Mechatronics display innovative projects at the Capstone Design Symposium

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The mechatronics engineering Capstone Design Symposium was held March 18 in the Davis Centre, and showcased final design projects by senior students. The symposium featured many projects by teams of students looking to solve broad to small problems. Each project also came with a prototype to demonstrate their project.</p>

One project that provided a solution to agricultural problems was Harvest — Intelligent Garden Assistant. It is a device to help people grow their own produce by automating the process of watering and maintaining light. 

“A lot of people don’t buy produce from grocery stores or commercially because the food is underripe, overripe, too expensive, etc. So we created this product to make home gardening more accessible to the average user,” team member Eric Paul said. 

deXassist, a device used to manipulate joints of a patient’s fingers to ensure regular movement, looks to provide a solution to problems with rehabilitation and paralysation. In the demonstration, the person strapped to the device was connected to a computer that allowed others to control her hand to perform actions.

There were also projects designed for practical everyday uses. For example, Jeff the Excellent Food Fabricator is a robotic arm designed to mimic the movement of a human arm in order to cook food. According to the project description, “making food consumes large amounts of time many working professionals do not have,” which leads to people skipping meals or eating out. Their solution to this problem was to create an automated food cooker. Jeff demonstrated his abilities as an automated food cooker by flipping pancakes at his station.

Another project, PowerON, is a suitcase that generates enough power to charge a cellphone while you travel. It generates power while the suitcase is moving. 

“What we did with PowerON was [that] we designed a suitcase that uses the rotational motion of the wheels to generate electricity that you can use to trap power to your phone, or power bank,” team member Mandeep Gill said.

Engineering symposiums were held March 16-24, featuring projects from students in different engineering programs.

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