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Engineering Students Create Technologically Innovative Projects in Senior Design Contest

32 teams to showcase inventions, including interactive computer games, a motorized TV wall mount, a solution to recycle grey water and more
Campus News  |  Nov 28, 2012  |  By Megan Downs
Media Contact: Megan Downs, Office of Media Relations (702) 895-0898

What

Students from the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering will showcase lessons learned from their undergraduate education when they display their commercially viable projects at the Fall 2012 Senior Design Competition.

When

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 5
All projects will be shown for the duration of the event, with a scheduled break from noon to 1 p.m.

Where

UNLV Foundations Building, Blasco Event Wing
Near the corner of Maryland Pkwy and Cottage Grove Ave.

Details

This semester students from 32 teams created a variety of technologically innovative projects, including interactive computer games of the future, a motorized TV wall mount, a solution to recycle grey water and more.

The Senior Design Competition is the culminating project for undergraduate engineering students at UNLV. The event is judged by local industry representatives and has thousands of dollars in prize money on the line. The competition introduces students to the spirit of entrepreneurship and the benefits of commercial application.

Note: A partial list of projects is outlined below. A complete list of all projects will soon be available at engineering.unlv.edu.

Interact With Kinect: This team developed a computer game in which the user can control a robot on the screen through hand movement. By simply using hand gestures or commands the user can create a path for the robot to follow. While this was originally created for entertainment purposes, the same technology can be used for a wide range of practical applications. For example, a soldier could use their hands only to control unmanned vehicles during combat.

Solar Decathlon: UNLV is one of 20 university teams worldwide selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, a highly competitive contest that attracts colleges from the world. Teams are tasked with designing, building and operating solar-powered houses that are energy-efficient, affordable and attractive. This team used the solar decathlon design and developed construction plans, detailed design spreadsheets, and computer software analysis for the program that will begin construction in January 2013. 

The design allows for an energy efficient home that can be completely disassembled, transported, and reassembled on multiple occasions. The team worked closely with material suppliers, professional structural engineers, modular home manufacturers, and transportation companies to design a frame capable of withstanding all gravity related loads, winds as high as 90 miles per hour, and seismic zone limitations.

Sock Assist: Millions of people around the world suffer from debilitating diseases and injuries that can make the simplest things, such as putting on your own socks, difficult. This team created a sock-donning machine that allows a user to put on socks independently with little effort. The user, in a seated position, will place their foot between two sidewalls. A sock applicator will move up their foot and fall within the contour of the legs.

Grey Water System Design: Las Vegas faces a serious challenge of meeting the water demands of a growing population in the middle of a desert. This team developed a system that would take used water from showers, hand sinks and clothing washers in a residential hall. The water would then go through a treatment process that would make it acceptable for irrigation and toilet water.

Automatic Bottle Capper: A team of engineering students, who also happen to be home brewing hobbyists, have developed a small kitchen appliance that helps home brewers cap their bottles and carbonated beverages as efficiently as manufacturers. The bottle capper limits the amounts of bottles broken during the home brewing process by applying the proper amount of force without shattering the glass. The team plans to release their invention as an open source kit to appeal to local home brewers. Learn more at autobeercapper.com.

Motorized TV Wall Mount: This motorized TV wall mount uses two motors and a simple remote control to move a large flat screen television so that it can be viewed from multiple angles. Currently, the majority of wall mounted televisions need to be adjusted manually and are locked into place, causing inconvenience for viewers who move into an adjacent room, such as the kitchen. This invention could be successful in bars and pool halls where the televisions are mounted in hard to reach areas.