The capstone sequence (ME451/452) in the department of mechanical engineering is the culmination of the student’s engineering education. For an entire academic year, teams of students work on all aspects of a single design project starting with defining the need to developing a working prototype. Along the way, the teams conduct engineering analysis, build a proof-of-concept device, write a business plan, and much more. In addition to the engineering content, there is a heavy emphasis on developing the student’s communication skills with written reports, oral presentations, and website development. Ideas for projects come from local businesses and individuals, professors, and the student’s themselves.
Team 1 | Team 2 | Team 3 | Team 4 | Team 5 | Team 6 | Team 7 | Team 8 | Team 9 | Team 10 | Team 11 | Team 12 | Team 13 | Team 14 | Team 15 | Team 16 | Team 17 | Team 18 | Team 19 | Team 20 | Team 21 | Team 22 | Team 23 | Team 24 | Team 25 | Team 26 | Team 27 | Team 28 | Team 29| Team 30| Team 31| Team 32
The Cubic Atmos team wants to help universities, atmospheric research labs and private industries to generate atmospheric data on the upper stratosphere and mesosphere. The current technologies used in gathering atmospheric data at these high altitudes are limited, and the University of Nevada, Reno lacks advance devices to perform the duration tests at a high altitude. Hence, the team will build and design a cubesat from scratch for this mission. Upon the completion of manufacturing the cubesat, Cubic Atoms team will place the cubesat into a rocket and deploy it at an altitude of 40 km approximately to collect atmospheric data. Cubesats have minimal risks, and they are excellent platforms to do atmospheric tests and experiments such as monitoring the weather since they reach high altitudes quickly. Cubic Atmos team’s goal is to support scientific researches by introducing and developing an advanced platform in a unique way for atmospheric measurements.
This project is the Mobile-Base Crane. The idea came from a sponsoring professor, Dr. Daichi Fujioka, who had a need for a crane for demonstration purposes inside classrooms. Specifications of the crane are that it needs to be relatively lightweight and mobile to move between classrooms and through doorways with ease. This project is intended to be a small-scale crane that needs to lift and support at least five pounds as well as move the load around safely. The crane will be controlled remotely via a wired controller, likely an old gaming console controller that has straightforward controls and labels on the crane to indicate which side is the front. There will be an onboard backup battery and a cord to plug into an outlet to lift the payload and drive the crane. Two motors will be used to turn drums for the cables and another two motors for the drivetrain. In an instance where the battery is dead or there is no available outlet, the crane will be designed to be able to move manually.
The Cart Stopper is an innovative design concept which prevents a shopping cart from moving or drifting in any direction. The product is targeted towards the suburban grocery shopper whom desires effortless stability of a shopping cart while unloading contents into their vehicle, preventing worry of the cart rolling away or damaging their vehicle. Our main focus is re-usability, user-friendly & inexpensive. The Design concept for this product will provide a fixed position for the wheels of the shopping cart. The angle of the ramp-like incline making the product versatile from light-to-heavy shopping carts. The Cart Stopper will be made by injecting a 3D printed cast mold with inexpensive and long-lasting silicone or rubber substance. Reducing the scrap material and simplicity in the mold will be the key to keeping the cost low.
Have you ever gotten into bed after a long day but forgot to turn off the light before getting comfortable? Fortunately, The Pear seeks to develop a user friendly solution to inconveniently placed light switches in homes and facilities, called Lights Out. This device is easily removable and installable without damage or wear to the applied surface. Lights Out will be controlled through Bluetooth and easily operable from a given distance. This device is child friendly and does not require any kind of remote such as a smartphone or tablet. The controlling device will be small and inconspicuous and come in a variety of colors to match the interior of wherever it is applied. Lights Out is only applicable to indoor use and may experience malfunctions if installed outdoors.
Pipe Piper and local plumbing product design company LSP have partnered to develop the next standard for residential plumbing leak detection. Current leak detection methods are often too expensive or employ detection methods effective only for very localized, external leaks. Pipe Piper is developing a leak detection system that can be installed in line with plumbing system near high risk leak areas including a washing machine, toilet, or faucet. Using flow meters, the detection system will collect water flow data at the points of interest and relay the information to a central hub through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Pipe Piper’s system will develop baselines for common flow rates and usage time for an individual home. Upon the detection of abnormal water usage, signifying a leak, a valve will cut off the main water supply to the home stopping damage to any property. Pipe Piper’s system will be a cheaper yet effective system for protecting residential homes against water damage.
Latent Power Corp. is designing an innovative thermoelectric generator to combat the inefficiencies of the renewable energy market. Solar based energy generators currently lack the ability to operate at night and LPC is addressing this issue. The TEG Phase 1 is a portable thermoelectric generator utilizing both a fresnel lens and a phase change material to generate and store energy. Heat is conducted by the thermoelectric module from the phase change material to produce usable power. The solidification process of the phase change material releases heat allowing the thermoelectric module to continue to generate electricity at night. The TEG Phase 1 has the ability to power or charge general electronics such as mobile devices and is designed for outdoor applications. The generator is suitable for outdoor use due to its durable design and has an ergonomic handle that allows for easy and worry-free transportation in any environment. Latent Power Corp. combines innovative and efficient engineering techniques that delivers an affordable phase change thermoelectric generator for consumer use.
HVAC systems have proven to be a common solution when dealing with temperature regulation. In traditional HVAC systems, cooling and heating effects are achieved by using high amounts of energy. Although these systems provide effective temperature control, the cost of operation can be expensive. In collaboration with the Innevation Center of University of Nevada, Reno, A Team Has No Name’s goal is to reduce the operational cost of HVAC systems. The group aims to design and produce an economizing system that can be coupled with traditional HVAC systems. By integrating a smart controller, the economizer will communicate with an existing HVAC system and outside ambient air to prioritize the most cost effective way to achieve desired temperatures. The core of this technology will be applicable for residential and commercial use in a variety of applications. Ultimately, A Team Has No Name aims to reduce the power usage of HVAC system users to reduce operational costs.
After a long mountain bike ride, or all day adventure, riders need a way to transport their bike as well as have a comfortable place to relax. This includes having the functions set up quickly and easily for campsite for sleeping. Team Tailgate is developing the Tailgate Pad+ to make this necessity a reality. The Tailgate Pad+ technology includes all the functions of existing bicycle tailgate pads with additional innovative amenities. Currently, tailgate pads come in two sizes; one for a compact truck holding up to five bikes, and one for a full size truck with the ability to transport up to seven mountain bikes. Dakine and Race Face have perfected the tailgate pad for this functional purpose, but lack additional features attractive to the rider. Tailgate Pad+ will base our model off of the Race Face technology while adding a user friendly, deployable hammock and couch stored on the inside of the pad. These features can be used together or separately, while the hammock can be deployed even when the tailgate is fully loaded with bikes. Additionally, the Tailgate Pad+ will have a locking feature, allowing the user to secure the pad to the vehicle to mitigate the concern for theft.
Turbo Testing Solutions is looking to form a new testing solution for an electronic turbo. The e-turbo is powered by an electrical motor that generates power and produces the turbo to spin at high RPM when the vehicle is at idle. Currently, there are no products that is able to test the electric motor and allow Turbogen, LLC to complete the product. When testing, a sturdy bracing system is needed to monitor the motor. A accurate measuring system will be needed for the RPM as the system will be spinning at around 150,000 RPM for an hour. After testing the electric motor, TTS will be looking at solutions for final assembly of the product. TTS will also look at redesigns for the bearings and shaft if they were to fail.
Aerotyne Corporation will engineer an apparatus that will increase the productivity in the packaging industry. Currently, there are many packaging companies that still erect boxes manually. This is a problem due to the fact that time and labor is wasted. Creating an affordable automated PDQ box erector is an easy solution that can significantly increase productivity. The Aerotyne Corporation team is currently working with WorldPak Flexible Packaging LLC, which is a local packaging company located in Reno, NV. Aerotyne Corporation was assigned with the task of creating a compact and portable PDQ box erector machine required to produce 25 or more erected boxes per minute while simultaneously being refilled efficiently with collapsed boxes. This PDQ box erector is predicted to increase productivity by 20 percent for existing WorldPak assembly lines. The PDQ box erector apparatus will have the potential to boost productivity significantly with other existing packaging companies, making it an applicable product for current industries.
Bear Arms’ project Stand Alone is a universal armrest system that adapts to fit most standard chairs. A standard chair is defined as approximately 18 inches square and 18 inches in height. These armrests will be applied to the chairs for elderly and disabled people to allow them to easily stand from a seated position. Through market research it has become evident such a product is not currently available on the market. A study found that every year in the UK, approximately 132 people are hospitalized after falling when attempting to stand from a seated position. The project was presented by Jason Sloan who intends to use the product at a nursing home to allow the elderly residents to have more freedom. This product will also allow them to have the ability to stand when they prefer rather than relying on the staff. Bear Arms’ hopes to expand the use of this product to those whom have become disabled or need some assistance in their own homes, thus easing the life of the end user and their families.
Team 13 is designing a project called Blinding Sun Systems. This will be an automated household system that will open and close blinds based on user preferences as well as the position of the sun. The ultimate goal of this project is to provide overall house efficiency and reduced energy bills for the consumer. Once the system is in installed, the consumer will need to set their preferences and that is it. To set preferences, a user friendly app will be provided with the purchase of the product. Also, the consumer can still manually turn their blinds without fear of ruining the product if they choose. The system will be solar powered and therefore never require battery changes, cords, or outlets. Blinding Sun Systems will be set to take over the market because of sheer convenience and little to no additional user interaction once installed.
Snow removal from roadways has long been an issue for commuters. The inefficiencies cause delays in travel, and can lead to dangerous roads conditions. To increase effectiveness, Snow Lion has created a machine able to break apart ice that has formed on the surface of roadways as well as remove the hazardous shards from the road. Our project is to design and create an apparatus that will combine the Snow Lion device, to a [Model of motor grader]1. This model of motor grader is very popular in the western United States and this ability to attach the Slow Lion device to the motor grader will greatly enhance the road safety of these western areas during the winter months. This connector will be tested to ensure safety and success under a variety of weather conditions and vibrations from the vehicle.
 Specific model has not yet been disclosed
Space pack is a US based space robotic research startup that designs, develops, and tests low cost robotic concepts for space exploration. With ongoing human space exploration endeavors, Space Pack plans to transform the space industry by introducing Cable Driven Parallel Robot (CDPR) Simulator platforms. Space Pack’s goal is to help future astronauts and people on earth to experience the loads and dynamics of other celestial bodies and space. CDPRs are a category of robots that utilize cables and winches to move an end effector within a workspace. Space pack will conduct an investigation of a cost-effective control sensor feedback system for a CDPR. Additionally, a sensor error reducing algorithm will be applied to accurately provide the loads (and hence platform motion) for a small scale, 6-degrees of freedom (6-DOF), CDPR prototype. Prior to developing the 6-DOF platform, a 1-DOF proof of concept robot will be constructed to test the newly established feedback sensor system.
The Grease Monkeys have partnered with Arconic to improve upon the existing lubrication system for the current 400 x 200-ton ring rolling machine. Their current method of application relies on a human operator who administers the lubrication manually using a broom or mop. The rings that Arconic currently manufactures reach a temperature of 2150°F. The company’s current system requires an operator to get near the heated ring to apply lubricant to the part while it is being worked by the ring mill. Not only does the current system require the dedication of a worker to this task, but it puts the worker near the heated ring, creating a safety hazard. The solution the team is tasked with creating revolves around a lubrication system to be operated by the ring mill controller. As a result, the ability to remotely lubricate the mill and part from a distance will improve the efficiency of the grease application to reduce costs, and remove the operator from applying the grease as to better dedicate his/her time.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) has entrusted Division by Zero with the task of designing a new versatile load frame for their test facilities at Site 300. A load frame is an apparatus that supports compressive loads applied to objects for testing and experimental purposes. The current load frame is used with a hydraulic press to apply loads to their assembled test structures containing high explosives, but is immobile and takes up valuable work space on their precision work table. Requirements of the load frame are that it must be mobile so it can be stored when not in use, but also adaptable enough to be used with simple and complex versions of the assembled test structures. The focus of the project is to design an improved load frame that can support loads exceeding 15 tons from an adjustable point of contact while being mobile enough to store away when not in use. Division by Zero’s goal is to go beyond expectations while meeting and exceeding all requirements to produce a load frame LLNL can use for years to come.
The aerospace and aircraft industries have started using aluminum sandwich boards with a hexagonal/honeycomb core to provide the structure for airplane wings. However, by using these sandwich boards, it makes it more difficult to fasten exterior fixtures to the wings since the honeycomb structure does not provide enough stability to drill and fasten to. These companies have found that they can fill a section of honeycomb cells with a structural adhesive in order to create a section of the wing that fixtures can be fastened to. However, these companies have to fill these cells by hand with a syringe, which is very time consuming and inefficient. Team Cohesive has teamed up with HG Adhesive Dispensing in order to design and build a system that is capable of dispensing a high viscosity, one component structural adhesive into each 0.75 cm2 hexagonal honeycomb cell. The system will be able to dispense from a one-gallon can and provide the user with an easy way to fill cells quickly and without waste.
Novo-Ject is the next, all in one, auto-injector device designed for emergency use in various applications. While previous versions of auto-injectors are intended for a single drug and have a relatively short shelf life, which drives the cost of the unit up, Novo-Ject offers the ability to use different drugs and replace the drug when its shelf life expires.
Typically, it is the cost of the delivery device that is so expensive, not the drug itself. Novo-Ject alleviates this issue by allowing replacement of the cartridge when the drug expires, allowing the delivery device to be reused, and helping keep the cost to the user down.
In addition to keeping the cost down, the replaceable cartridge allows for the use of multiple drugs. While a home user will likely only carry the device for one particular drug and application, the ability to use different drugs opens the market up to other fields, such as an EMT environment. Simply insert the drug needed for the emergency situation, and it is instantly ready to use. No measuring or calculating how much of the drug needs to be used. The Novo-Ject is the simple, easy to use device, in any situation.
Alpine Kitchen Automation (Boys In The Sauce) is developing a small, ‘smart’ home appliance with the aim of incorporating useful automation into the modern kitchen. Individuals often make errors when measuring seasonings for different recipes. By automating the measurement of seasonings, the device, an automated seasoning dispenser, will reduce the burden to the average kitchen user and facilitate accurately following recipes. The device will be well suited for individuals with disabilities related to accurate movement or impaired vision. The device will pair with a smartphone application to provide an easy-to-use interface that can be adapted to different disabilities. The product will also aid users by keeping seasonings organized within the device and will save them money by not wasting expensive seasoning supplies.
With nearly one quarter of American seniors use some kind of mobility device, the need for an even lighter and more effective source of assisted mobility becomes more significant for the lives of active seniors. While there are several alternative options such as canes, scooters, and walkers, seniors may choose to use Imperial Walker’s modified four-wheel walker to increase their mobility. Walkers are the only mobility device that provides seniors with mobile support while still providing a significant level of mobility independence.
Basic walkers are great in providing aided maneuverability for the operator, however, these types of walkers still have limitations on the user’s mobility. Many walkers on the market today are incapable of moving through rough and uneven terrain while still maintaining the convenience of being lightweight and portable. Cheaper walkers on the market do not have wheels, and exerts unnecessary difficulty to the operator. The Modified Four-Wheel Walker project seeks to incorporate these two types of walkers to create a lightweight, portable, all-terrain device that is both economic and easy to use.
Adaptive Climate Systems (A.C.S) plans to design a device that personally cools the user. The target users are intended to be police and military with the possibility to branch into other industries later. The police and military are often required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), PPE insulates the body not allowing natural evaporative cooling to take place. This leads to an increase in heat injuries such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Therefore, A.C.S plans to use a combination of phase change technology and thermoelectric cooling to alleviate the occurrence of heat injuries. In addition, A.C.S plans to extend the time of cooling to be greater than the current market technology which is approximately two and a half hours. Furthermore, A.C.S plans to reduce the weight of the product to be below the weight of its competitors of less than six pounds. A.C.S’s higher functionality product will increase worker efficiency and reduce the risk of heat injuries.
Wolf Food Solutions is seeking to develop an automated waste reducing food dispenser for grocery stores. The current dispensers on the market dispense food too fast and are inaccurate. This creates waste from customers spilling the food out of the dispenser and from leaving the bag of food around the store when they receive too much product. It will have a touch screen and is designed to reduce the possibility of a customer spilling food onto the ground as well as controlling how much food is dispensed. The operator will be able to input the exact amount of food desired with the touch of the screen so they do not overfill their bags. The product will be designed around ease of maintenance as well as ease of filling so that stores have greater incentive to swap out their old dispensers. A second use will be considered during design to place the product into the home setting for accurate ingredient dispensing.
To Be Determined (TBD) is a vehicle security company specializing in aftermarket vehicle surveillance systems. At TBD our focus is on: Innovation, Dependability, and Affordability; and it is our commitment to these ideas that separate us from our competitors. TBD’s flagship product, the Record-A-Crash, is an automated vehicle surveillance system that visually records the moments before, during, and after a collision. With the use of high quality visual recording devices and dependable sensors integrated into the vehicle components; Record-A-Crash offers consumers a complete security system unmatched by the competition. Furthermore, the system’s use of an internal battery allows for a more dynamic use ensuring security at all times. At TBD we have made it our goal to provide customers with the most effective means of protecting their vehicle. Let TBD’s commitment to quality prove to you that our products are the best choice in ensuring the security of your vehicle.
Team Hot Wheel brings you the Variable Exhaust Output Heating (VEOH) Valve. The VEOH Valve provides a novel system for diverting a sportbike exhaust system in order to preheat the rear wheel, resulting in drastically improved traction between the motorcycle’s rear wheel and the street, and thus a safer commute. The system also includes a infrared thermocouple taking temperature readings on the wheel at all times. Once the wheel reaches optimum riding temperature, the valve is then opened and exhaust is returned to it’s original path. Existing technologies require that a cumbersome outer shell be applied to the wheel for up to 45 minutes before the sportbike is safe to ride. The ability of the VEOH Valve to “preheat” the rear wheel of a sportbike to a safer temperature without any added inconvenience to the user is what sets it apart from other products in the current market.
HDAS is working alongside NASA to produce a compactible system which deploys an articulating solar-array for small satellites. The deployment system contains a stowed, low-volume, solar array which remotely expands in low-Earth orbit. Our system will then autonomously track and reorient the solar array perpendicular to the sun to maximize power generation. HDAS’s deployment system is designed as a modular device for small satellites. Satellites that use this modular design philosophy are known as CubeSats and weigh less than 1.33 kg. Industry interest into CubeSat technology is constantly growing due to its cost-effective nature of reducing the burden of development and production of satellite systems of these, often vertically integrated, companies. This emerging technology will also allow the possibility of smaller private organizations to fund their own satellite projects. As such, HDAS is seeking to create an autonomous and affordable power-generation system for these crafts that would stand as a viable option for industry professionals like NASA to any private communications company.
The current best practice to follow after an injury is to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the injured area. The Self Tensioning Immobilizing Modular Splint (STIMS) is a device that provides an immediate of use to victims who injured a limb. The members of Minute Care has a passion for biomedical technology and believes in the integration of engineering and medicine to help the public. The particular market target is for military personnel, sport’s enthusiasts, and first responders. STIMS will provide elements that have never been implemented before in the medical industry where an icing, compression, and locking mechanism are integrated all into one device. This direction will eliminate the need of excess materials, hence, removing the excess weight a responder would have to carry to apply care to a victim. Minute Care intends on bringing the best quality device that any responder would trust with their own lives. The STIMS is going to marketed as an affordable solution for anyone to carry.
As physical documents age, there is an increased risk of data loss and corruption. With large amounts of physical documents and the move towards cloud-based services, there exists a strong need to digitally archive these documents. The institutions that primarily require large scale digital archiving are military bases, medical facilities, and research centers. Currently, our sponsor Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory requires a system that archives old experimental data. Due to the amount of data, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a need for a fast and efficient digital archiving system. A solution to this problem will involve a high resolution camera integrated with an automatic feeder in order to provide a fast and mostly automated system to digitize the film data.
The bike buddy is a product that will allow easy transportation of an extra bike by a single rider. The project is to design and prototype a product that will allow one person to bring an extra bicycle with them for their riding buddy. The product should be compact and lightweight. It must allow quick attachment and detachment from either bike yet be sturdy enough to remain stored on a bike for use at any time. When not in use, it will be stored in such a way that it is not a hindrance to the riders operation of the bike, or can be removed and stored elsewhere. The product will connect the two bicycles together and should be universal enough to fit most standard bikes. This will allow friends, families, and even couples to bring along an extra bike for their riding buddy. The device will even allow for the transportation of kids bikes.
The Foam Home Team aims to produce a shelter that bridges the gap between quick deployable shelters such as bivy sacks or emergency blankets, and heavy duty tents—both traditional and inflatable. The goal of the team is to produce a Rapid Foam Shelter (RFS) which functions much like a naval inflatable emergency raft. The RFS would be stored in a vehicle such as an aircraft or ground vehicle, to be used at any time when shelter from the elements is needed in a life or death situation. The user would place the shelter containing package on the intended site and pull the ripcord to deploy. Once activated, the shelter will utilize an expanding foam and compressed air to erect and fill the walls of the shelter, much like an inflatable tent. Once filled, the foam will cure and provide a rigid, durable, and highly insulative shelter until help has arrived.
NV Heat Solutions is working with MicroMetl Corporation in order to improve the cost-efficiency of MicroMetl’s economizer manufacturing process and design, while maintaining a maximum leakage rate of 3 CFM. (Cubic feet per minute) The primary means to improving the manufacturing process is to create a new method that cuts down on production time per unit, allowing Micro Metl to produce economizer units at the same cost per unit but in less time.
The intent to create an improved design is to develop an alternative schematic that requires less labor time to produce while still maintaining the maximum leakage rate of 3 CFM, in order to cut down on the labor cost per unit, the greatest source of cost, while still adhering to regulations on allowable leakage.
The Independent Wheeler is a device designed to be installed into minivans allowing easier loading and unloading of wheelchairs for paraplegic individuals. With roughly 130,000 paraplegic individuals in the United States alone, our team believes there is a market sector where our technology can make an impact. Similar devices made by our competitors are expensive, invasive, and not easily removable from the vehicle. We hope to overcome these issues by designing a noninvasive removable crane system to fit in the back of a minivan. With a final price falling below $1000, the Independent Wheeler will be up to 75% cheaper than our competition. The device utilizes a simple motorized winch and crane system that attaches to the ceiling grab handles in the back seat of the minivan. The goal of the Independent Wheeler is to allow the user to easily load and unload the wheelchair from the vehicle, giving the user greater independence and at a more affordable price.