Santa Clara University


IDEAS: 2006 Projects

Capstone Senior Design Projects

Design of a Water Supply System for El Salvador

Michael De Leon
Advisor: Edwin Maurer

This project involved an expansion of a potable water supply system to address a problem of recurring water shortages in the community of Cahuano on Isla Zacatillo. The expanded system is similar in design to existing systems and consists of a hand-dug well, a pumping system, and an elevated storage tank. In the redesigned system, a solar-powered pump is used to pump water from the well to the storage tank. The storage tank in the expanded system is larger and constructed of ferrocement. From the storage tank, water is distributed to the community via the existing gravity-fed water distribution system. The expanded system brings an additional 30 liters per day to the community of Cahuano, sufficient water to meet the community's needs for drinking and cooking.

Keeping Kids Safe

Lam Le, Paul Saechao, Javier Solorzano
Advisor: Shoba Krishnan

Keeping Kids Safe is a continuation and expansion of the project Field Programmable Analog Array-Based Radio Frequency Identification Reader (2005). This project involved using the Programmable Systems on Chip (PSoC) Mixed-Signal Controller from Cypress MicroSystems. The student team used the PSoC to design and build a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag reader on a single chip to handle multiple frequencies. The tag reader will be used within the SCU Kids on Campus daycare program to monitor children's whereabouts and keep them safe.

Music Is Possible II

Trang Phan, Joshua Yee
Advisor: Shoba Krishnan

Music is Possible II is a continuation and expansion of the project Music is Possible (2005). This project involved the development of a musical instrument device as a means of self-expression and therapy for those with motor impairments. The device functions like a BASIC piano/keyboard with five push buttons and is capable of playing a possible of nine notes through the microcontroller's coding. Simple songs are thus readily played with minimal musical experience. This project offers a new means of freedom and entertainment that may also create many positive secondary effects that can potentially benefit all members of society.

SCU Wheel Walker

Naoe Miyata, Robert Pfahnl, John Rivera, Michael Tung
Advisor: Tim Hight

The goal of  this project was to design an assistive walking device with increased mobility and stability. Students modified an existing 4-legged roller walker to enable the user to move while standing or seated. The main benefits of their design are the increased base dimensions for stability and the wheel-switching orientation system for ease of movement, seated or standing.

Treadle Water Pump

Jonathan Balagot, Jonathan Chang, Paula Demartini
Advisor: Tim Hight

The Advaith Treadle Water Pump, used in developing countries, harnesses human power to pump water from the water source to the crops. Students sought to improve upon the working characteristics of the water pump and cut manufacturing costs. Their improved treadle pump acheived a 25% increase in flow rate, a 2 foot increase in water head, and a 4% reduction in manufacturing costs.

Virtual Monitor using 3D Sound

Lynn Chikasuye, Rena Chock, Adrianne Tom, Garrett Yoshimoto
Advisors: Sally Wood, John Noll

The goal of the project was to develop an auditory interface which could help blind people find and access programs on a computer or other graphical user interface. The project involved converting the two-dimensional desktop screen layout to a three-dimensional sound source location on a sphere surrounding the user. A head tracker was created using gyroscopes and accelerometers to provide information on the position and movement of the user's head. The research includes several experiments to determine whether or not a person can successfully discern the direction of a sound clip, being able to track head movement or being able to simulate the movement, and creating 3D sound.

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