Wednesday, February 8, 2017


At the beginning of this semester, vehicle position sensing will focus on manufacturing the corrugated metal strip. Due to the limitation of the budget, we have to give up our original idea which was using 3D printer to make the strip. Instead of that, we will try to make it by our own.
In this week, in order to manufacturing the corrugated metal strip, we talked to the track manufacturing team. They do not have time to help us about it, but they gave us some useful suggestion. For example, we are going to make to gears for manufacturing the strip. They told us some their experience how to make a perfect gear.
So far, we already made two perfect cylinder. Also, we plan to finished the gear teeth and install them to a platform in the following week. The team is looking for steel sheet supplier which can provide us cheap and thin iron sheet. Because there will be no load acting on the corrugated metal strip, the properties of the metal does not matter as long as it can be easily corrugated. In the moment, we are looking for steel sheet with gage 28 or 30.

The program of the corrugated detection was finished. However, we still need to integrate our part with the vehicle control team because our programs share location information together.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week 12/01 to Week 12/07

For this week, the most time we spent on was preparing our final presentation and first draft report.  In addition, our team is focusing on doing the final testing the position sensing system with a constant speed. Through the testing, we realized the speed that the sensor can sense is about 20cm/s. Since the vehicle control team have not determine the speed of the bogie yet, we cannot test the actual bogie speed in our system. Lastly, due to sensor mount is not perfect as what we expected, the sensing result is not very stable. Therefore, we did some adjustment the sensor mount. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 11/13 to 11/30

 The corrugated metal strip the team made was not fit for the track, thus the team sent out several quotes to nearly 10 companies that sell customizable metal parts. It was Thanksgiving Week, there were no shipping and other services until Monday of the next week. However, there was no reply from these companies.

The team designed a 3D model for one segment of the replacement of the corrugated metal strip. The design was shown in figure 1. The price for 3D printing the segment with stainless steel in order to cover the whole track was determined to be about $400. However, since there was no offering price from any companies for bending a corrugated metal strip with the team’s original design. The 3D printing price cannot be evaluated or compared.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Week 11/17 to 11/23

In this week, our team already finished the final designed of the sensor mount. And we will use 3D printer to make in the coming week. However, the corrugated metal strip we got from last week was not idea as what we thought. Firstly, its distance between peaks was not really accurate as we want. Secondly, the square wave shape was not good either. Therefore, we just contacted with a 3D printer show. And we think it will be more accurate.
Moreover, we found out another problem is which side the strip should set on the track. At the beginning, we wanted set it on the inner orbit. Nevertheless, we realized when the bogie get into the parking place, the outer orbit has to have the strip. In this case, the bogie should have both side sensor. Otherwise, we could not determine the position when the bogie get into the parking place. So we will try to solve this program during the coming week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Week 11/9 to 11/16

This week, the team had talked to the software development team regarding to the algorithm of position sensing. After the discussion, the team decided to use the station ID as one of the reference for position sensor. However, after meeting with the software development team, the team also found we need to have reference for position sensing after track switching, and the issue will be discussed with the control team about the magnet and sensor they will be using.

The team gathered and came up with a design on the holder for the sensor with the new magnet. However, the CAD drawing was not able to be completed in this week after the team spending significant amount of time on designing a proper holder.

Since November is ending, the team will arrange more meetings at the end of the 3rd week if November and the 4th week because of the holidays. Hopefully, the sensor holder will be completely built.

The team like to test the sensors on a piece of corrugated sheet metal with fine corrugations. However, the corrugated sheet metal is not arriving and the website does not provide any tracking resources. The sheet metal will be cut in to strip and tested after its arrival.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Week 11/03 to Week 11/09

For this week, our team already got the new magnets, the size of magnet does very fit for our design. In addition, we successful manufacture the corrugated metal strip sample. However, we have some question about the Arduino code, so we are going to ask Dr. Furman in the coming week. 
In addition, we will determine the distance between the new magnet and sensor in order to design the proper sensor holder. Because the magnets arrived at 11/6/2016, the team have not had a chance to test it,so the design and the CAD drawing of the sensor is planned to be finished in this weekend. And a 3D printed model of the sensor holder will be available next week
On the other hand, after the sample of the corrugated metal strip was made, even though the strip was good for rapid prototype and testing, the 5mm distance between peaks was determined to be too large for accuracy. Thus, the team will consider making a smaller size corrugated metal strip in order for more accurate position sensing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Week 10/26 to week 11/02

The powerpoint for presentation 2 is available at:

This week, the team was focusing on designing the sensor mount for our hall effect sensor. However, since the magnets we used for testing was too long, the team need to find a smaller magnet. On the other hand, we cannot decide the distance between the sensor and the magnet unless we test the magnets. Originally, the team decided to order magnets from Honeywell.

The magnet is 9.53 mm in length and much smaller than the original one with 25.3 mm length. However, the team found some much smaller magnets on ebay. Those magnets are cylindrical with 1/8 inch in length and 1/8 inch in diameter. And they are 50 times cheaper than the Honeywell magnets. Thus, the team decided to order the magnets from ebay, and they are arriving around 11/5. After, the team receiving and testing the magnets, the team will modify the current design of the sensor mounts. And the task will be done before the end of this week.