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An Educational And Entertaining Senior Capstone Design

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone/Design Projects: Electrical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.155.1 - 10.155.16



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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1347

An Educational and Entertaining Senior Capstone Design

Ahmad M. Farhoud

Engineering Technology Department University of Toledo


The renovation of Lucas County’s Winter Wonderland Christmas exhibit presented a unique opportunity for students to become involved and use their knowledge to design new displays. The project presented herein represents an ideal learning experience. It was an occasion for students to have fun, while demonstrating their technical knowledge. At the same time, students experienced some of the more gratifying aspects of community service. Instead of demonstrating an abstract model that served no purpose after project completion, students worked on something that had a viable purpose. The idea here was to design, build and troubleshoot a fully functional, interactive robotic exhibit intended to become part of a permanent display in a community holiday venue to be visited by several thousand children annually. To achieve this goal, students created an animated, life-sized, friendly “monster” that surprised his visitors after pulling aside a huge tree. Servos, controlled by a basic stamp, were used to operate the snowman. To make these movements look realistic to observers, a serial servo controller, with built in ramping functions was used in combination with the stamp. The entire operation is triggered by a motion sensor implanted in the tree. To project his voice, a sound card combined with an audio amplifier was used in conjunction with powerful speakers placed inside the monster’s body. The project was completed successfully and gained a great deal of attention at the University of Toledo, 2004 college of engineering expo. The display also opened to rave reviews at the Children’s Wonderland Exhibit, its permanent home. A sample of these reviews is presented in this paper.

I. Introduction

The principal purpose of a Capstone project is to give graduating senior students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts they have learned during the course of their studies. It is supposed to give students the chance to “put it all together”, to make applicable use of conceptual information. A successful Capstone project should help students develop the resources they will need to make the transition from college to career. Students are required to design, build, troubleshoot and finally present their project in a professional manner. The most

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

FARHOUD, A. (2005, June), An Educational And Entertaining Senior Capstone Design Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15467

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