University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Envision Fund Projects

The following projects have received Envision Funds:  

 May, 2014

Location-Based Dynamic Advertising V1

Aaron Bartnik, Electrical Engineering, Junior
Clay Kimber, Computer Science, Junior
Paul Hilsen, Mechanical Engineering, Graduate Student
Anthony Iverson, Marketing, Recent Graduate

We wish to create a portable, location based advertising system for the use in public transportation vehicles. We propose engineering a microcontroller based solution with an LCD display and appropriate modules for data and GPS compatibility. Our primary objective is includes successful image download via telecommunication networks. The image to be downloaded and displayed on the LCD screen will be dependent on the location of the device as determined by the GPS. An Arduino based solution will be used to begin with due to the design flexibility and a vast community of enthusiasts.

January, 2014

Fourier Series Digital Synthesizer

Devon Jenson, Electrical Engineering, Senior
Jon Bartoletta, Computer Engineering, Senior
Our objectives include: successful audio application of Fourier’s theorem, obtaining a maximum number of harmonics allowed by the chosen microcontroller/hardware for real-time synthesis, real-time change in timbre via amplitude envelopes or control voltage and an interface with LED display and MIDI protocol. We propose engineering a microcontroller based monophonic synthesizer using continuous Fourier synthesis to generate basic and complex waveforms. Each component sine wave (or harmonic) will have an independently controlled phase and an amplitude envelop for timbre/spectrum variation. It will likely be a stand-alone device with MIDI protocol and LED display.


December 2013


Yongxu Ren, Computer Science, Sophomore
Danielle Sisserman, Computer Engineering, Sophomore
Matthew Lewis, Computer Engineering,Senior
Ruilin Dong, Electrical Engineering, Graduate student
Stephanie Dahl, Computer Science, Senior
Edem Sessou, Computer Science, Senior

Our objective is to design a build a low-cost autonomous robot based on a model RC car. The robot will be used not only for the RoboMagellan competition, but also as a first prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a self-driving automobile. Furthermore, the robot will be used for training and study purposes for the group. We are planning to form a team to compete in the 2014 RoboMagellan competition. The focus of the proposed project is to develop a robot that navigates autonomously and avoids obstacles over varied outdoor terrain. When the competition starts, a set of GPS waypoints is programmed into the robot for it to follow and traverse the course without any human intervention. The robots have three opportunities to navigate from start to finish and they are scored based on the time it takes them to complete the course.


November, 2013

Digital Control System for Stand-Alone Instrument Devices

Shahean Cheren, Computer Engineering, Junior
Max Lundeen, Computer Engineering, Junior
Keith Swaback, Electrical Engineering, Graduate student

This is mostly a prototype project: to demonstrate the effectiveness of a true-bypass system both in utility of use, but also quality of sound. If implemented properly, this will take our unwanted signal distortion from devices taken out of the chain. It also will provide an on-the-fly way to program it, which no device in the field currently does. The device operates on ¼” phone connected instrument electronics. The primary goal is to take a system of many of these devices which have individual On/Off switches, and have a programmable system which turns many of them on or off with one button press. It will be controlled by a microcontroller, residing in the main unit. The main unit will have inputs and outputs for each device that connects to it. A significant advantage that this device has that no other device in its file: it will also supply individual program switches for each device to easily set which belongs to a particular present. This switch will have an LED to show which are currently on or off. This project is also expandable beyond the scope of the project itself. We can add computer software and other interfaces, as well as tackle some signal processing. Overall it will require a good controls system, and also a well-designed circuit.


October, 2013

Smart Automatic Car

Hoa Huynh, Senior year, Electrical Engineering
Tam Luong, Senior year, Electrical Engineering
Tou Thao, Senior year, Electrical Engineering

Audrino Uno is a very popular microcontroller that is used in many electrical applications with low cost but high efficient. By applying fundamental knowledge from EE2361, Introduction to Microcontroller, at the University of Minnesota which is more focused on microchip PIC18, our engineering group is looking for a chance to learn and practice new skills in the new microcontroller, Audrino Uno. By exploring to this new microcontroller, we hope to gain more experiences and specialties so that we can be ready to join the firmware industry after school.

Bike Charger 

Wyatt Zulkosky, Junior, EE
Nikita Novik, Junior, EE

I would like funding to design a usb phone charger that is powered by bicycle. My uncle cross country bikes, and explained how useful it would be to have constant power. It would also be useful in places without electricity. 

Framed Laser Harp

Harold Stevens, Junior, Mechanical
Shravan Surendran, Junior, Electrical

For this project we intend to create a ""harp"" that uses lasers in lieu of strings.

September, 2013 


Jacob Harrison, Electrical Engineering, Junior
Luke Everson, Electrical Engineering, Junior
Shabnam Ahrar, Electrical Engineering, Junior
The goal is to build a device that allows the user to play Tetris. This will be done using microcontrollers and an LED matrix. 

 April, 2013

Driver Attention Boost System, Part 1   

Yanzi Zhu,Electrical Engineer and Mathematics, Junior
Bohan Li,Psychology, Junior
Haotong Guo,Electrical Engineer, Junior
Xiaobin Lin, Computer Engineering, Junior
Jia Zhang, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Junior

Driving in high risk situations, such as high speed and low illumination, can be fatally dangerous, which is due in part to the limiting factors in human beings. Without proper prompting messages, the driver may not have enough time to direct attention to obstacles on the road and react to it, and thus tragedies result. To address this problem, members of our team work collaboratively, drawing knowledge from psychology and electric engineering, in the effort to develop a vehicle safety system that cues the general direction of the obstacle, using both auditory and tactile feedback, which enables the driver to direct his/her attention to the space containing the obstacle before it is perceived by human eyes. This system has high application value in that it may reduce the chance of accidents in high risk driving conditions.

Remote Controlled Raspberry Pi Media Hub

Tor Anderson, sophomore - Electrical Engineering
Younan Zhu, sophomore - Math & Finance
Nate DeTurk, sophomore - Electrical Engineering
John Hanson, sophomore - Electrical Engineering

Remote Controlled Pi Media Hub: In this project, we aim to learn more about the Linux operating system and small single board computers. We will do so by purchasing several Raspberry Pis and working to turn these in to media hubs or vintage video game console emulators. We will attempt to integrate some sort of controller as a remote for these systems. Specifically, we plan to use and improve upon an Xbox 360 controller driver that can be adapted for the Linux OS that allows for an Xbox 360 controller to be programmed/encoded for operation on Linux systems.  

March, 2013 

Raspberry Pi Graphing Calculator

Scott Sievert, EE, sophomore
The Raspberry Pi is a small credit card sized computer that includes HDMI ports, audio ports and USB ports.
From this, I plan to make a graphing calculator, with a small 3.5" display and a small USB keyboard.
My calculator will run Sage (, a free and open source alternative to Matlab and Mathematica.
The feature to graph also is included in this project.

Runner's GPS

Dan Taylor, CE, junior
I'd like to build a GPS system for runners, doing things like displaying current time, speed, distance traveled,
location on map, etc. Data and maps would be saved to/loaded from an SD card, and displayed on a small LCD.


ULSI Rocket Team

Kenneth Condon, Electrical Engineering (junior)
Mark Abotossaway, Aerospace Engineering, (senior)
Amir Ener, Aerospace Engineering (senior)
Devin Volmer, Aerospace Engineering (senior)
Gregory Zeien, Mechanical Engineering (freshman)
Hannah Weiher, Aerospace Engineering (junior)
Binh Bui, Aerospace Engineering (senior)
Kendall Schneider, Aerospace Engineering (senior)
Matthew Donohue, Aerospace Engineering (junior)
Monique Hladun, Aerospace Engineering (graduate student)
Nathan Kluegel, Aerospace Engineering (senior)
Vishnuu Mallik, Aerospace Engineering (junior)
Samuel Coley, Aerospace Engineering (junior)
Tim Chau, Aerospace Engineering (junior)

Our team is made up of 15 engineering students who are working on building a competitive rocket for the
USLI competition in April 2013. The competition is a national contest to design, to build, and to launch a
high-powered rocket with an on board engineering payload. Our rocket will travel to one mile in altitude,
safely return all of its components, and  release the rover payload.

Although small scale rocketry may seem simple at face value, the contest is quite rigorous. USLI challenges
students to tackle new technology, planning, and management skills necessary for successful careers
in engineering. The experience will help prepare students for entry into professional life where safety
and creative problem solving are key.

We have been working on this project since August 2012, a continuation of the design of last year's rocket.
Our design was accept by NASA in September, we held out PDR in November, DCR a few weeks ago,
and now are working towards building a second half-scale test rocket, then the full scale competition rocket."

Multicopter Build

Mark Gilbertson, Mechanical Engineering (junior)
Kevin Zoch, Mechanical Engineering (sophomore)
Connor Lewis, Mechanical Engineering (sophomore)
Jordan Gustafson, Electrical Engineering (sophomore)
Michael D'Agostino, Electrical Engineering (sophomore)

Our project would be a multi-rotor copter. The number of rotors would depend on the funding, a hexcopter
being the preferred.  

Virtual Cycling

Kyle Bergemann, Computer Engineering (junior)
Aaron Jiang

A bike trainer is used to mount your road bike on during the winter months, and therefore enable you  to
train indoors. This has one large drawback however, it gets very boring. I would like to design an integrated
system that uses a video from actual outside riding, and takes into account speed of your bike to adjust the
playback speed of the video. This will integrate with the ANT+ standard that Garmin uses for their speedometer
bike options. With this integration, the rider will have a realistic experience, seeing that his speed actually
corresponds to something.