Table of Contents for this Page
Most homes are not adequately designed to accommodate handicapped individuals, especially when they need to move from story to story of the house with any type of walker or wheelchair. Recently, a family approached the U of D indicating they need a lift system in their house to transport someone in wheelchair from the basement up one level to the first floor. The basic requirements of the lift will be to accommodate two people, a wheelchair and a small payload. The objective of this project is to design a safe, cost effective lift for the family.
Project 2: Cutoff Saw Blade Brake
Hand held cutoff saws have become a popular tool in the construction industry. These devices, which resemble a chainsaw with a rotating abrasive blade instead of a chain, are versatile and can be used to free cut a variety concrete slabs and curbs. The blade rotates at approximately 5000 RPM which poses serious safety concerns; several injuries have resulted from saw "kicking back" toward the operator during cutting resulting in serious injuries. At present, these machines are not required to incorporate any safety features that reduce the chance of injury during a kickback event. The objective of this project is to design a safety brake for the blade that stops the blade quickly when a kickback event occurs.
Project 3: Counting System for Pods
One of the areas of research at U of D focuses on improving the vegetables grown in the region for local processing companies (Campbell Soup, Vlasic, Heinz's, etc.). Horticultural researchers conduct trials to each year to screen new genetic varieties for several crops including peas and lima beans. One of the standard measures of performance of these particular crops is "pod count"; the number of pods on each plant. Currently, researchers hire undergraduate students (at slave wages) to count pods after the pods have been pulled from each plant. The objective of this project is to develop an automatic counter for the pods after they have been pulled from a plant.
Project 4: DNA-Sample Loading System
Biotechnology and the mapping of living organism genomes is one of the most significant scientific efforts today. One of the most difficult and labor intensive aspects of this work is the preparation and subsequent analysis of millions of DNA samples that must be tested to determine complete genetic codes of different organisms. Currently, during the manufacturing process of test samples, different DNA chains are loaded manually into a 96-sample holding block. The block is then placed into another device that analyzes each sample automatically. The objective of this project is to develop a system to load the samples into the block. The goals are to reduce the time for loading as well as the chance for manual error (i.e., putting a sample into the wrong location in the 96-sample block).
Project 5: Metering and Delivery System for Seeds
Monsanto, Inc. has a local facility where they grow and process new varieties of soybeans. Processing often includes measuring a small amount of seeds and placing them into packets. These packets are then sent to other Monsanto testing facilities around the world for subsequent trials (this process is also conducted at the other Monsanto facilities in the US and abroad). At present, the measuring of seed samples and placement into the packets is done manually. Given the thousands of samples they process annually, the time requirements are high. Further, repetative motion injuries are a growing concern. The objective of this project is to design a metering system that measures out the correct amount of seed and then delivers/places the seed into the packet.
Project 6: System for Handling/Storing Mulitple Outboard Boat Motors
The U of D crew coach needs a system to handle and store the motors from the coach's boats used during practice. That's about all I know . . .
Drawings are required as part of your project. You must generate a drawing for each component in you design as well as an assembly drawing of your system. Each drawing must have a standard title block.
If you chose to make a component or do a test in the shop, any injury or any cut that draws blood must be reported to the shop personnel. Before returning to work, you must go to the "Student Health Center" (Infirmary) and fill out an accident report.
Tolerances and Surface Finish