Dan Hadi’s Blog

Innovation @ UWaterloo – 2010 ECE Design Symposium

with 6 comments


The annual UWaterloo  Electrical and Computer Engineering Design Symposium took place today at the school’s Davis Centre in Waterloo. Having had my turn at the Design Symposium last year, I was really interested to see what students have come up with this time.  I had a chance to look around at the projects and talk with these students and I am really impressed with all they’ve done. There was a ton of innovation on display today.

I had a great time talking with all these bright students. I spent so much time talking to them that I only got around to seeing about 50% of all the booths! It was really interesting to find out how to put their systems together and I learned so much from the short exhibition time.

Read on to see some of the projects.


What it is: A bulb that doubles as a speaker system. It connects to your computer over a wifi network and you can control the audio and lighting. The bulb can be set to act as a strobe light which flashes in tune with the music. Eric and his team members designed their own board with audio processors, LED controllers and wifi chip. They did all the driver development themselves too, not a trivial task! Local TV did an interview with the Audio Bulb group.


What it is: Wallace has a wireless body motion analyzer strapped to his arm. This arduino-based device gathers movement data via accelerometers and other sensors in the box. The movement data is recorded and can be used to compare the similarity between movement.


What it is: Close up shot of the wireless body motion analyzer.


What it is: An ultrasonic sensor system. Using an array of ultrasonic sensors, these students created a system to track an object with an ultrasonic emitter. Looks like they used Echo-Dist’s old hardware (a previous design project from 2009)!


What it is: “Borgified” Matt is showing off the Gaze Acquisition Platform. An infrared sensor tracks the wearer’s eye movements, and a second camera provides a video feed to overlay the target information. So this system can track everything you are looking at. Cool.


What it is: Named the “Touch-Me” system, this project is very similar to the Microsoft Surface. It provides a multi-touch surface for playing games and using other applications. It uses a Playstation eye camera modified for infrared input. The projector they were using looked very familiar – and indeed it was the projector from my own design project!


What it is: Project Iris is an imaging system attached to a weather ballon. The system is supposed to snap photos of the ground from way up. Scott and his team have drafted a flight plan and have clearance to launch in the coming weeks.


What it is: Active Targeting and Tracking weapon. This device will track your face and headshot you with a nerf gun.


What it is: USB bike. This bike has a usb port to charge your device as you bike.


What it is: Kickboxer pro. An automated system used for kick boxing practice. (Sorry I didn’t get a pic of this one!) They won the Infusion Cup prize of $2000!

Written by Dan

March 24th, 2010 at 11:02 pm