Making it safer for pedestrians to cross Monroe Street in front of the Toledo Museum of Art. Reducing recovery time for a broken bone by stimulating muscle movement. Programming an autonomous drone to identify and record security concerns in a building.
These are just a few examples of projects engineering students at The University of Toledo will present to the public at the Senior Design Expo from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, on the first floor of Nitschke Hall.
“The Senior Design Expo is a tradition in The University of Toledo College of Engineering for decades as a showcase of student creativity and ingenuity in collaboration with community partners,” said Dr. Mike Toole, dean of the UToledo College of Engineering.
As part of required senior design/capstone projects, about 50 UToledo engineering teams worked with local businesses, industries and federal agencies to help solve technical and business challenges.
Students will present their final prototypes, provide hands-on demonstrations and answer questions about their experiences at the expo.
On the project to improve bone fracture recovery time, Logan Dabney’s five-member team created a device and sleeve for immobilized muscle stimulation that is designed to reduce the amount of muscle atrophy that occurs while wearing a cast, which will decrease the time needed for physical therapy.
“I actually pitched the idea to our group after conferring with one of my bioengineering friends because I’ve always been interested in creating products that could help ease day-to-day life or benefit someone’s health,” said Dabney, who is a dual major in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering and plans to pursue a career in software engineering after he graduates in the spring.
“I had to learn an entirely new framework and coding language to create our mobile application for our prototype. Overall, this experience gave me a better perspective on working from start to finish on a project that had multiple people working asynchronously.”
Other projects that range from automotive and environmental to medical and motivational include:
• An alarm clock attachment for a dumbbell that provides accountability to complete a customizable, pre-set workout every morning — the alarm pauses during the workout and is only disabled upon completion;
• A uniform magnetic field using Helmholtz coils to test sensors and other parts that will be used in space applications where Earth’s magnetic field does not interfere;
• A necklace for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that serves as an invisible guardian by sending a notification to the caretaker’s phone or designated devices whenever the patient gets too close to an exit of the home;
• Designs to make it safer for pedestrians to cross Monroe Street in front of the Toledo Museum of Art without lowering the speed limit, such as reducing the number of lanes to one in each direction and adding a speed table;
• A spare tire deployment system for pick-up trucks and SUVs that allows people to replace their flat tire without getting their hands dirty or bending down;
• A phone app that helps individuals who are blind and visually impaired navigate within buildings, responding to vocal requests and audibly directing the path tracked by Bluetooth beacons placed in hallways;
• An automatic cereal and milk dispenser operated by a mobile app intended for dispensing food in a convenient and sanitary manner;
• A hydropower source that uses a river or stream to create enough wattage to power a cell phone; and
• A new process for ball joint assembly at the Dana Toledo Driveline facility that will not fully depend on the operators for lubricating the ball joint socket yokes on the tube of an axle.
“We are very excited to return to our first in-person Senior Design Expo since the start of the pandemic,” said Dr. Matt Franchetti, associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering and coordinator for the Senior Design Expo. “Our students and senior design instructors have worked very hard on their projects.”
All attendees of the Senior Design Expo will be required to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status.