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In April, we started a series of posts which showcased some of the top semester projects for an electronics course from a class of Electrical Engineering students. To test the students and get some creative results, the constraint was that each project had to use a Bluetooth module that communicated with a smart phone application.


So far, we have had a look at a device that can make any speaker wireless, a wearable communication device and a car automation system. In this final entry of the series, we will look at another impressive and interesting project, named “Mution”. It lets the user control a music player on his/her phone with hand gestures.

Project name: “Mution”

Students: Ali Athar, Armaghan Ahmed Khan and Azlan Shaukat.

(All students of BEE-4 at SEECS, NUST)

The inspiration for the group working on this project came from the fact that users have to remove gloves during winters in order to do simple things like changing songs or volume of their media player, which might be uncomfortable. If they could shift the operation of a mobile phone from touch to gesture, it would be easier to use in situations where they are wearing gloves or driving. So they started with a music application that could be controlled with hand gestures.

Design and Operation:


Like most other projects, this one also used the RFduino module which has a Bluetooth 4 chip on it. To recognize different gestures that signified different actions, they used an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, a combination of an accelerometer and a gyrometer). Both were put on a glove. The RFduino was programmed to decipher the gesture made from the IMU’s data. It would then communicate this to the music player on the smart phone, which would carry out the appropriate operation.

The music player application on the smart phone was purpose built for the project. The reason for this was that accessing the already installed, default music player was not possible and a music player made specifically for this purpose would ensure smoother and more efficient operation.


The group demonstrated control of song selection and volume of the music player application.

Challenges faced:

Like everyone else, this group was also using the RFduino for the first time and had their fair share of troubles. It was also their first time using an IMU.


One of the problems they mentioned encountering was that they initially used an algorithm for gesture recognition that later turned out to be too crude for their use. Although they had to work out a finer algorithm half way through the project, it eventually had better results.

The newer algorithm utilized running average on the IMU’s data for more reliable data processing, whereas the initial one worked on raw values from the accelerometer and gyroscope.

Although the demonstrated version of the project did everything the group had set out to accomplish, the group thought there was room to improve and extend. For starters, the group wanted to replace the make shift glove with a proper data glove. That would not only be more aesthetically pleasing, but also easier to work with.

Separate from the project, the group has also worked with a smart phone camera and demonstrated its control via gestures.

Car B-Lock

ECD Projects: Car B-Lock


Continuing in our series of Bluetooth enabled semester projects; we look at another interesting one in this post. Adhering to the requirements of using a development board with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip (a.k.a, Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE) and an Android phone application, the project featured in this post is related to cars.

Before this, we first saw the wireless Bluetooth speakers, “Audink” and then the notification watch, “Notify-U”. Now we will have a look at “Car B-Lock”, a device that allows the user to interact with the locking system of their car via their Android smartphones.

Project name: Car B-Lock

Students: Mohammad Shahzeb Faisal, Asad Ali Malik and Abdul Moiz.

(All students of BEE-4 at SEECS, NUST)


Drawing on inspiration from wearable gadgets, the team of students working on this project wanted to create something that allowed more convenient use of an everyday object. They focused their attention on cars.

Initially, the project team wanted to develop a system in which the doors would lock and unlock, based on whether the driver (with his smartphone) was in the car’s vicinity or not. Such a system would improve the security without the normal inconveniences.

In the end, they also added the feature of manually controlling car doors.

Design and Operation:


Like most other projects, this one also used the RFduino development board, which has a microcontroller with Bluetooth connectivity. The actuating motors of the car’s locking system were connected to an RFduino. The RFduino would communicate with its Android phone application via bluetooth. Only its own application on a specific phone could connect with the RFduino.

As soon as the associated phone was within range, the RFduino in the car would connect to it. By default, this connection would trigger the RFduino to unlock the car’s doors.

For the manual locking and unlocking from the phone, the phone would communicate with the RFduino over Bluetooth. Choosing a particular option in the phone’s application would send a specific signal to the RFduino. Each possible action had a different kind of signal. The RFduino would see what the specific signal was and turn one of its I/O pins high accordingly. Depending on which specific pin had a high voltage, an external circuit would be triggered that manipulated the required actuating motors via a motor driver IC. Thereby locking or unlocking the required doors. The version demoed could control the doors on either side or all four doors together.

The development and demonstration was carried out on actual car locks. So what was developed was not just a proof of concept. It could be integrated into a car with minimal effort.

Challenges faced:


After finalizing the prototype, the students found that the actuators’ motors were drawing a lot of current so the current had to be limited to keep the ICs and motors safe.

Another related issue was that with the reduced current, the actuator motors were not providing the expected force that could push a door lock. To overcome this problem they had to use polar capacitor of a very high value. As the actuating motors run only for short periods of time, extra charge would first be stored on capacitors in parallel with the motors and they would then provide a sudden influx of large current that would provide the necessary force.

The project’s team was enthusiastic about extending the project further to control (or interact with) other features of the car possible. They can range from ignition, to the cooling/heating systems, to the entertainment system or even the status/health of a car’s different indicators or parts.

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