Welcome to the Engineer Accelerator Project Page! These are ideas for projects that students can implement as part of their portfolio. Of course if a student has their own ideas then they can be adapted for the portfolio project.


Project: Sinckerdoodle Hello World Project Series

Description: Introductory demos, tutorials, and documentation on working with snickerdoodle: Zynq (ARM-based FPGA SoC). Valuable for showing thorough understanding of toolchain, hardware integration, and ability to distill instructions into brief & consumable – yet thorough – pieces.

Deliverables: Match the functionality of the Basic, Analog, or Digital Arduino Examples in the context of the Snickerdoodle

Project: Port “open” Arduino core to Zynq via Xilinx IP Integrator.

Description:To make the Sinckerdoodle useable to more people, krtkl wants to port the open source Arduino core to the Snickerdoodle platform. This project would demonstrate a practical understanding of working with programmable logic, porting and qualifying existing designs, and synthesis (and potential customization) of “soft” microcontrollers.

Deliverables:  Demonstrate upload and operation of Arduino Blink

Optional Addition: Build shieldBuddy Arduino shield adaptor for Snickerdoodle using existing designs to validate IP core using “real” Arduino shield (e.g. OLED character display w/ mechanical UI).

Project: LED Matrix Comparison Demo

Description: Comparative demonstration between Snickerdoodle and Arduino/Raspberry Pi using two 32×32 LED matrix panels. Comparison can either be between Snickerdoodle and Arduino/R Pi or between Zynq’s ARM processor and Zynq’s FPGA.

Deliverables: Clearly and visually demonstrates how computational limits of CPUs can be easily and affordably addressed by utilizing an FPGA/SoC and shows an understanding of cross-platform programming implementation.

Project: Arduino Electronic Load Extension

Description: Electronic Loads are a very useful development tool especially for power supply and battery testing. A open source load does not exist and the commercial options are too expensive and over powered. A first version of this project was completed by a student in a previous class. This version should refine and extend the existing design. This project would demonstrate an understanding of how user needs impacts design, PCB design and manufacture, calibration and testing. NOTE: this project is reserved for students who have limited time.

Deliverables: A computer controlled load that can maintain a 2A current draw for 1 hour at 5% accuracy.

Project: Arduino Oscilloscope

Description: Oscilloscopes are one of the most used measurement tools in electrical engineering. This project is to create an a Arduino based oscilloscope that is simpler and cheaper for beginners to use than commercially available systems. This project would demonstrate an understanding of how user needs impacts design, PCB design and manufacture, calibration and testing.

Deliverables: A computer controlled oscilloscope that can measure a 20Hz and a 20kHz sine wave to 5% accuracy at 5V.

Project: Arduino Controlled Hot Box

Description: The behavior of circuits can change dramatically with changes in ambient temperatures, si circuits must be tested at various temperatures to see if there are any design problems that need to be resolved. Lifetime issues can also be revealed by running the circuit at elevated temperatures. The issue is that testing at a full test lab can be very expensive and time consuming. So this project is to design a small scale hot box that can be quickly set up and controlled easily.

Deliverables: A computer controlled hot box that can maintain a set temperature (ambient to 90°F range)  at 2°F accuracy for 4 hours.

Project: Arduino Side Shield with pin remapping

Description: The Arduino shield is great at giving an Arduino extra functionality. However in general only one shield can be used at a time. It is possible to stack shields but this can cause problems if both shields use the same pins. Also this will not work if you want to add two UI elements like a LCD screen and buttons. So this project is to design and build a board that allows the user to add shields in the horizontal direction as opposed to the vertical direction. In addition the board should allow the pins to be remapped to prevent pin conflicts.

Deliverables: A interface board that allows expansion in all at least 3 horizontal directions and allows all I/O pins to be remapped. Also the connected boards should mechanical stable.

Project: Arduino DDS Breakout Extension

Description: One of the most prevalent projects that people want to do is to create sounds. However, the Arduino Uno does have a DAC output that allows clean sine waves to be generated. To work around this problem Martin Nawrath of  the Academy of Media Arts Cologne created a circuit and code to filter a PWM and create a clean sine wave.

This project is to create a breakout board version of this project that makes it easy for a user to interface it with an Arduino and any outputs. Also a test chamber will need to be designed and built so the performance can be measured.

Extension: Since this code overrides the normal timers in the Arduino is not possible to use it for other functions. To work around this add a ATTINY controller to the breakout and adapt the code to work with the different microcontroller.

Deliverables: A board that interfaces simply with the Arduino and external speakers and can out put sine waves from 20Hz to 20KHz with unwanted harmonic distortion amplitude 50dB lower that the target sine wave’s peak. Measurements should be done in a test chamber created for this project.