Anagram Solver Explained and Demo – Team SilverCharm

This is a quick demo of our teams final project. In it you can see a quick run through of the basic functionality we implemented with close ups and reruns. We show our whole board and explain step-by-step what happening, and what’s to be expected.

Continue reading Anagram Solver Explained and Demo – Team SilverCharm

Hammerheads-Smart Drink Dispenser- The Big Picture

Protect the Brew. After a bad experience with collecting money for a Beer Olympics I came up with the idea for our project, a smart beverage dispenser. One that would limit access to the delicious golden ale inside. Despite my original intentions this project can also be implemented to prevent underage drinking and to keep track of how much people drink. So don’t tell me you had 6 beers when you only drank 4.

The key aspect to this project is the fingerprint scanner. It provides the security we wanted for the project at an affordable price. With two microcontrollers, a Homebrew Draft System, the fingerprint scanner and a solenoid valve the project began. The system is designed so the beverage will only dispense after your fingerprint is verified. We used an Arduino to communicate between the scanner and the A3BU which controlled the other functions. The system will identify who accessed the system and display it on the A3BU LCD. It will also activate one of the LED’s that indicate the status of the fingerprint, red if denied and green if approved. Assuming the approval signal is received by the A3BU it will send a signal that activates a solenoid motor through a transistor circuit. The System will then dispense the beverage for 20 seconds which at 15 psi will fill up a cup.


LED Piano – The Big Picture

The Big Picture - Photo 1The objective of our final project was to create a musical instrument using an LED matrix controlled by buttons and implement touch sensors that control certain frequencies on a speaker. Basically an LED piano. We used a speaker/buzzer to play the frequencies and we implemented capacitive touch for the “playing” of the instrument. The wire you choose to touch determines the note played. We housed the circuit in a cardboard box modeled as a piano to make it more appealing to the eye and to create an actual playable instrument.

The Big Picture - Photo 2

On the inside of the piano box, the touch sensor wires are connected to rectangular pieces of aluminum foil that, on the top of the box, represent the “keys” of the piano. When a piece of foil is touched, the respective note is played. This resulted in a playable piano!

We ended up having trouble using multiple buttons for the LEDs so after that issue, we decided to use only one button that will play a pre-programmed song. The LEDs are now placed in the box in groups of four above each key. We combined the code for the LEDs and the capacitive touch and set our instrument to light up the LEDs above the key touched.

The Big Picture - Photo 3

Please see our attached videos!

Group 5 – The Big Picture of the Project

For our project, we decided to use a powerful electromagnet controlled by a microcontroller.  We have a keypad on which user is able to input a code.  If the inputted code is correct, then the magnet turns off and allows the user to turn off the magnet.  The inspiration for this project came from a similar project, which created a Thor’s Hammer using an electromagnet that turned on and off based on a fingerprint sensor reader.  We wanted to do something similar, but put our own spin on it.

Instead of creating an electromagnet from scratch, we decided to take apart an old microwave to convert the transformer into an electromagnet.  A transformer has both a primary and secondary coil winding, and so the secondary coil needed to be cut out of the iron core’s housing.  Then an angle grinder was used to cut the the weld to cut the top off.  Then the primary coil was removed, and placed at the bottom of the iron housing.  Masking tape was placed on the inside of the iron housing so that the primary coil was not making contact with the housing.


In order to turn the electromagnet on and off we needed to use an electronic relay with a simple circuit.  We used a Grove Relay, which was purchased from FirstBuild.  The circuit was simply a battery pack configuration connected to the electromagnet, and the relay was used to open and close the circuit.   We also decided to play a simple tone with a speaker when the electromagnet was successfully turned off (i.e. the relay opened).  Pictured here is the A3BU, a battery pack with four AA’s, a small speaker, and our electromagnet.


Here is a short video demonstrating the operation of the electromagnet.  It shows the user initially entering an incorrect password, and the magnet staying on.  Then the user entering the correct password and the magnet turns off.  Then after pushing a button on the keypad, the magnet turns back on.