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Electronic Engineering

The relevant projects are listed below. Alternatively, you can return to the main list of subject areas.

Please note: There are many overlapping aspects in the Chemical and Biological, Materials and Process, and Mechanical Engineering programmes.  Students should contact the academics of the various projects they are interested in. Note that it is possible to have design teams made up of students from different engineering programmes.  

These pages are updated as new projects become available.  Please check back regularly.


Measurement of electrical conductivity of brain tissue with guarded electrodes

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Students will design and ideally build a set of electrodes suitable for measuring the electrical conductivity of tiny sections of brain tissue using the 'guarded electrode' approach. This will form part of the research of the Cortical Modelling group on the physics of the brain. Students will need to use equipment such as an Agilent Impedance monitor, controlled with a Matlab computer interface, and computer modelling of electromagnetic fields. Research Projects: Associated with this are two research projects. 1. To research the best materials for building electrodes, and how best to fabricate small, guarded electrodes easily and economically. 2. To research how best to connect the electrodes into a measurement circuit in order to ensure the most robust and accurate measurement of electrical impedance. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students. PLEASE NOTE: Marcus Wilson is on study leave from January - June 2017 and has limited capacity for supervising during this period.

Supervisor:
Marcus Wilson 


Small coils for magnetic stimulation of brains

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
In Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) rapid pulses of magnetic field are applied to the brain, via an external current-carrying coil. This is now a common clinical treatment. We would like to be able to produce an equivalent set-up for use with rats and mice. Here we run into a problem: Their brains are much smaller than humans, and consequently to localize the field over a small portion of the brain requires smaller coils. However, with a small coil it is difficult to provide sufficient current in a sufficiently short time, and the forces between the two parts of a figure-of-eight coil are large. In this project the student will look at the design of small TMS coils, suitable for rodents, with a view to overcoming the difficulties. We will consider the electronics driving the coils and the strengths and time profile of the electric and magnetic fields they produce, and aim to match them to the output of human coils. A successful outcome would be the design and production of a prototype coil and control system that could potentially be used for research work. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for up to two students. PLEASE NOTE: Marcus Wilson is on Study Leave from January - June 2017 and his capacity to supervise during this time is limited.

Supervisor:
Marcus Wilson 


Scalextric Digital Slot Cars - anti-stall, anti-skid capability

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Would you like to build a prototype board for a crowd-funded offering on Kickstarter.com http://kickstarter.com/? This project needs 1 or 2 EE students and 1 or 2 SE students. The task is to design, build and program a computer board to replace the one sold for Scalextric Digital Slot Cars, but that adds anti-stall and anti-skid capability, just like a real racing car. The PCB will be a drop-in replacement for the Scalextric version, but adding energy storage, torque and speed measurement, a gyroscope chip, and improved software to make cars easier to race, just like a full-size car (think KERS, ABS/TCS, and ESP). No (s)kidding.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott, Michael Cree 


Moving Object Detection and Tracking on a Robot Using a Time-of-Flight Camera

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
The project is to use an existing robot platform and time-of-flight camera to detect and track an object moving in front of it. The objective of the project is to turn the robot so that the moving object is always in the centre of the camera's field of view. First, the student will detect and track a single moving object. Second, the robot will be turned towards the moving object. When the camera moves then everything it sees is moving across the field of view, and the challenge is to tell apart the moving object from the background. This project will suit a student with an interest in robotics, control, and image and signal processing. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one or more students.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree 


Time-of-flight range imaging

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Time-of-flight range imaging measures distance and provides rich information about the environment of a robot, but light scatters and can corrupt that information. The aim of this project is to model the range imaging process using ToF-tracer, an open source transient image simulator recently modified by Microsoft to simulate time-of-flight imaging, and to use existing software to restore corrupted images. In the first part of the project the student will bring together software elements such as ToF-tracer and the correction software to form a useful system. In the second part the student will model range images and test the error correction software. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one or more student/s.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree 


Distributed sonar range imaging

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
The project is to design and build a low resolution imaging system using sonar ranging and triangulation. A single speaker will emit sound at multiple frequencies and microphones will detect the sound, and the distance will be determined by radar-like frequency analysis of the signal. With multiple microphones, a low resolution range image of the scene in front of the system will be reconstructed. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project will suit one or two students.

Supervisor:
Lee Streeter, Michael Cree, Jonathan Scott 


Harmonic Percolator

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
This project involves building, testing, and simulating a 'Harmonic Percolator', the legendary 1970s guitar pedal (Google it). I envisage testing the linearity and complex frequency response using our new QuantAsylum QA400 audio analyser or the HP Dynamic Signal Analyser, as a function of signal level, with the aim of publishing a 'what it is actually doing' article.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


An Experimental Visual Odometry Mobile Robotic Platform

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Visual odometry is the process of getting odometry (velocity and heading information) on mobile robots by analysis of monocular video. This project is to develop a mobile robotic platform with GPU accelerated video processing and logging of video and telemetry data. What we have: A number of quadcopters with opensource/hardware flight controllers. A Jetson TK1 GPU/ARM embedded device. A Go-Pro camera and gimble. Other bits and pieces. What we would like to have: A camera mounted on a mobile platform, either a quadcopter or a small land-based vehicle, with the camera connected to the Jetson so that video data can be streamed into the GPU and logged. The Jetson connected to inertial sensors and/or the flight controller so that we can log inertial and telemetry data along with the video data. Stretch/challenge (particularly if have more than one student): Implementation of basic visual odometry so that we can get heading and speed information from the video/GPU (e.g. using standard OpenCV algorithms). Compare output of implemented visual odometry against inertial/telemetry data in a test. Particularly the camera interfacing to GPU part of the project would require students who are comfortable with working in the Linux environment and programming in C++/python. This research and design project would suit electronic engineering and/or software engineering students.

Supervisor:
Michael Cree, John Perrone 


Modeling Disease Outbreaks in Urban Social Networks

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Communication paradigm can be employed as a powerful canonical model for analysis of complex contagion processes. The project is to use communication models to characterise the spread of disease in realistic urban social networks for the control process.

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Molecular Communication Model of Targeted Drug Delivery

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
The project is to use molecular communication model, which is an emerging beyond-electromagnetism communication technique, to characterise the targeted drug delivery (TDD) processes for optimal targeted therapies. The student will also develop a tabletop system to verify the proposed techniques

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Touchable Computation Model of Cancer Detection

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Computation paradigm can be employed as a powerful canonical model for design and analysis of complex physical, chemical, and biological processes. The project is to use computation/optimisation models to characterise the detection of cancers by using contrast-agent-loaded nanorobots. The student will also develop a tabletop system to verify the proposed techniques.

Supervisor:
Yifan Chen 


Automated Characterisation of Implantable Electrodes

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
This project involves assembling hardware and writing a python program to measure the impedance of a platinum electrode in a saline bath using an E5270 semiconductor parameter analyser in the range from 10uHz to 10Hz. We are very interested in monitoring the impedance of an electrode when implanted into an animal, because this impedance changes detrimentally with time. The aim is to develop a test system that can be used first with our 3D biological (tissue) printer in vitro, and then in vivo.

Supervisor:
Jonathan Scott 


Identification and elimination of electrical noise in local field potential recording

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
The mammalian brain is an extremely complex structure that functions by generating and transmitting electrical signals. We have a specialised laboratory for recording electrical activity from sections of live brain tissue. This requires capturing and amplifying microvolt-level electrical events detected at an active electrode in the tissue, referenced to a distant ground electrode. Electrical noise and artefacts can obscure the biological signal of interest. The challenge is to identify, and where possible, eliminate noise and artifacts by optimising the recording set up. The student will systematically investigate how the active and ground electrode configurations influence electrical noise in biological recordings. A particular focus will be on electrode fabrication, composition and positioning. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Alistair Steyn-Ross and Logan Voss 


Push recovery of a humanoid robot

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Design and implement a recovery strategy and algorithm on a small humanoid robot so that it can earn back its balance when external forces are applied on it. This RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
CK Au 


NIARC 2017 - various research projects related to autonomous robots

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Projects related to Kalman filter algorithm, SLAM and sensor fusion.

Supervisor:
CK Au 


DC powered white goods with SCALDO converters for domestic use

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
DC at home is a new concept gradually being matured and in few years we can expect a DC bus fed from renewable sources at home. In realising this concept, for better energy efficiency and to be less dependent on the AC grid, this project is to develop a power conversion technique with short term DC UPS capability based on supercapacitors. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


A fast charger for a supercapacitor array in a surge resistant UPS (2nd stage)

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Essential preliminary techniques for surge resistant UPS (SRUPS) based on supercapacitor energy storage are already developed. Fundamental approach to a fast supercapacitor charger is also developed. The first part of this two-part project aims at developing and assembling a low-cost supercapacitor array and its fast-charging scheme to replace the battery; for a 300VA, 230 V AC UPS system, paying attention to its capability reject common-mode and differential-mode surges. Using a lighting surge simulator to test the design's surge resistant properties will be an integral part of the project. In the second part of the project, you will be developing the SRUPS prototype, integrating the fast charger technique. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


An ultra low dropout regulator with digital output control

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Powering portable products and high speed processors is a challenging task due to fast load current transients and noise. In these environments low drop out (LDO) regulators are a commonly used device family based on linear series regulator techniques. Basis for a novel shunt regulated LDO technique to work with very low dropout voltages is already developed. This project is to further develop this new technique with a digital control module to adjust the output voltage and other parameters, adhering to commonly used power management techniques. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for one student.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


Developing a 1 kVA AC voltage regulator based on a series transistor array

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
AC voltage regulators are used in commercial and industrial systems when the AC mains fluctuate beyond acceptable limits, and, sometimes they are used by high fidelity enthusiasts to get better listening performance. This project is aimed at developing a 2kVA transistor array based system to get better overall performance than an existing commercial product by an Australian company. One student will be developing the overall technique, learning from the existing publications. The second student will be developing a more elegant transformer configuration, with a view to increase the overall efficiency and total harmonic distortion. Overall efficiency, waveform fidelity and response times are the critical parameters to be improved compared to the commercial product tested using a Voltage Dip and Swell Simulator. This part will be jointly done by the students. This DESIGN and RESEARCH project is suitable for two students.

Supervisor:
Nihal Kularatna 


Flower spotter

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Develop a sensor system that detects the flowers of plants in an orchard.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


OCT

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Optical coherence tomography is a well established technique. Here we develop a system for analysing agricultural products in the field.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


LoRa sensors

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Develop a wireless sensor network based on the LoRa protocol.

Supervisor:
Rainer Kunnemeyer 


Hardware Accelerated Analysis of Video Sequences for Direction and Depth

Project type:
Research and Design

Updated:
14/02/2017 

Project description:
Humans and primates have sophisticated visual systems that enable them to navigate complex scenes by vision alone. Matlab and AVX2 implementations of the numerous filters that model the human visual system exist but take at least a few seconds to process one frame of video data. This project is to implement image processing filters on accelerated computer hardware to achieve real-time processing of video sequences. The hardware is the Intel Phi - a multiprocessor and vectorised processing unit - and is available in the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Video test sequences can be constructed with equipment and laboratories in the School of Psychology and the School of Engineering. The experimental apparatus can provide accurately known camera motion to which the output of the Intel Phi implementation can be compared. This project will require a student who is comfortable working in the Linux environment and programming in C or C++. This RESEARCH and DESIGN project would suit either a software engineering student or an electronic engineering student.

Supervisor:
Michael Cree (Engineering) and Assoc Prof John Perrone (Psychology)