If you are looking for a design project for a class such as ECEN 1400 (Freshman Projects) or ECEN 4610 (Capstone), here are some suggestions:

Check out the Instrument Droid projects on my research page.

Check out these sites that are rich with project ideas:

Check out these past Capston Senior Design Projects

Where possible, consider projects whcih have as their goal, to "save the world." Related to:

  • battery technology
  • energy harvesting from the environment- solar, wind, thermal, vibration, rf , motion
  • land mine detection
  • air quality monitoring
  • water quality monitoring
  • CO2, methane detection and mapping- using drones and gps geotagging
  • plastic water pollution monitoring
  • composting 
  • promoting sustainablity and climate change awareness
  • water desalination
  • improving the quality of life of seniors aging in place

Here are some project ideas:

Easy (1400 level projects)

  1. Build an autonomous, collision avoiding car that will either follow a line or attracted to a light (a moth car) or repelled by a light (bed bug)
  2. Build a controlled temperature and humidity air stream to control a closed room environment for electronics or materials testing
  3. Build a levitating steel ball using feedback and sensing by either optical or inductive with PWM magentic field 
  4. Build a cart with a vertical pencil that can pivot in one direction and drive the cart to keep the pencil vertical using feedback
  5. Build a 2-wheel car that balances upright like a segway scooter
  6. Build a walking hexapod
  7. Build a simple Helmoholtz coil with two circuit boards using printed coils and on-board electronics to drive the current to produce a field. Maybe this is a 4-layer board. Use feedback to make any selectablefield on the inside. Use Hall effect sensor to measure the field.
  8. Build a small aluminum washer levitator or launcher using a few planar coils patterned on circuit boards with on-board electronics to generate an AC magnetic field and repell or shoot an aluminum washer. Add a central guide post of iron or ferrite to align the washer and keep it shooting straight. Connect adjacent boards together with connectors and make the field stronger. Use a high current pulsed current source discharging large capacitors.
  9. Build a joule thief using a low power energy harvesting buck-boost converter like one of these: LTC3106 or PCC110/PCC210, or this one BQ255570 or this one SPV1050 and suck out every last joule from a AA battery. If a battery is considered "dead", how many mA-hrs can we suck out of it to charge up a rechargable battery using a joule thief? Is there a business in sucking dry otherwise dead batteries?
  10. Build a resonantly coupled pick up coil on a PCB with an LED to indicate the presence of a strong rf field.
  11. Build a resonantly coupled pick up coil on a PCB with a Shottky diode to charge a capacitor with a boost converter as an energy harvester for ambient rf energy
  12. Turn any object into a musical instrument by measuring its mechanical resonances and driving it into resonance, or reboardcasting its acoustic emissions
  13. Turn any cooking pot into a sous vide cooker with a temeprature sensor and an immersion heater with a Triac or power relay to an AC plug
  14. Build a bounceless relay by controlling the rate at which the magnetic field of the relay coil is turned on. Use this to dichrge a capacitor very quickly. By reducing the loopinductance, how large a current can you get?
  15. Use a differential capacitive array built in a circuit board as a precision position sensor of a metal sphere with top and bottom X-Y orientations and different excitation frequencies to get X-Y poition information for a component above.
  16. Use a printed circuit board planar inductor as an inductive energy transfer device between a TX source and a RX device. How efficient can you get it?
  17. Build a remote air quality sensor pod with web posted results, using sensors like this one.
  18. Build a remote water quality sensor pod
  19. Build a weather station with energy harvesting and posting info to the web, like this one
  20. Create a precision measurement system to determine if a watched pot does boil more slowly that an unwatched pot
  21. Build a random number generator that creates random red or green lights and evaluate if you can predict which light will flash with a statistically signficant percentage.
  22. Build a cheap Geiger counter to measure background radiation. Record the counts to high precision around campus and look for any radioactive hot spots, emissions or shielding
  23. Build a geiger counter and using an americurium source from a smoke detector, measure if the decay rate can be influenced by an observer paying attention to the source and willing more decays
  24. Build an ultra-sensitive microphone to listen to bugs crawling or acoustic emissions from cups creaking when warmed. Could be an op amp, microphone and parabolic dish made from Tupperwear
  25. Use a BME688 sensor with I2C interface as an environment sensor. Could use an ESP32 module to talk to sensor and post local temp, humidity, air pressure and volatile organics to a free web server site for remote monitoring.
  26. Using two servos for alt-az, build a tracker that will keep a photo cell always pointed normal to the nearest bright light-  for most efficient re-charging
  27. Build a hot wire anemometer to measure the wind speed and calibrate it with a hand held wind sensor. Can 2 of them at right angles measure the direction of the wind?
  28. Use an ultrasonic TX and RX to measure the speed of sound in the air between them by changes in the time delay. Use a second one at right angles and use them to measure the wind speed in the x and y directions. The speed of the sound will increase in the direction the wind blows. (a 1st order ether wind test) No moving parts. 
  29. Build a Gort box- see the 1951 version of the Day the Earth Stood still: A flashing light is embedded in a block of clear plastic and keeps flashing, running off of one AA battery- uses a joule thief to suck all the life out of the battery- maybe even change the flashing pattern based on sending the circuit a coded optical signal.
  30. Build an electronic candle. Use a wind sensor to modulate the brightness of an LED so it responds to blowing on it. Maybe even emulate lighting with a match and blowing out. see this article.
  31. Build a creepy doll head tracker. Take an old doll, rip its head off and mount the head on a server. Add sensors in the eyes to track presence of a person nearby. As person moves, head tracks the person- use photo sensor, or ultrasonic, or even sound sensor to track proximity.
  32. Build a simple rf detector to measure the rf brightness of sources all around us- like uWave oven emissions, or wifi or cell phones. Use this chip: LTC5597, and Arduino
  33. Program a smart LED strip held vertically to emulate a drop of water falling down the strip. Make the drop multi colored, like a drop of fire. Use a few button input to select on which planet the drip is falling- on earth, the moon, mars, Jupiter… Add a square area of smart LEDs at the bottom and porgram a splash pattern.
  34. Test to see if hot water freezes faster than cold water- the Mpemba effect. Test to see if this is due to persistent convection currents in the hot water which the cold water may not have.
  35. How far away can you detect a bright LED flashing? Use ultra bright LED and large current pulse and small corner reflector some distance away. Use a lens to image light onto a photo detector- look for detected pulses, in sunlit room. Can you see the flashes with enough averaging? can you use a far enough distance to measure the speed of light directly?
  36. Build a pendulum driven at its resonance. Measure the period to high precision. How stable can you get the period? Can you servo the pendulum length to phase lock the period to a standard? What environment factors influence the period?
  37. Use a speaker and hanging weight to measure ground vibrations- like a seismometer. Can we use a simple analog MEMs based acceleratometer as a seismometer? How effective is it in seeing building vibrations? Can you detect the natural modes of a building?
  38. Find a 9 degree of freedom sensor to see how small either a magnetic field or acceleration it can detect- can it be used as a vibration sensor, or a motion detector if a box is moved or touched?
  39. Use galvanic skin response or pulse rate in biofeedback sensor to show a visual presentation of the signal to the user. Track and see if user can really influence heart rate much- keep the statistics
  40. Build a relax-ometer that measures muscle electrical signals as bio feedback with a visual display to help a person relax and release muscle tension- see backyard brains. or this from sparkfun
  41. Are your reflexes slowed or speeded up with a few beers? Build a reflex tester with a light flash or buzzer and button press to measure response time of a user. Gather statistics, then have a drink or two and measure the response time. How does the response time vary with number of drinks. How does this related to braking distance if you were driving?
  42. Build an amplifier for a key fob so that the rf ID tag in your pocket can be picked up by the sensor station at least 1 foot away
  43. Is it possible to use a simple light scattering smoke detector as a particle detector for an air quality sensor. Check out this sensor as an example.
  44. Build a portable lightning detector by detecting the transient wide band AM signal in a blast- need to first characterize the features of a lighting blast, typically < 1 MHz)
  45. Build a circuit that is mounted directly to a 9 v battery and does something cool- interactive flashing lights, rotating persistance of vision art, sonor interaction, or smart LED array, like this example.
  46. Measure the heat pulses that pass through a copper rod or aluminum or steel rod. Add a heat pulser on one end and very sensitive thermister placed at some spacing. Use insulation or free air around the rod. Watch the heat pulse spread ou tdue to diffusion from the start. Try different heat pulse widths. Compare the measured temperature profiles to the simple diff equaiton for heat propagation.
  47. Build a people in a room counter. Put a sensor in the doorway that counts people entering and leaving a room. Track the occupancy over time and the flow rate over time. Use a minimally intrusive sensor- maybe ultrasonic, from above. Wil need two to track which direction they are going- either entering or leaving the room. 
  48. Build a strobe studio using a sensor- either acoustic or light beam breaking, to trigger an ultra bright LED strobe and a web cam to photograph a balloon popping, water droplets or other fast effects. Use crossed lasers to photograph a fly interupting both beams at the same time.
  49. Build an automated battery characterizer which will measure the dischrge curves of primary and rechargable batteries under different current loads to look for aging.
  50. Build an automated accelerated lifetime tester for LEDs to plot a Weibel distribution of lifetime with accelerated current and temperature and test regular and superbright LEDs.
  51. Build an automated accelerated lifetime tester for capacitors to plot a Weibel distribution of lifetime with accelerated Voltage and temperature and test various type and rated capacitors.
  52. Build a small airconditioner unit that fits in a car window and is solar powered that will blow outside air into the car to keep the inside cool, with temperature monitoring and BLE to phone to keep you posted on battery life and inside, outside temperature- keeps dogs from dying of the heat inside a car.
  53. Build a slammer circuit to generate 10 A in 10 nsec with MOSFET. Find the optimum MOSFET. How large a B field can be generated? How large a current through an LED can be generated? What is the energy in the pulse that will blow up the LED? Does it matter the peak current or total energy? Do we need a snubber circuit? can we use a tantalum or electrolytic capacitor as a snubber circuit?
  54. Build a glowing name badge using an acrylic base, 3D printed raised, clear lettering, an edge launched LED into the acrylic base and a circuit printed in conductive ink on the acryllic or a small circuit board that drives the LED, and uses energy harvesting from a small solar array, all to be worm on someone's shirt, held on by strong magents on the back.
  55. Build an external circuit to buffer the signal from a USB sound card to measure the impedance of a component using Digilent's Waveforms to drive the sound card like a scope and plot the impedance. Do the same for a Bode plot. It should plug into an external USB sound card and we can manually set the resistor value depending on the impedance range we want to measure. Measure the voltage levels from the speaker out and the input voltage range for the mic in. These will be very low level signals. Maybe use a TLV4110 as a buffer. Chan 1 measures the voltage across the DUT, chan 2 measures the current. See this article for analog buffers for high current applications.
  56. Using the external sound card, build an impedance analyzer for a VRM. This would use a MOSFET as the eLoad to the VRM. Need to manually bias the DC current so the sound card sine wave is a small signal on top of this. Plot the impedance at a few current loads. Watch out for the power dissipation in the eLoad system. 
  57. Build an instrumented Joule thief circuit that measures the voltage on a battery, and the current from it into the boost converter and the charge dumped into the recharable battery. Determine the efficieny of converting residual stored energy in the battery into stored energy in the higher voltage rechargable battery.  Use these discharge curves to monitor the battery usable voltage if there is a boost on the other end. How much residual energy is there in a "dead" battery?
  58. Use a simple real time optical spectrometer to measure the spectrum of different light sources. Use a wide band detector and a known source to mesure the spectral obsoption of different filters. Take a hot filament and measure teh black body spectrum- how close can we get?
  59. Measure the UV tail in the black body radiation from a warm wire that is only slightly above room temperature, by pulsing the temperature and looking for phase sensitive detection of optical emissions in the blackbody tail. How hot does the filament have to be to see optical photons? Use a filter and an APD or PMT to pick up the low light levels from the blackbody tail. Modulate the temperature of the filiament in order to subtract off the background noise.
  60. Build a label maker to print labels on a roll of masking tape using a sharpie, like this one: https://hackaday.io/project/185279-masking-tape-plotter
  61. Build a cat trainer. The cat's food dish will normally be covered with a lid. To raise the lid, the cat must press a level with its paw. Then the lid opens and a few pellets of food are automaticlly added to the bowl. After 1 min, the lid closes. Maybe add 2 levers and teach the cat to press with a partner? If there are two cats in the house, set it up so that both cats have to cooporate and press both handles at the same time in order for the lid to open and food to come out for both of them.
  62. Build a smart LED strip and a magic wand as a chameleon. The wand pickes up the color of any object and then progams the smart LED strip to replicate this color. Integrate the smart LED strip into fabric to make a shirt or dress pick up the color of any surface, using the magic wand to change the color. It is like this one.
  63. Build a demonstration board with examples of the five common types of audio amplifiers: Class A, B, AB, C and D, to illustrate their design and the various tradeoffs between them and the spectral distortion of each one. 
  64. Plants emit ultrasonic sounds. Build an ultrasonic detection system to measure the sounds a plan emits and see what environmental factors affect it, such as too much or not enough water, light, other sounds, touchign, snipping a leaf.
  65. Build a name badge wtih a flashing LED powered by a ATtiny that goes into sleep mode so lasts for 1 year on a coin battery.
  66. Build a tie wtih interconnected circuit board sections that has a strip of smart LEDs flashing specific patterns. Use an ATtiny if possible and small battery with boost regulator and power management to just flash the LEDs on as needed to make simple patterns. Make these tiles self contained so that you can gang n tiles in series and make them any length.
  67. Build a "do nothing box" that just has a bunch of switches and levers that acivate flashing lights and buzzer sounds so that there is some interaction, but just if you like pushing buttons and getting things to move or react.


More difficult (Capstone level)

  1. Build a remote controlled chess set like this one.
  2. Build a walking dog or car that will follow its owner always 2 feet away and avoid obstacles and maybe carry up to 10 pounds of cargo, like this one.
  3. Build a pathfinder car that drives in front of the user a fixed distance and alerts to any obstacles and reads out walkiing or jogging speed- maybe a pacer for joggers.
  4. Build a pair of glasses with a display screen and camera to do facial recognition and display the person's name you are facing in your glasses
  5. Build an eNose with AI or ML that can detect very low levels of specific smells like ripe fruit or alcohol on your breath or green house gases or different beers or quality of wine. Use a combination of every gas sensor there is to get a clear fingerprint and use low noise data acquisition. Add a smart phone dashboard, web site upload, web dashboard and BLE interface Check out this example.
  6. Build a very sensitive magnetometer using proton spin free induction decay in a parafin block and monitor the earth's field to look for geomanetic events, like here. Use multiple units spatially separated to triangulate events.
  7. Turn a toaster oven into a controlled temperature profile reflow oven with sensors and feedback
  8. Measure the ripeness of fruits by measuring the compressablity of the fruit using specific radius fingers and stress strain measurements with mechancial fingers
  9. Build a precision, high speed, 18 digit counter with 1 nsec resolution and synchronization to other boards with atomic clock stablity, related to this article
  10. Test special relativity by measuring the elapsed time of an atomic clock left on top of a 14er for a few days compared to one left at ground level
  11. Test the idea that the best sounding music to an audiophile is when the perfect music is mixed with a specific spectrum of noise, like pink noise having some 1/f component at some knee frequency. See this article for example.
  12. Build a series of precision scales to measure the weight change of a cat's food dish, water dish and litter box. Post the weight to a web site to monitor with an iPhone app. 
  13. Build a gimbled camera that is always pointed to an absolute alt-az position using servos and a 9 degree of freedom sensor, with a laser pointing at the image spot
  14. Build a demonstration of single photon interference in a Young's Slit experiment
  15. Try to reproduce the NASA White EM drive (it has been debunked)
  16. Build a cosmic ray telescope using plexiglass scintillation detectors like this one. Make it portable and take it up to a 14er to show the counts of muons changing with altitude.
  17. Measure the speed of water flow in a pipe using a non-invasive method: evanescent coupling into a pipe and ultrasonic doppler measurement
  18. Build a generic sensor node that includes geotagging, time stamping, posting to a web site and use a variety of earth sensing inputs: seismic vibration, lightning, low freq rf, weather, air quality, green house gases,... From the time delays from the sources can we determin the location of the point like disturbance? Use plate solving to get the locations. From sensitive seismometers, can we detect the 26 second pulses from the earth
  19. Build a Harry Potter "magic wand" user interface to any device or computer. Wave the wand in a particular pattern and it activates some command, like opening up a window, changing the lights in the room, playing a song. It could have an accelerometer on the tip and a bluetooth interface.
  20. Build an automatic combination-lock cracker using a stepper motor attached to the combination dial and a sensitive vibraation or sound detector to listen to the tumblers drop. Use a uC like 328 or similar.
  21. Build a laser radar system to map the 3D distribution of mosquitos in the air. Then test repellents such as ultra sonics or attractants like Co2. Start with low power red LED then use IR.  How to get the range? Can we use a strobe flash and two separated cameras and parallax to get the 3D positions of mosquitos in the air?
  22. Shoot mosquitos out of the sky with a solid state UV pulsed laser scanning the sky and triggered based on a coincident red laser using backscattered light when it enounters a mosquito.
  23. Build a mosquito zapping UV light and high voltage with a counter to see if UV or CO2 is a better attractant of mosquitos, like this unit. It should have a web site dashboard to track effectiveness. 
  24. Build an rc car with two cameras in the front on a servo that is synch'ed to a headset worn by the driver. Car is remote controlled by a wheel and pedal interface. Driver moves his head and camera changes the angle- just like real driver. Enable car to go really fast.
  25. Build a VR/AR camera and googles headset. A remote camera is servoed to the headset and points wherever the headset points. So the view from the headset is of the view from the camera. Move your head and the camera moves to show a new part of the room.
  26. Build an AR 360 degree viewer using an array of cameras. The cameras cover 2 pi steradians. The headset synthesizes the view of the room from the cameras. As your head turns, the view of the room changes with no obstructions. Gives unabstructed view of the room.
  27. Build a "SPARC chair". It is a virtual reality desktop that uses the entire 360 field of view to place items on a virtual desktop and a headset with position senors.
  28. Build a light painting smart LED strip that will move on a remote controlled car. As the car moves, the strip of LEDs will paint pixels on a long exposure image. Use small, fast LEDs like the APA102-202, rather than the 5050 that are larger and slower: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14608 This will give higher resolution. 
  29. Build an rf deadspot mapper for a large room. Use an autonomous base like a roomba. Measure the spectrum picked up as roomba walks the room and spatially map reception quality for different rf bands like PCS, BLE, WiFi. 
  30. Build an X-Y array of vias and rings on a circuit board that are addressed by analog switches to do spatial mapping of either resistance or capacitance between the central via and the ring. The vias connect on the bottom layer as X lines and the rings connect on the top layer as Y lines. Use either an object on the top surface to distort the capacitance or the resistance between the via and ring. 16 x 16 is 256 pixels. Use a mux to address the lines and a capacitance sense chip like for touch interface.
  31. Many communications systems use 1-bit error trapping using a parity bit. When a 1-bit error is detected, the RX tells the TX to resend the packet. But a 2-bit error will get through and this will corrupt the data. How common are 2-bit errors and what can we do to the system to increase the number of 2-bit errors? Build a bit error ratio tester for common busses like USB, I2C, SPI, UART. Send data through the channel and measure the frequency of 1-bit and 2-bit errors. Then perturb the system by increasing the temperautre, adding rf noise, adding power rail noise, or design the board with poor return paths and see what will introduce more 2-bit errors. Maybe use long, unshieled, or poorly shielded cables. 
  32. Build a small pick and place robot that will pick up, rotate and align a QFN or fine pitch QFP or even 0402 part from a bin, find the location where it needs to go on a board and place the part down. This would be semimanual, maybe using the pick an dplace file and the gerber file. Should be easy to use and can be used for all fin pitch part placement for a circuit board. Could be similar to this inspection microscope.
  33. Build an automatic domino laying robot car. Define the pattern and the spacing between the dominos and the robot car will deposite the dominos like laying eggs behind it. Then you can tap one and they knowck each other over in a pattern. Have the robot also go around and collect all the  dominos and put them in its bin to do it all over again.
  34. Build a kinetic sand sculpture printer. An x-y arm draws a set of pre-defined patterns in the sand that fills a dish. Then, after some period of time, the arm smooths out the sand and begins a new drawing. Alternatively, place a small steel ball on the fresh sand and tilt the table in x-y to move the ball over the surface, drawing the sand pattern in its wake. Could use a steel ball on the top with an X-Y magnetic arm underneath the table that drags the ball or rolls it in the sand in a predefined pattern.
  35. Build a colored sand painting printer. The moving x-y print heads drops a small stream of up to 5 different colored sand on the surface to raster print colored sand drawings. If the paper has a sticky surface or is coated in glue, then the sand painting is permanaent. Read a jpg drawing as the source of the sand painting.
  36. Build a self contained desalination system using a solar panel for power and electro osmosis for separating pure water from salt water. This is simular to the system using solar thermal energy
  37. Build a fishing drone. It should fly around, provide camera feedback about fish in the water, be able to land on the water and return sonar information about fish locations and then drop a fishing line with lure on cammand, drop a camera to watch the fish interact with the lure and then return to the fisherman autonomously. 
  38. Build a PID loop demonstration system. It should be unstable but stablized wtih feedback. It could be a verticially balanced broom. It could be an unblanced see saw with propellers on either side. It could be a ball on a seesaw, or a ball on a pvioting plate. It should have sensors, actuators and a display. A user can enter the PID coefficients for the system and then watch the system response to a perturbation. The response should be displayed to show the transient response.
  39. Methane emissions from fracking wells is a major concern. Build an autonomous drone that will fly a grid pattern and map the methane concentration over a large area and data log and geotag the infomration and transmit back to a computer whihc goes onto a web page. Consider adding a few other gas emissions, like ozone or NOx or VOC. Add a BME688 for reference.Use large battery, light electroncis for longest air time. 
  40. Build a watch with a rotating diplay using persistance of vision to make it appear to float in space- add time, images, temperature, other real time images, but mounted to your wrist, like this one.
  41. Build a full-featured bicycle rider's helmet with rear camera, turn lights, brake lights, front lights, heads up display, acceleratometer, speed sensor, rear lidar to warn of approaching cars, activates turn lights by head motion, integrated headphones and BLE to iphone, heart sensor, outside temperature sensor, O2 pulse oxy sensor, route mapping and logging to iphone, and other features.
  42. Build a front and rear lidar radar system for collision warning for a bike. Maybe make a map on an iPhone. Use rotating servo to scan the field.
  43. Build an automatic tracker for a small satellite dish to find, lock on and track a satellite signal- maybe gps or other type of satellite using a parabloic dish and alt-az gimble. It shoudl search the sky to find a signal, then lock to it and track it as the satellite moves, or as the dish platform moves, as in a car.
  44. Build a parabolic solar cooker that focuses sunlight on a small point to generate very high temperatures and use an external tracker to find the sun, lock on it and track it to maximimize the temperature of the cooker. How hot can we get- can we melt iron?
  45. Build a Coulter counter using a 2 layer PCB with a gold plate on the top and bottom layers with a small drilled hole through the board. Insert a glass pipette in the hole as the only way for fluid to flow. Measure the resistance between the plates with water on both sides. Force water from the top to the bottom side. Can we see the conducitivity change for small particles? How small a pippette can we use and still see conductivity and small particles? Can we count paramecium? bacterial? viruses?
  46. Build a protozoa concentrator using a micro syringe that emits a stream of tiny droplets. Use light scattering to detect of there is the right size protozoan in the drop. If there is, charge it up to some voltage and deflected it with high voltage plates into one of three specific bottle. This way we concentrate the bugs into two bottles with the uncharged one being the carrier in the center.
  47. Build a demonstration board for the principle of electrical impedance tomography (EIT), such as this method. Use a slightly conductive surface, with electrodes along the perimeter connected to a multiplexer array. Add color LEDs to the electrode positions so they identify which electrodes are sources or sinks and voltage ports being measured. Measure the complex impedance between pairs when a source and sink are excited on opposite sides. Use real time analysis to show the real time image of the impedance distribution. Place a conductive or dielectric object anywhere and see its location on the image. Is it real or imaginary impedance that is sensed?
  48. Build a electric impedance tomography scanner system for measuring the structure of a region of the ground about 1 m in diamter. Use six inch steel spikes on a circle driven into the ground, each connected to a circuit board over a 1 m ground plane that does not touch the ground. Add the MUX and analog electronics to the top of the board, close to the array of spikes to do the recording. Do the analysis in real time- measure both the real and imaginary components to get the complex impedance tomography. What can you find located inside the array of probes- Can we see bugs, metal pieces, roots, non metallic buried treasure?
  49. Build a worm breeder box and instrument the periphery for EIT with an array of electrodes so you can monitor in real time the motion of the worms inside their box. Build the electrodes using circuit boards with gold pads as the electrodes and wiring on the other side to connect to the muxes, sources, sinks and differential amplifiers. Use impedance tomorgrpahy so you can adjust the frequency range and see both the real and imaginary components of the impedance. Can you make movies of the worms squirming around inside their box? Can you count how quickly the worms grow?
  50. Use rf EIT to search for and detect land mines. Use an array of electrodes that drive an rf, maybe 1-1000 MHz signal and measure the pick up to an array of other electrodes in a ring. This could measure the EIT of the dielectric distribution of objects within the array. It is a non-contact method of mapping the dielectric distribution of the ground. Can we find land mines, or non metallic burried objects?  Could this rf dielectric EIT array be carried by a drone and flown over the surface of the land with terrain following radar? What is the resolution?
  51. Build an autonomous drone killer. This will be a small, fast drone with a camera and a gun to shoot an expanding net at a target drone. The pilot moves the camera to target the drone. The killer drone heads toward the target, by moving to center the camera and target. When it is close, using LIDAR to measure distance, it shoots the net at the drone. 
  52. Build an automated Milikan oil drop apparatus to measure the charge of the electron. Do repeated measurements on the same droplet- maybe use latex spheres. Use light pressure from the bottom to stablize the particle. Use UV or alpha emitter to charge the particle. How accurate a measurement can be made on the excess charge? How many repated measurements are required to put a limit on the density of fractional charges?
  53. Build an easter egg decorator using a variety of marker pens on a rotating turret and download or create patterns to draw. One can be a distored image that is only viewed undisorted in a mirror. generalize this to print on any surface that is rotated- like a can. The image to pring can be transfored to be viewed either distoreted or seen in a mirror as undistorted. Maybe print pictures of people or famous art work.
  54. Build a smart pillow that has sensors to moniotr head motion, maybe even heart rate, temperature, sweating, and has a speaker built in that plays music or soothing sounds, tied to an app in a phone- or just acts as a blue tooth speker. It does bio monotring and helps you sleep, and records sleep quality to a database. What else can you monitor with the smart pillow?
  55. Build a thermo-luminescence detector to measure the low light levels coming off a ceramic sample while it is being heated. This will involve single photon couting. At the same time, turn this into an optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) detector fo quartz samples to measure their detect density, as described in this paper, for example. Would need a small oven.
  56. Build a thermo-acoustic emissions spectrometer to pick up the low level cracking sounds from ceramic samples as they are heated. Do the emissions repeat if the sample is re-heated or thermally cycled?
  57. Build an automatic, electronic star finder scope for a telescope that connects through Stellarium. You find the object in Stellarium and the telescope is automatically moved to that location. The finder scope uses a combinatino of 9 degrees of freedom sensor and maybe gps to get the position and time sync. The finder scope also communicates to the telescope to move it so that the new position matches where it should be pointing. There should also be some initial calibration to adjust for mis-alignment when mounted to the telescope. It is like this one.
  58. Build an automatic telescope aligner. A small camera mounted to the tube measures the stars. Plate solver software and a dtabase is used to determine the orientation of the telescope. The scope slews to the new location requested based on the location on Stelarium. Another image is taken to do fine positioning. The telescope view and the camera view are synchronized. Then the camera does guiding in real time. 
  59. Build a complete VRM characterizer. Attach a power supply and it will measure the thevenin resistance vs current, up to the max current limit, the noise spectrum vs current load, the output impedance vs frequency under different current loads and the transient step response with different current steps. Since high powers will be used, this project needs a good way of managing the power comsumption in the loads and the MOSFET slammer circuits. Could use a DDS for the sinewaves. Make this completely automated. Attach the VRM and get the full report printed to a file. 
  60. Design a smart home for an older person living alone that makes their life easier and more secure. It should monitor their activity and health and provide alerts and some interactions. 
  61. Build a large pick up coil that can fit under a drone and measure very small complex impedance changes to see if it can detect the presence of buried land mines. Use a frequency shift in an LC oscillator or a wheatstone bridge type detector for small changes in impedance. What type of land mines can it detect. Fly it on a drone. Map impedance locations based on gps mapping. What does a map look like that is very small impedance changes in the coil?
  62. Build a dynamic light painter that uses three blades of a propeller with LED strips that paints pictures as it rotates. Could even be 3D images or fine art images rendered in persistance of vision LED light pictures. 
  63. Build an electrostatic particle participator to clean a room of particles. Measure its effectivenss and what factors make it faster and more effective at particles by measuring the particle size distribution of air going in and coming out. Can we integrate and get a measure of the total weight of particles cleaned out?
  64. Build a fluorescent detector for plastic particles in water. Pulse a UV high current LED and measure the fluorescent light in a few different color bands to count plastic particles in water. Use an optical spectrometer and integrte for many pulses. Mesaure spectrum off and on and take the difference to subtract the background or noise level.