BY ISHA LODHI
Last semester saw creative SEECSians making projects to solve small and big problems around them. The projects, most of them designed using microcontrollers, were made by undergraduate electrical engineering students of School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NUST. If you are an electronics enthusiast, or crazy about technology, go ahead and read about some of the best works made.
Water temperature regulator
By Farrukh Zia, Salman Tariq, Bilal Asif, Waleed Alam and Zeeshan Abbasi of BEE-2
“Yiiikes!! The water’s too hot!!”
Many a time, we turn on the tap and either burn ourselves when the water is too hot, or give ourselves a chill down the spine when it’s cold in the freezing winter. A group from BEE-2, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NUST, made a water temperature regulation system as their 7th semester Embedded Systems Design project.
Using their system, you can enter the temperature you want the water to be on a keypad, and find the water just the way you want it when the light turns green.
How it works
The water temperature regulation system works with two water chambers (one hot and one cold, with 50 C and 15 C temperature respectively). The user enters the required temperature and turns on the taps. The water temperature is taken by a sensor; an analog to digital converter sends a digital value of the temperature to the Arduino Uno board that is programmed with an algorithm to turn the hot and cold water taps (with the help of stepper motors) the required degrees anti-clockwise or clockwise, in order to bring the water to the temperature the user wants . When the temperature sensor gets a temperature reading equal to that entered by the user, the light turns on, which means you can safely use the water.
Capacity for extension
If you want to take this project further, think of a way to reduce, or cut out, the water loss that initially occurs when the taps are turned on. Also, you can try designing a system that works for automatic sensor taps.
A portable Karoake System
By Amna Shahab, Huma Amjad, Hemal Falak, Sidrah Shoaib of BEE-2
“You forgot to turn off the music when I started speaking…. AGAIN!! “
Another group of students from the same class, made a karoake system that solves the problem of signal volume control. Usually this is done by DJs or backstage men, who have to sit at a heavy system and manually increase or decrease the volume of different signals. What is new about this group’s project is that this system is amazingly small; it is just a chip you that you can hold in one hand and connect to your mike.
What are the advantages? You will never need another person to control the volume of the karoake instrumental music when you are recording a song. And trust me, you do not want anyone around when you are recording a song.
How it works
The mechanism is pretty simple. The chip takes the average of the signal coming from the mike (which means that it takes the average of the amplitude of your voice when you speak in the mike). The system compares this value to a threshold value fed into it. If the volume is greater than the threshold, the system turns down the volume of the music.
GSM based Billing and Ordering system
By Zonail Afzal, Mateen Mazhar, Abdul Rehman, Shehroze Qureshi of BEE-2
“Ummm, why don’t you take your time and decide what you want, while I wait here by your table……………. because I have nothing else to do…”
Want to save the time your waiter has to stand at a customer’s table taking orders and collecting bills? Some students made an automatic restuarant ordering and billing system which takes orders from customers via mobile texting (SMS) and delivers bills to them via mobile communication too/as well.
The system makes use of an Arduino board microcontroller and a GSM module. It consists of an LCD screen interfaced with the arduino that displays the menu, the customer’s order and the bill.
This system can save the amount of labour required at any shopping mall, restaurant, hotel, and a lot of paper as well.
Capacity for extension
The system designed is originally for hotels and restuarants, but only a few modifications are required to extend the system’s use to shopping malls, and basically wherever a customer seller interaction involving information or payment is required. Details can be added to the information provided to the customer on screen, making this system more self-sufficient.