2017-2018 TEI4M Independent Study Projects (ISPs)

Independent Study Projects. Please read our overview on why ACES pursue Independent Study Projects so vigorously.

To my mind, the characteristics of a great project include such aspects as imagination, creativity, a degree of risk and, sometimes, even simplicity, to name a few. Check out the flashlight circuit 'board' this guy made out of little more that a piece of paper and a pencil? Simple, but inspiring. Consider a problem that needs a solution. Boyan Slat did at age 17 when he was in high school; four years later he is cleaning up the world's oceans. So, dig in, think, dream, research, and explore possible project pursuits. Be discerning: don't accept the first thing that comes along. You'll be expected to maintain the progress of your ISP on your web page to enable everyone to follow your efforts so have your phone handy to at all times to capture the images of your journey. Be conscious of the fact that a multi-page summary of your project will appear in your ER after Presentation Day for more permanent record of your efforts. You may wish to take into account the ISP Evaluation document that will be applied on your Presentation Day.

Also, don't underestimate the value of an enterprise/entrepreneurial aspect to your project that could see a number of units of your project in the hands of future ACES, for sale in the Dragon's Lair or beyond, reaching an even a broader audience.

Short ISP Options

  1. (Mechanical) Ball Bearing
  2. (Electrical/Computer/Software) AT28C17 EEPROM Burner, ZIF Socket, Arduino Shield
  3. (Computer/Software) Mojo FPGA (Electrical//Mechanical) Thermocouple
  4. (Design/Electrical/Software) Large 12V CA Seven-Segment Display
  5. (Electrical/Software) DC Fan. 4-wire: 12V, GND, Tach (Feedback) wire + PWM wire (for PID Control)
  6. (Mechanical, Electrical) Subminiature 5V Relay
  7. (Electrical, Novelty) Staples Easy Button with Voice Recording Kit
  8. (Mechanical, Electrical) 12V Solenoid Switch

(4 weeks)
Medium ISP
(7 weeks)
SMD Flex Circuit
(3 weeks)
Long ISP
(8 weeks)
Canavan, S.
Automated' Pinball Machine
Part: 12V Solenoid
Description: The pinball will use a solenoid to shoot a ball up and when the ball has come close to the paddles it will trigger an infrared sensor that is connected to stepper motors that will move the paddles and strike the ball.
Power: 12V
Processor: Mega328P
CAD: The Paddles
Security Camera
Description: A camera mounted to a stepper (servo?) motor that rotates based on sensed by distance sensors placed around the camera.
Day Counter
Processor: 85
Language: Arduino C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs: RTC
Description: A day counter that will simulate a 7-segment display from 14 SMD LEDs

Muscle-Activated Prosthetic Hand
Description: Using muscle-sensors the intent is to activate a 3D printed prosthetic hand will be moved by servos.

Dadyburjor, D.
Day Clock
Part: Large 7-Segment Display (CA)Description: Provide a superior day clock to replace the existing day clock with a two-piece case.
Power: 12V
Processor: ATmeg329P
CAD: The two-piece case
MASSIVE Digital Clock
Description: This project wil lreplace the clock in the DES to display time and date

Flex Page Inserts
Language: Arduino C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Description: Ultra-thin 3D printed diffuser skins for 7-segment, and matrix displays that can be laminated into users' flex pages.
Description: This will be an equalizer built into a portable speaker that will light up the enclosure.
Logush, O.
Title: Rail Gun
Part: Ball Bearing
: The ball bearing will be accelerated through a 3D printed track. Electromagnets will supply the acceleration. Once it reaches the end of the track it will shoot out, becoming a 'dangerous' projectile :)
Power: 12V
Processor: ATmega328P
CAD: The rail
DIY CNC Mill v1
Description: This project will be a CNC mill with the ability to cut various materials using a subtractive manuafacturing process. The goal is to have it precise enough to cut PCBs.

Flex Matrix 2.0
Processor: 85
Language: C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs: 595's
Description: This is an update of my Grade 11 version that includes an ISP flex connector.

DIY CNC Mill v2 User Manual
Description: In addition to completing my Medium ISP, a DIY CNC Mill, the primary focus for my Long ISP is to develop a comprehensive user manual so ACES in the future can use my device for their own project goals.

McAuliffe, E.
Title: Relay Logic Adder
Part: 5V Relay
Description: This project uses relay logic to add 2 nibbles together to output the sum on LEDs
Power: 5V
Processor: Atmega328P
CAD: Box/Case
Description: This device will use light to transmit data/sound beteeen two points.
Processor: 84
Language: AVR Assembly
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs:
MCP9808 (MSOP-8)

8-bit Computer
Description: I will create a 4/8-bit computer with custom PCB as a kit for future Grade 12s. The PCB wil integrate diagnostic LEDs and 7-segment displays
Morland, T.
Title: USB Cup Cooler
Part: Thermoelectric Cooler (Peltier Tile)Description: Use a Peltier device coupled with an active heat sink to cool a cup of hot liquid.
Power: 5V
Processor: ATmega328P
CAD: Case
VariAC: Reflow Oven Upgrade
Description: instead of controlling the oven via switching, I'm switching to a variable transformersystem with USB interface

GPS Logger
Processor: 328P Language: C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs:
1.8V buck converter
GPS Receiver
Pass. Antenna

A simple Tetris handheld unit displayed on an 8x8 matrix controlled by four buttons. Programmed entirely in Assembly :)

Peterson, E.
Title: EEPROM Burner
Part: AT28C17 EEPROM, ZIF Socket & Arduino Shield
Description: This EEPROM Burner will use an Arduino to write to the EEPROM IC to permit Grade 12s to program their CHUMP processors developed in class. Possible PCB and/or case in lieu of Shield.
Power: 5V
Processor: ATmega328P
CAD: A case
Binary Challenge Device
Description: A PCB-based device incorporating a standalone 328P to recreate the fmaous Cisco Binary Challenge Game on a physical device. Seven segment displays will be used to present the score and the number.
100% ASM!
Flex Equalizer
Processor: 328P
Language: ???
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs: MSGEQ7
Description: A 7x4 LED matrix will be constructed as a display for the audio spectrum analyzer

Binary Game Console
Description: A wall-mounted version of the Binary Challenge played by Grade 10 ACES. Guests and other visitors to the DES can take a crack at the as it wil lbe mounted at the front door of the DES.
Schaffer, J.
Title: Recordable EASY Button
Part: EASY Button and Digital Recorder
Description: I will modify the EASY Button to output customized voice recordings.
Power: 9V
Processor: ?
CAD: The Button Box
PID Ball-Balance Beam
Description: This project will use PID to when, and by how much to tilt a beam to balance a ball in the middle of the beam
(PID: Proportional-Integral-Differential)

Piano Game
Processor: 328P
Language: Arduino C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional: SMD buttons and buzzer
Description: Each of 4 buttons return an audible frequency
Rubik's Cube Mechanical Solver
Servos attached to the faces of the cube will implement my algorithm for solving a Rubik's Cube.

Sheeres-Paulicpulle, A.
Automatic Cooler
Part: 12V DC Fan
Description: A temperature sensor will be cooled by a fan. until as desired temperature is reached. The fan will then remain on to keep it at that temperature.
Power: 12V
Processor: ATmega328P
CAD: Project Box
Self-Stirring Cup
Description: The project will stir a cup, display the speed and offer the user a choice of speeds.
Magnetic Lock
Processor: 85
Language: Arduino C
Power: 3.6V SolarFilm
Additional ICs: none
Description: Switch enabled in-page coil creates a field that induces a lockable external device

RC Hovercraft
Description: Arduino controlled RC communicates with the Hovercraft via NRF24L01

Grade Contribution to Final Mark

For the bulk of your formal education you have been, and will continue to be, required to consume curriculum chosen for you by someone else. Fortunately (hopefully) you will put this knowledge and skill to good use in your future. However, jumping through someone else's hoops alone does not, typically, secure future success. For that, you must demonstrate your own initiative, motivation, and passion. These qualities need to be cultivated and our Grade 10 hardware course is a perfect place to start. There is so much to learn and there are so many great projects out there that offer stimulating contexts within which to develop and refine your interests.