Research Projects

Advanced research topics covered by students spanning every field in Electrical Engineering. With highlights in Robotics, Sensors, Programming, and Electronics.


Bluetooth Antenna Design

Matt Shellhammer | October 16th, 2017


A look at different antenna designs and how designs affect signal strength. With included comparisons across different antennas in physical usage space and general use cases. Preformed a Bluetooth Loss of Signal (LOS) Experiment in finding deadlines around a particular Bluetooth transmitter.

Bluetooth Antenna Design Part II

Matt Shellhammer | December 11th, 2017


An overview of different antenna types and how the size effects bandwidth and frequency. With a closer look at ceramic on-chip designed antennas. Includes a second Bluetooth Los of Signal (LOS) Experiment mapping Bluetooth signal strength on the 3Dot in 3D space.

Buck/Boost Converter Model with Motor Load

Tai Nguyen, Miki Kelley | December 10th, 2017


A study of Buck and boost converters powering electrically modeled DC motors. Focus on calculating back-emf from observable measurements from a buck/boost converter driving a motor model.

Data Backup with EEEPROM

Ricardo Alcaraz | October 24th, 2017


A description of EEPROM in the Atemega32u4 its usage and lifespan. Includes a detailed guide on how to write and read data from the EEPROM in C++. Then covers a case of detecting a brown-out condition and setting up recoverable data. Provides a link to GitHub files with detailed explanation.

One Wire Serial Communication

Glen Browne | November 16th, 2017 


An examination of one wire serial communication and how to set up a simple transfer using Arduino. Includes a definition of functions and to communicate over the single wire interface. Preformed a practical experiment connecting a one-wire digital temperature sensor to an Arduino, implementing all code for the interface.

PID Controllers

Jordan Smallwood | October 4th, 2017 


The definition of Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) in order to provide feedback and control. States the foundations for a simple PID controller for controlling line following robots. An in-depth look with examples of integration into a line following robot in C++.

Power Management Integrated Circuits

Tai Nguyen | November 5th, 2017


Research into Power Managment Integrated Circuit (PMIC) and how their components of linear regulators, voltage regulators, and switch regulators are each used in particular cases. Compares the different regulators for trade-offs inefficiently, voltage output levels, current output, cost, and reliability. Also includes a discussion on load switches, inrush current and polarity protection.

UART – Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter

Glen Browne | October 20th, 2017 


Research into the general use of UART and USART with a focus on the implementation in Atmega 32U4. Includes a guide to configuring USART on the 32U4 in C++ with example code.

Ultrasonic Sensors & Applications

Ivan Lopez | October 10th, 2017


Study of ultrasonic sensors and how they operate to calculate the distance between the sensor and an object. Plus, a look into the limitations of the sensors in use cases. Includes a configuration guide for sensor readings in C++. Provides a real-world demonstration of ultrasonic triangulation of an object in realtime using Matlab integrated with Arduino.

Ultrasonic Triangulation Package (Includes MatLab code and Ardunio)

Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality & Virtual Maze Implementation

Mark Huffman | November 11th, 2017


A look at the differences between Virtual reality and Augmented reality. Comparison of the projection, recognition, tracking, and optics of each type. Includes a practical experiment of syncing with an Arduino and traveling through a virtual maze in real time using the 3D engine Unity combined with Bluetooth and Arduino C++ code. Full example and implementation provided with an easily adaptable code to any 3Dot for the same virtual/real physical maze.

VR Package (Includes Virtual Maze Program & Ardinuo implement file)

Wireless Transceiver nRF24L01+

Roy Benmoshe | December 2nd, 2017 


Research into the nRF24L01+ wireless transmitter and receiver for 2.4Ghz ISM. Explains 2.4Ghz antenna’s, practical uses and compares the useable range of different antenna types. Lays the basis for wireless triangulation using speed-over-air calculations.

Ultrasonic sensor , Fall 2018

Author/s: Shweta Hebbalkar


As name implies this device uses an ultrasonic sound to measure the distance between itself, and the nearest solid object. Like if we take the nature’s example then it would be like Bats detecting shapes from sound. Also, There are many applications for ultrasonic sensors, such as in intrusion alarm systems, automatic door openers and backup sensors for automobiles.


  • Operating Voltage: 5V DC         – VCC  = 5 volt power connection
  • Operating Current: 15mA          – TRIG = trigger pin (input)
  • Measure Angle: 15°                   – ECHO = Echo pin (output)
  • Ranging Distance: 2cm – 4m     – GND = Ground

Theoretical Explanation of the ultrasonic sensor:

Let’s look in more depth, ultrasonic Waves are sounds, which cannot be heard by humans and are normally, frequencies of above 20kHz. Here are the basic characteristics of ultrasonic waves in wavelength and Radiation a velocity of wave propagation is express by multiplication of frequency and wavelength. The velocity of an electromagnetic wave but the velocity of sound wave propagation in air is as slow as about 344m/ s (at 20°C). At these slower velocities, wavelengths are short, meaning that higher resolution of distance and direction can be obtained. Because of the higher resolution, it is possible to get higher measurement made large accuracy. The surface dimension of the ultrasonic device can be easily to obtain accurate radiation.  In order to detect the presence of an object, ultrasonic waves are reflected on objects. Because metal, wood, concrete, glass, rubber and paper, etc. reflect approximately 100% of ultrasonic waves, these objects can be easily detected. Cloth, cotton, wool, etc. are difficult to detect because they absorb ultrasonic waves. It may often be difficult, also, to detect objects having large surface undulation, because of irregular reflection.

In this illustration explains how the ultrasonic sensors works, the solid curve lines are transmitting singles and the dotted curves line are reflective singles. 

In order to generate the ultrasound you need to set the Trig on a High State for 10 µs. That will send out an 8 cycle sonic burst, which will travel at the speed sound, and it will be received in the Echo pin. The Echo pin will output the time in microseconds the sound wave traveled.

Fall 2018: Hexy Generation #3 

Hexy Summary 

Author/s: Brandon Nguyen, Kyle Kilinski 


In Fall 2018 within EE444, our project requirements include the following: achieve a height clearance of 20mm, maintain both gear systems 180° out of phase, support remote control via Bluetooth from the Arxterra App, and accomplish autonomous maze solving. Meanwhile, we set aside a project goal to improve the last generation of Hexy by creating an elegant solution to reduce the amount of play around the femurs and joints. To achieve this goal we needed to create a new guiding system as well as a new joint system that connected the femur to the gear all while maintaining full range for leg movement.

Redesigning the Components

When approaching the last generation of Hexy we started with identifying the areas that are in need of improvement. The joint system that connects the gears to the femurs to allow for full range movement didn’t provide the desired rigidity, allowing the legs a considerable amount of room to jostle in place. The femur guiding system had established a method for guiding the femurs in order for the bot to maintain a three-point stance, but it introduced unnecessary friction to the femur movement due to the lack of weight distribution. Lastly, the chosen motors and how they were mounted introduced wasted space and surplus hardware that would be cut down in the redesign of the Hexy chassis.

Gears and Femur Joints


Femur Guiding System


Base Plate


Top Plate


Face Plate


Convenient Accessories



[Include what electronic components were chosen/used in the process]

Hall Effect Sensors




Bluetooth Module