The study also explores why the second stage of the design failed and how it could potentially be fixed in future iterations.

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  • 2017-05

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Biodiesel: Sustainable Production and Commercialization for Community Support

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This research focused on how low-income communities in Ghana could convert Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) into biodiesel to supplement their energy demands. The 2016 World Energy Outlook estimates that about

This research focused on how low-income communities in Ghana could convert Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) into biodiesel to supplement their energy demands. The 2016 World Energy Outlook estimates that about 8 million Ghanaians do not have access to electricity while 82% of the population use biomass as cooking fuel. However, WVO is available in almost every home and is also largely produced by hotels and schools. There are over 2,700 registered hotels and more than 28,000 educational institutions from Basic to the Tertiary level. Currently, most WVOs are often discarded in open gutters or left to go rancid and later disposed of. Therefore, WVOs serve as cheap materials available in large quantities with a high potential for conversion into biodiesel and commercializing to support the economic needs of low-income communities. In 2013, a group of researchers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana estimated that the country could be producing between 82,361 and 85,904 tons of biodiesel from WVOs generated by hotels alone in 2015. Further analysis was also carried out to examine the Ghana National Biofuel Policy that was introduced in 2005 with support from the Ghana Energy Commission. Based on the information identified in the research, a set of recommendations were made to help the central government in promoting the biodiesel industry in Ghana, with a focus on low-income or farming communities. Lastly, a self-sustaining biodiesel production model with high potential for commercialization, was proposed to enable low-income communities to produce their own biodiesel from WVOs to meet their energy demands.

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  • 2017-05

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Closing the Gap: An Investigation into the Barriers and Enablers to Cooperative Education at the New American University

Description

Cooperative education has a long-standing tradition within engineering education. As part of the experiential education field, it carries many success stories. Several universities offer a robust cooperative education track. In

Cooperative education has a long-standing tradition within engineering education. As part of the experiential education field, it carries many success stories. Several universities offer a robust cooperative education track. In recent years, Arizona State University has made the decision to formalize a cooperative education program. Arizona State University, like many other institutions, has long since provided career support and promoted internships as an excellent work experience option before graduation. The decision to formalize a cooperative education program speaks to a need for a more rigorous path to work experience for engineering students. This paper is an investigation into the barriers and enablers behind a young cooperative education program. These results indicate that while students do benefit from the program, growth of the program may be tied to creating a meaningful distinction between cooperative education and other learning opportunities.

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  • 2017-05

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3DCycler: Product Launch/Development

Description

Three dimensional printing is a growing field and an excellent medium for rapid prototyping. Its expansion has accelerated over recent years due to the increased affordability of the technology. It

Three dimensional printing is a growing field and an excellent medium for rapid prototyping. Its expansion has accelerated over recent years due to the increased affordability of the technology. It is now at the point where the startup cost to get into the field is down to the hobbyist price point. This means that there is an extremely high demand for affordable printing media. Current media such as ABS and PLA is extremely easy to form, but expensive and petroleum intensive to create. A recycling system that could work with a large variety of waste products could change the way that the maker community recycles. This Honors Thesis, or "Creative Project" will be centered on the product launch of small business 3DCycler. Although this launch will require pulling information and skills from various branches of both Business and Science, the scope of this project will be limited to specifically the market entrance of our small business/ product. Within this blanket goal, the project aims to define our target market/ its niche(s), develop proper IP/ lockout strategies, define future manufacturing strategies, and to fully define our beta product. The research was empirical in nature. Through data gathering techniques (e.g., consultations, interviews, survey), exploration was performed. Through these techniques the company 3DCycler took several calculated pivots in order to prepare the company for a strategic product launch and eventual acquisition.

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  • 2016-12

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Determination of a Shape- and Size-Independent Material Modulus for Honeycomb Structures made by Fused Deposition Modeling

Description

The purpose of the project is to study how the mechanical properties of cellular structures made by Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) change depending on the number of unit cells and

The purpose of the project is to study how the mechanical properties of cellular structures made by Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) change depending on the number of unit cells and the cell geometry. Specimens with three geometries of regular hexagon, square, and equilateral triangle were produced by FDM. The number of cells was varied systematically in each of the three geometries. The samples were tested for compressive strength. The specimens were laser-scanned to determine the actual dimensions, and those values were used in calculations to reduce the dimensional errors. Based on the calculations and analysis, it was concluded that for each geometry, the material modulus converged to a limiting value as the number of unit cells approached "infinity", and the convergent values of the material modulus were approximately the same (within 10% of error) for the three geometries. The convergent values for the material modulus of the hexagon, square, and triangle geometries were 273ksi, 248ksi, and 262ksi respectively. The percentages of error of the square and triangle geometries with respect to the hexagon geometry were 4.0%, and 9.2%, respectively.

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  • 2016-12

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Design of Soft Robotic Grippers for Dexterous Manipulation in the Tasks of Daily Living

Description

This honors thesis project aims to design and develop the ideal design for a soft robotic grasper used in combination with a robotic supernumerary limb design for impaired individuals (i.e.

This honors thesis project aims to design and develop the ideal design for a soft robotic grasper used in combination with a robotic supernumerary limb design for impaired individuals (i.e. a wearable robotic limb that branches out of the body), to help accomplish the tasks of daily living. Observations of current grasper solutions for similar applications has led to a design that incorporates a soft, pneumatically controlled grasper which integrates with the existing limb. Computational models of the grasper design have been created which demonstrate the grasping capabilities of this proposal. Initial prototypes of this grasper approach have been fabricated for testing and analyses purposes to build a foundation for future implementation.

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  • 2016-12

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Robot Head Kit for High School Robotics Education

Description

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education,

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more modern and practical robots. One way to bridge this gap is human-robot interaction for a more hands-on and impactful experience that will leave students more interested in pursuing the field. Our project is a Robotic Head Kit that can be used in an educational setting to teach about its electrical, mechanical, programming, and psychological concepts. We took an existing robot head prototype and further advanced it so it can be easily assembled while still maintaining human complexity. Our research for this project dove into the electronics, mechanics, software, and even psychological barriers present in order to advance the already existing head design. The kit we have developed combines the field of robotics with psychology to create and add more life-like features and functionality to the robot, nicknamed "James Junior." The goal of our Honors Thesis was to initially fix electrical, mechanical, and software problems present. We were then tasked to run tests with high school students to validate our assembly instructions while gathering their observations and feedback about the robot's programmed reactions and emotions. The electrical problems were solved with custom PCBs designed to power and program the existing servo motors on the head. A new set of assembly instructions were written and modifications to the 3D printed parts were made for the kit. In software, existing code was improved to implement a user interface via keypad and joystick to give students control of the robot head they construct themselves. The results of our tests showed that we were not only successful in creating an intuitive robot head kit that could be easily assembled by high school students, but we were also successful in programming human-like expressions that could be emotionally perceived by the students.

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  • 2018-05

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A Novel Historical Safety Metric for Evaluating Road Networks

Description

37,461 automobile accident fatalities occured in the United States in 2016 ("Quick Facts 2016", 2017). Improving the safety of roads has traditionally been approached by governmental agencies including the National

37,461 automobile accident fatalities occured in the United States in 2016 ("Quick Facts 2016", 2017). Improving the safety of roads has traditionally been approached by governmental agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and State Departments of Transporation. In past literature, automobile crash data is analyzed using time-series prediction technicques to identify road segments and/or intersections likely to experience future crashes (Lord & Mannering, 2010). After dangerous zones have been identified road modifications can be implemented improving public safety. This project introduces a historical safety metric for evaluating the relative danger of roads in a road network. The historical safety metric can be used to update routing choices of individual drivers improving public safety by avoiding historically more dangerous routes. The metric is constructed using crash frequency, severity, location and traffic information. An analysis of publically-available crash and traffic data in Allgeheny County, Pennsylvania is used to generate the historical safety metric for a specific road network. Methods for evaluating routes based on the presented historical safety metric are included using the Mann Whitney U Test to evaluate the significance of routing decisions. The evaluation method presented requires routes have at least 20 crashes to be compared with significance testing. The safety of the road network is visualized using a heatmap to present distribution of the metric throughout Allgeheny County.

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  • 2017-12

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Analyzing LinkedIn Profiles Using Machine Learning

Description

Understanding the necessary skills required to work in an industry is a difficult task with many potential uses. By being able to predict the industry of a person based on

Understanding the necessary skills required to work in an industry is a difficult task with many potential uses. By being able to predict the industry of a person based on their skills, professional social networks could make searching better with automated tagging, advertisers can target more carefully, and students can better find a career path that fits their skillset. The aim in this project is to apply deep learning to the world of professional networking. Deep Learning is a type of machine learning that has recently been making breakthroughs in the analysis of complex datasets that previously were not of much use. Initially the goal was to apply deep learning to the skills-to-company relationship, but a lack of quality data required a change to the skills-to-industry relationship. To accomplish the new goal, a database of LinkedIn profiles that are part of various industries was gathered and processed. From this dataset a model was created to take a list of skills and output an industry that people with those skills work in. Such a model has value in the insights that it forms allowing candidates to: determine what industry fits a skillset, identify key skills for industries, and locate which industries possible candidates may best fit in. Various models were trained and tested on a skill to industry dataset. The model was able to learn similarities between industries, and predict the most likely industries for each profiles skillset.

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  • 2017-12