Category Archives: Engineering Challenge

Design Challenge – RC Hovercraft

In this design challenge, each team was given one week to build an RC hovercraft with given materials including foam, motors, servo, etc… I teamed up with Nigesh and Kanishka for this challenge as team “Hangman”, and we decided to go for a traditional design of a hovercraft. We first cut out the foam base of the hovercraft in the first day. Then in the second day, while I was taking care of the electrical circuit of the hoverboard with motors and servo, Nigesh and Kanishka designed propeller holders. We finished our design and successfully run it in the final day of design process.

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Figure 1: Our hovercraft design

We joined the race the next day. We competed in drag race and round trip race. During the race, our hovercraft was broken apart when we meet the bump because it is not sturdy enough. So we fixed our hovercraft and applied a lot of duck tape and tried the second time. This time we did pretty good in the round trip that we got third place.

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Figure 2: The hovercraft race

Design Challenge – Solar Dragster

This time our challenge is designing a fastest solar car. My team includes Kanishka, Nigesh and me. The supply includes 1 motor, 1 solar panel and a bunch of pulleys as well as gears. At first we though of a pulley system for our solar car, but in the end due to friction the pulley system does not work. In the last thirty minutes, we decided to rebuild our car by switching to a gear system. We finished our solar car on time and attended the race. We got second place in this design competition.
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[Knowledge Project] Music Connection

Project Goal: Using technology to create a product that generates dynamic visual metaphors, which create images onstage and explore themes of “The Knowledge Project”
Deliverable: An interactive tool for staging that is able to create sound when actors interact with one another (touches, hand shake, kiss, hug…). The system needs at least two people to operate; the people would form a path to connect two copper pads far apart from the other. When they use different part of the body to “connect” or if there are more people connected, the sound would change.
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                                   Figure 1: “Music Connection” System Design
Project value:
Provide an impressive visual and auditory experience for the audience. Symbolize a point of view for the definition of knowledge. Create a rich and flexible device can represent multiple ideas for many other theater projects.
Outline of methodology: Using the Arduino UNO, we can detect changes in the resistance of the circuit (human act as resistor) through the copper pads and trigger the audio compartment to generate notes accordingly to that current change. A microphone is then included to record that spontaneous melody created by the actors’ interactions.

Capture                                                Figure 2: Block diagram

Making process: I make the Music Connection in one week. At first, I try to connect everything by electric paint. The first version of MC is very loose, and also it cannot work with human since I use the wrong capacitor value. Then I decided to clean all the paint and solder everything together, plus change the capacitor to the right value. The result is awesome that it can work with human and it looks better. Below is the picture of my finished product.
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Design Challenge 2 – Prepper Market

The second design competition happened near Homecoming Weekend. Our challenge is building product for preppers. We had about a week to come up with an idea and build prototype for it, then have a pitch in front of Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association to present our product.
So, my ideas is a light (LED) powered by water. It is the combination of a joule thief and galvanic cell.
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I spent the whole week for this project. During my time working, I meet and make friend with many awesome professors such as Prof Siegel and Prof Kennedy. They complimented my ideas. On that week, I literally meet Matt Lamparter- head of Electrical Engineer Labs every day for materials.
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I encountered a lot of problems while working on the project. My first problem is that the joule thief didn’t work, which takes me a lot of time to troubleshoot it. Second, when I plugged it in water, the LED didn’t light up because water only generate 0.8V while the circuit need 1.5V. I realized that water baterries should be connected in series but it was too late. So in my presentation, I plugged it in orange juice instead.
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Our team got second place in the second design competition.