MECH-4200

Capstone Design

Course Description

Student design teams, operating within a "company" environment, utilize the broad range of their undergraduate experience in interdisciplinary projects selected to promote interaction between the mechanical, automotive, and materials programs. Design methodologies and team interaction simulate future professional practice. Project milestones include: a design proposal with cost analysis and scheduling, construction and commissioning of the designed apparatus, and a final report and presentation having both global and detail completeness.

2021 - Design and Fabrication of a Single Rotor Modular UAV

Every summer, runoff pollution is causing algae in Lake Erie to grow out of control, impacting the health of the lake, suffocating fish, making water unsafe for drinking and swimming, appalling tourists, and putting a dent in local economies. This project proposes a swarm of single rotor unmanned aerial vehicles (SRUAV) for health monitoring of Lake Erie. In its later phases, the project will involve a group of SRUAVs under a distributed consensus control. Traditionally, for such a task, a single drone is designed with complicated structure and control modules resulting in high costs of design, construction, and maintenance. A single unit design can be very vulnerable and costly to maintain. Robotic swarms can achieve the same ability through inter-group cooperation and have the advantage of reusability of the simple agents and the low cost of construction and maintenance. Robotic swarms also have the advantage of high parallelism, which is especially suitable for large scale tasks.

In this project, as the first phase of the overall project, design, fabrication and test of a single unit from the envisioned swarm will be explored. The single unit will be equipped with a modular payload fitted with either a camera or sampling/dispenser device and will be responsible for the aerial photography and sampling of algae blooms in Lake Erie. The current practice for the research data collection is either relying on the US-based research centers data or conducting manual filed investigations. The long-term goal of the proposed research is to provide an alternative low-cost solution for the health monitoring of Lake Erie, with other potential use cases, which could benefit local Canadian researchers.

The main components of this project will include, (1) design (CAD), (2) analysis (modelling and control using MATLAB and Simulink), (3) software and coding (suing Python, Arduino, .Net, MATLAB, Simulink) and (4) assembly, integration, and test (COVID-permitting). For successful completion of the project, students working on this project should collectively have the minimum skills required in the first 3 components as outline above.

2020 - University of Windsor Space & Aeronautics Team – Space System Division CubeSat project

WinSAT Space Systems Division works to conceptualize, design, fabricate, test, and present a 3-Unit Cube Satellite (CubeSat). Over the course of two years. Begun in September 2018 and culminating in July 2020, the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge is a Canada-wide competition for teams of university students (undergraduate and graduate) to design and build a small satellite. WinSAT seeks to bring national recognition of the University of Windsor’s capabilities in engineering, particularly in space and aeronautics. (read more)