Team 11’s Robo-Weeder senior design project was sponsored by Jeff Phipps, the owner of Orchard Pond Organics. Orchard Pond Organics as well as all organic farms worldwide have a pressing need for assistance in weed control. Due to the conventional, labor intensive methods of weed removal, the cost of highly nutritious crops is high rendering it inaccessible to low income families. The purpose of the Robo-Weeder was to design and create a robotic system that will satisfy this need by using an auger style shearing mechanism to remove weeds on the seedbeds of planted vegetables. After many iterations, and guidance from the sponsor and faculty advisors Dr. Gupta and Dr. Hooker, the final design  was approved and the Robo-Weeder was built. Controlled testing of each subsystem was completed and the Robo-Weeder is working as intended. Team 11 is now transitioning into the final stages of the project with coding optimization as well as field testing. Learn more


A Proton Therapy Device Manager is a product which will automatically load and unload apertures into a Mevion S250 Proton Therapy machine in order to reduce time and human effort in the treatment process. The product specifically designed was 1:4 scaled version of the actual device that would be used in the treatment center. This product uses a linear railing system in order to move up and down and side to side. The user will operate this device through a computer and will communicate when the product should move and complete a loading or unloading function. This device is simple to make and easy assemble, and has been designed with the ease of operation in mind for the end user. Learn more  


Due to the inefficient and error prone way of currently laying out the floor plans of a construction site, Team 19’s sponsor, Mark Winger of PSBI, has tasked the team to create a robot that will mark out the floor plans of a construction project full scale on the concrete slab. This proof of concept robot should be able to make its marks within ½” accuracy, be easily portable, able to mark on concrete, able to mark across 100 sq. ft. within 10 minutes, and be able to navigate autonomously. The final design for this robot consists of the Pioneer 2-DX, which is a differentially steered, mobile research robot that holds a SICK LMS 200 LIDAR system for obstacle detection, with a gantry system and revolver-style marker holder for the marking mechanism which is mounted to the rear of the robot. Additionally, while full communication had not been achieved, significant work has been accomplished towards communication between the robot and the robotic total station, which was to be used for increased accuracy for localization. A raspberry pi 2 microprocessor was used as a communication hub between the Pioneer, the gantry, and the RTS and an Arduino Mega was used for controlling the gantry and marker holder’s stepper motors. For increased precision the robot will communicate with a robotic total station, which aids in localization. While this project did take a significant step in the right direction towards developing this construction marking robot, it could be further improved by further developing the support system for the gantry, proper mounts for the electronics, and sourcing new batteries to power the system. However, in its current state the system can take in the CAD of a layout, convert it to useable coordinates, and communicate with the robot and gantry to move accordingly and make marks. Learn more


The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition compelled engineering students to use the skills they have gained through study and apply them in real life applications. This competition required that an autonomous vehicle navigate a course while remaining in a predetermined path. Once a prototype frame was constructed out of wood, other major components were added to adhere to the competition rules. The major processors being used are the NVidia Jetson TX1 and the Raspberry Pi2 B+. The camera being used for obstacle avoidance is the ZED 2K Stereo Camera. The motors being used are the PG27 Planetary Gearmotors with RS775 Motors and Encoders. These motors will propel the vehicle with the necessary speed to compete in the competition. The Pololu High-Power motor controller is being used to control the motors. The entire vehicle cost is under budget at $1806.85. Learn more


The goal of Team 23 was to represent the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering in the 19th annual AUVSI RoboSub competition, which occured from July 25th to July 31st of 2016. This was accomplished through the design, development, and extensive testing of an autonomous sub which met all of the competition requirements provided by the AUVSI RoboSub competition. The particular aspects of design that the mechanical team worked on were a redesign of the hull, torpedo design and actuation, and the gripper mechanism. All of these categories are necessary to complete tasks required of the AUV in the RoboSub competition. In addition to the mechanical engineering team, electrical engineering team 4 also worked on the AUVSI RoboSub project. While the two teams assisted each other in the development of various subsystems required for the AUV, team 4 was more focused on the navigation and vision systems for the sub while team 23 focused more on the mechanical subsystems. This collaboration of work gave the teams the best chance at sending a sub to compete in competition. Learn more



Jeff Phipps is a local land owner and entrepreneur who was in need of extra help in maintaining the weeds on his eight-acre farm. As of now, organic farming is costly due to the amount of man power needed to make up for the fact that herbicides and pesticides cannot be used. In an attempt to reduce the cost of organic farming, an autonomous weeding robot was built to monitor the fields 24/7 and take out the cost of labor. This is important because it could mean an increase in the quality of food being produced. Through the process of designing the weeding robot, Team 11 discovered the need for a system robust enough to adapt to different farm conditions. The variation in farms will not allow for a non-adaptive system. Also there are strict constraints that have dictated the direction of the robot design. These include minimally compacting the dirt, navigating successfully through the plot, removing 60-70% of weeds overall. To complete this task, the team went with a robot design that uses computer vision coupled with ultrasonic sensors to control the autonomous navigation of the robot. A basket mechanism coupled with powerful motor carries out the task of removing weeds in our design and adheres to the necessary design constraints of minimally impacting the soil and biodiversity. Upon completion of this project the feasibility of the design was clearly demonstrated. Through further optimization by other teams this weeding robot can have an impact on reducing the costs of organic farming by reducing the amount of manual labor. Learn more


Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy provided Team 21 the task of the creation of a more affordable burrow scope for the purpose of studying gopher tortoises. The final product should have included an infrared camera that is able to traverse a burrow up to 15 meters in length and is connected to a screen that can not only display the image but also capture and record the footage; the entire system should be waterproof and cost less than 1000 dollars. The sponsor, Tall Timbers, has been contacted and an onsite field assessment has been completed in order to observe the environment that the final system will be operating in. The current technology Tall Timbers possesses for the scoping of gopher tortoise burrows has also been studied, the downfalls of the system observed, and improvements for the future system noted. Learn more


Continuing on work performed by 2014's senior design team, this team was tasked with developing a system that allows the autonomous ground vehicle, GOLIATH, to better live up to its all-terrain designation. This was achieved by adding a wheel force/torque sensor onto one of the wheels, and having it wirelessly communicate with the vehicle's computer control system. Research has shown that the core concept of the assembly, converting measured strain into torque or another force, is a sound theory, one that has been implemented for more than 30 years. Like any design project, several designs were initially looked at, and one was chosen. This chosen design was by no means a complete one, and itself went through several iterations to better realize the goal of the project. Rigorous testing either proved that a design was capable of handling the task or if another avenue needed to be pursued. Once individual components were vetted, they were assembled into a complete, whole unit.  Learn more


The purpose of the electronic Synthetic Active Aperture Radar (SAR) Imager project, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, was to design and develop a low-cost detection system capable of providing a low, but useful, imagery resolution as a learning experience. In theory, the application of the electronic SAR Imager focuses on security applications and its ability to detect potentially threatening objects such as handguns. This project was sponsored through the FAMU Foundation with a $50,000.00 budget with an expected time line of eight months to completion. A radar is an object detection system that uses radio waves to measure characteristics of certain objects and is typically composed of antennas in which transmit pulses of radio waves bounce off the target in the designated range. The wave is reflected off the target and returns a wave to the receiving end of the system which is usually a dish, horn, or some form of waveguide usually located at the same site as the transmission of the wave. In a typical radar, the antenna which usually acts as a transmitter and/or receiver is in a static position. The electronic SAR Imager is a more complicated scenario of radar imaging which allows for the detection of a much greater range by movement of the transmission antenna. This can be seen such applications as aircraft topography; the antenna on the plane would transmit signal to a landscape while the antenna is moving. To create a fixed electronic SAR imager, the design will be constructed with multiple stationary antennas that emit or receive pulses to emulate the theory of an SAR. Learn more