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Design Of A Rain Based Speed Controller For Automobile Windshield Wiper Motor

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

MET Student Design Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.370.1 - 7.370.4

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Paper Authors

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Kenny Fotouhi

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Ali Eydgahi

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

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Session: 1547

Design of a Rain-Based Speed Controller for Automobile Windshield Wiper Motor

Mohammad Fotouhi, Ali Eydgahi, Tom Malaby University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, MD 21853


This paper describes the details of an undergraduate design project in our Design Technology course and the experience gain by the student involved. The intent of the course is to expose students to real world design projects. Students are expected to be creative and innovative in their design projects and utilize a multitude of engineering disciplines that Engineering Technology Program offers at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The selection of the automatic speed adjustment of windshield wiper was intended to incorporate and demonstrate the application of feedback control and photo - optics. In this project, the student had to design an automated speed controller for a windshield wiper motor of a vehicle based on the amount of rainfall. The speed of rainfall in this project was determined by the amount of rain collected in semi-funnel shaped mount under-hoot with flat side against the windshield directly. An optic -electronic system was designed which uses flash converter to set the desire motor speed setting of the wiper according to the rainfall.


Driving in the varying degrees of rainfall would sometimes cause automobile operators to loose sight of the centerlines and shoulder of the road. Spec ially, driving in the evening through some inconsistent rainy weather. The driver constantly has to remove one hand from the steering wheel to adjust the sweep speed of the windshield wiper. At the times when the rainfalls are the hardest, the vehicles that usually approach from the other direction would have a blinding effect on the operator. This problem is even more severe with headlight glare caused by water on the windshield. This is not the time for driver to be removing one hand from the steering wheel to adjust the speed of windshield wipers. Then, within seconds of this potentially deadly situation, the rain changes to a light mist and wipers are producing a rather loud, annoying, and screeching sound. Again, drivers have to remove one hand from the steering wheel trying to find that precise wiper speed that will relinquish the annoying screeching sound.

The speed of windshield wipers (WSW) is usually set by a multi-position switch in many vehicles. During the heavy rainfall, the higher speed setting of WSW is required. The

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Fotouhi, K., & Eydgahi, A. (2002, June), Design Of A Rain Based Speed Controller For Automobile Windshield Wiper Motor Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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