Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2001 - $1,650
Pin Pictures is another advancement in the joining of art and media for advertising and entertainment purposes. Pin Pictures designs allow for the production of a three-dimensional pin image of a two-dimensional image. This product captures the imagination of viewers and entertains users.
The product is designed to be a novelty item, similar to the Pinpressions found in many stores today. The product is a simple pin matrix. The pins are controlled by a microprocessor and can form a three-dimensional image on the front of the product by changing their position relative to the base of the product.
The E-Team was comprised of three undergraduate engineering students from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
This E-Team designed a 2.4 GHZ wireless transmitter and receiver capable of transmitting CD quality audio. The receiver performs much the same as current A/V receivers, but wirelessly and without amplification. The transmitter can be affixed to any audio device, but is designed specifically for portable players such as CD or MP3 players, allowing instant connectivity to the variety of devices that populate our environment with a minimal amount of setup time. It also (potentially) allows retrofitting of existing audio or video devices to allow them to be used intermittently for alternative inputs.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2005 - $1,482
When teaching a blind child how to use a spoon, the common practice is hand-over-hand learning, which requires time and patience on the part of the instructor. This E-Team is developing a training spoon that indicates to the child when the spoon is being tipped, allowing the child to learn independent of an instructor and accelerate the learning process. The device consists of a handle, indicator shaft, and spoon tip. Feedback is provided by small bumps on the indicator shaft, which protrude through the spoon handle and press against the child's hand when the spoon is tipped too far in one direction.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2006 - $1,500
This E-Team is developing an electrotactile Braille display to allow the blind to read text from a computer screen. The device, essentially a small box with lines of electrodes representing Braille dots, uses electrical pulses to stimulate the nerves in the user's fingertips, simulating the feel of raised Braille. The device downloads text from a computer through a USB connection.
There are other text-reading Braille displays on the market, but none that use electrical stimulation. Current devices move a series of pins up and down to change the Braille text being displayed, but the high number of small moving parts brings the price of these displays up to $10,000, limiting their market. The team estimates their device will cost a few hundred dollars.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2005 - $5,150
This E-Team developed a swimming aid for the blind and visually impaired that alerts the swimmer when a wall is approaching. The device consists of a small wireless headset attached to the swimmer’s goggle strap. The headset receives signals from two units placed on opposing walls of the lane; when triggered, the headset relays an audible warning through a waterproof earpiece that a wall is approaching. The units also detect a change in the swimmer’s direction, allowing the headset to count laps.
There are no similar devices on the market, but the team has competition from electronic lap counters currently on the market, as well as the “tapper” – a person standing at the end of a swimming lane who uses a long cane to tap the blind swimmer on the shoulder when he/she is approaching the wall. This method is well-installed in the blind and visually impaired community, but the team believes the independence offered by their device gives them an advantage.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Florida Institute of Technology are collaborating on undergraduate entrepreneurial projects in the area of wireless communication and radio-related fields. The Wireless Entrepreneurs Program builds on existing design curricula at both schools, but follows the entrepreneurial model developed at Rose-Hulman, rather than a traditional engineering course format. In the collaboration, faculty and students work on two projects. In one project, students from each school work together on multi-institutional teams on a development project. The student project focuses on developing interactive modules that visually depict and/or simulate the principles involved in cellular and PCS systems. Each team researches, proposes, and develops their own projects for a wireless application, starting in the teams’ junior years. The teams submit a proposal to a committee composed of industry and faculty from both institutions.
The second project involves the development of a small auxiliary radar device that senses the presence of a vehicle in an unsafe zone or detects the presence of a vehicle that is approaching with excessive speed. The project involves the evaluation of both technologies and techniques for sensing as well as providing wireless means for communicating to the dashboard. While faculty and students at each institution work independently, the faculty shares the team findings, approaches, and experiences as development progresses from concept through design, developing, and testing.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2001 - $11,200
The Digital Lap Counter and Timer for Swimmers frees swimmers' minds of lap counts so that they can concentrate on their positioning and stroke dynamics. The device consists of an underwater pad placed directly over the wall at the end of a swimming lane. Inside are digital displays that show a swimmer's current lap count and either total swimming time or their current lap time. Also inside are pressure-activated switches that sense a swimmer's lap change when the swimmer presses the pad while pushing off the wall into the next lap. All of the computing, saving of data, and counting takes place just outside the pool in a small waterproof box connected to the underwater pad by a short cable. This box has a simple user interface and a standard DB9 serial port socket for connection to a personal computer. When the device is connected to a PC, the swimmer can download swim data, giving them the ability to chart their improvement between different training sessions.