ECE, CSE students showcase top projects in annual event at Packard.
David Brandt ’17 hears two frequent complaints from his neighbors at the retirement community where he lives with his mother: They are constantly losing things, and they have little love for technology.
Justin Bauldock ’17 says his grandmother likes simple, straightforward technology and finds it intimidating to use a cellphone.
Brandt, an electrical engineering major, and Bauldock, a computer engineering major, have teamed up to create a self-contained, low-tech locator system that allows users to find keys, phones or walkers by pressing buttons on a control box that correspond to tagged items that have gone missing.
The new technology is called LINT — Location Identifying Networked Tags.
Brandt and Bauldock displayed LINT recently at the annual presentation of senior projects by electrical engineering and computer engineering majors. The two-semester laboratory course, called ECE/CREG Senior Design, is co-taught by Liang Cheng, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and Richard Decker, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and is required of all students in the two majors. Cheng was the faculty adviser for Brandt and Bauldock.
The two students believe LINT has a critical advantage over locating devices now on the market.
“All the existing technologies require complicated external technology,” says Brandt. “Ours is completely self-contained. You plug it in and it works.”
LINT has a 250-foot range and is designed for indoor use. Users attach tags to items that are likely to be misplaced. The tags ring or vibrate when users press the corresponding light on the control box.
“Our alarm spans the human hearing spectrum,” says Brandt. “If you’re hearing-impaired, you can switch the alarm to a hearing-assisted mode. It will vibrate at increasing rates of speed to tell you when you’re getting close to a lost object.”
The buttons on the control box are large, bright green and designed for easy use. Brandt and Bauldock will continue working on LINT after graduation. They plan several improvements, including a “cat-proof” feature to prevent the control buttons from being activated by the paws of a pet.
“It’s counter-intuitive to make technology for people who don’t like technology,” says Brandt. “But we think we can take this to market.”
LINT was one of 29 projects completed by 58 students in the Senior Design class and displayed earlier this year in Packard Laboratory. Each project defined a problem and offered a new technology to solve it. Taken all together, the projects showcased the breadth of electrical and computer engineering and its impact on healthcare, entertainment, energy, the environment and other areas of everyday life.
Read the full story and learn more about the other projects at the Lehigh University News Center.
-Kurt Pfitzer is Manager of Editorial Services with Lehigh University's Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
August 21, 2017