Senior Design

In the fall and spring, Engineering Design MECE E3420 and MECE E3430 (collectively called Senior Design) constitute the capstone design course in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Columbia University. Students form teams to research, design, and produce a prototype of an original system of their own design.  These courses bring together many of the concepts that were introduced in the undergraduate curriculum. 

Current Projects

Team # 01 - 2B2A - A.B.L.E. - A.B.L.E. (Automatic Bartending Luxury Experience) was developed with the goal of providing a bartender right at home. As a bartender may entertain with glass flairs, we seek to awe through a seamless automatic interface that shakes, stirs, and serves your favorite drink.

Team # 02 - Brüd - The Cold Brew Coffee Machine - We are bringing the bold flavor profile of cold brew coffee to modern coffee aficionados in a sleek countertop design.  Brüd employs vacuum extraction to reduce the time of the cold brew process from 12 hours to 3 minutes, without sacrificing flavor.

Team # 03 - The 5 Puppeteers - Eva - The aim of this project is to develop a robotic face that is capable of replicating human facial expressions and movements. This robotic face will serve as a platform for research into artificial and emotional intelligence by the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia University.

Team # 04 - Lord of the Rings - Uragan - The Vortex Shooter was designed to combine the power of a pneumatic air cannon with thetracking ability of an Xbox Kinect Sensor. The control lies entirely with the user, as the cannon will mimic the movement of the user’s hand, and with a simple gesture, fire a volley of air rings at a series of targets.

Team # 05 -  RC/DC Dynamics - Automatic Wheel Chamber - The goal of this project is to improve the handling and cornering characteristics of a four-wheel vehicle by implementing an active camber suspension system. A steeringand speed-proportional model is used to change wheel camber based upon driving conditions to increase the available lateral force at the tires. The system is tested on a 1/10-scale vehicle.

Team # 06 - Razzle Dazzle - Inverted Pendulum - The inverted pendulum is a classic physics problem, in which a pendulum must balance upright in unstable equilibrium. This project is a mechanically powered inverted pendulum with a two-variable controls system that will serve as an educational tool for future controls students.  

Team # 07 - Honu: Clear Blue - Beach Cleaning Robot - The goal of this project is to build a beach cleaning robot, capable of autonomous movement, obstacle avoidance, and trash disposal.This is a cost effective means of cleaning beaches that moves away from traditional methods such as manual cleanups and specialist-operated shore-sweepers.

Team # 08 - Still Sorting it Out - Automatic Bolt Sorter - The user loads assorted bolts into the rotary feeder, which feeds bolts to camera. The bolt sorter uses optical recognition to determine the maximum diameter and thread count of a bolt and the gantry system sorts the bolts into labeled bins. 

Team # 09 - Wally - Wall Climbing Robot - WALLY is an autonomous 4-limbed wall-climbing robot. Using computer vision and path planning, WALLY can navigate a vertical surface and serves as a proof of concept for uses including planetary exploration and mountain rescue.

Team # 10 - Xylophone Drop Zone - Robotic Xylophone - A 16-key mechatronic xylophone that plays notes by dropping steel balls on machined aluminum keys.

Team # 11 - Popeye - Arm Wrestling Robot - A multibody dynamic approach to arm wrestling. This robotic arm will replicate a fun and safe arm wrestling match based on the player's strength.

Team # 12 - Juggling Act- Juggling Robot - Ju-Ju, The Last Ball Bender, is a one-of-a-kind dual vertical gantry robot capable of manipulating multiple projectiles simultaneously. In other words, it juggles. Ju-Ju has an machined aluminum frame, a calibrated motor control system, and a computer vision system to deliver precise and accurate throwing and catching.

Team # 13 - Wile-E Mech-Es - Windproof Umbrella -  The aim of our project is to design and build a truly windproof umbrella. We'd like to introduce much needed innovations to the design of an everyday item, thereby improving the lives of millions of people.

Team #14 - Toulouse - Painting Robot -  I'm Toulouse! I am an aspiring artist who also happens to be a robot. I'm more than the sum of my parts, and my dream is to some day be taken seriously as a creative artist in my own right.

Team #15 - Balanced^3 - Balancing Cube - A cube that uses three reaction wheels to balance itself in unique configurations.

Team #16 - RoboSphere - Autonomous Spherical Robot - The objective of this project is to create a spherical robot capable of navigating by means of range-finding sensors without human input. Its on board algorithms enable obstacle avoidance and the finding and following of paths.

Previous Projects




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