This weekend, members of the ECE 297DP class presented their semester projects in M5. The projects consisted of various different projects within engineering and technology subfields.
Wayne Hobby constructed a Fourier Transform Fan with led strips on the blades that interpreted the surrounding sounds, and dispersed them as different colors along the radius of the fan. The greater the frequency, resulting in a higher pitch, and the louder the noise, the further outward the fan would light up. He demoed his project using Coldplay’s Scientist, where it was able to follow the rhythm of the piano and the sudden changes in the singer’s voice. To do this, Wayne used a Teensy 3.6, a microcontroller similar to an Arduino, an Electret Microphone Amplifier and LED strips on each of the fan blades.
Sophomore CSE student Zac Little created a homemade set of drum pads by using an Arduino Nano, Codec + MicroSD Breakout – MP3/WAV/MIDI/OGG Play + Record, and piezo sensors. He made the pads out of old DVDs with the piezoelectric disks in the middle, and assigned each of the sensors to a designated port on the bread board. One improvement he hopes to make is to allow the drums to be able to play two or more of the sounds at the same time. Because of the code he used, the system thinks linearly and can only process the input of one of the sensors at a time. Since when using a drum set, you often combine the different instruments, he plans to alter the coding so he can successfully make this change.
There were many other projects from the class that were on display. One project consisted of a robot that reacted to the sound of the environment and looked in your direction. Each “ear” contained a sensor to detect the level of noise in the environment, and if the noise was above a certain threshold, it would send a signal back to the microcontroller to move the head in whatever direction the noise came from. Another project was an LED Clock that uses a timer to keep track of the time, and then displays the numbers in respective colors based on a color code.
If you are interested in working on a project like this next semester, you can enroll in ECE 297DP with Professor Baird Soules.