Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Fall 2018 Design Projects

Project List


Swarm Robot Boat

swarm robot boatThis project entails designing and manufacturing swarm robot boats. Using GPS and an onboard computer, the robots could communicate and work together on a variety of different tasks. The swarm boats have previously been used to collect algae from the surface of a pond, by dragging around nets behind the boats. Utilizing onboard GPS, the robots have the potential to avoid collisions and efficiently cover a large area of water.

There are even more applications this boat could be adapted for, thanks to the flexibility of the onboard computer. Another potential application would be water quality analysis. By adding other sensors such as thermometers, the swarm boat could serve as a useful research data collection tool.

This project was brought to the senior design course through the University of Toledo’s Mechanism, Mobility, Multifunctional Design Laboratory (3MDL for short), which is a lab dedicated to the research of advanced mechanism design lead by Dr. Brain Trease. This swarm robot project is not a new one: two previous senior design groups and a few members of the 3MDL staff have taken the design through its first five generations, and we were tasked with designing the sixth generation this semester.

team membersTeam Members: Michael Docis – Group Leader; Jonathan Hendrzak – Technical Liaison; Alex Creeger – Purchasing Agent; Feijie Chen – Communications Specialist

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brian Trease; Client Advisor: Dr. Adam Schroeder; Project Sponsor: University of Toledo’s Mechanism, Mobility, Multifunctional Design Laboratory (3MDL)

Special Thanks: Dr. Adam Schroeder, for his enthusiastic support and for his tremendous assistance with the program; Dr. Brian Trease, for his continued support and bountiful ideas; 3MDL personnel, especially Terry Schulin and Lauren Marshall

Enrichment Launching mechanism "Cheetapult" 

team members standing with completed projectOur project was to create some sort of launcher for the Toledo Zoo for them to launch enrichment items such as food and toys into the enclosures to try and get the animals more active. Originally, we thought it was just for the cheetah’s but once we got to the zoo we found out it was for multiple animals such as the wolves, gorillas, and all the animals in the safari enclosure. Our client gave us some requirements that it needed to meet. It needed to be mobile, light and adjustable so that the zoo employees can move it easily to the different enclosures. We were told that it can’t be compressed air as it could scare the animals. Our project had an initial design which involved springs which didn’t work out because it didn’t launch items far enough and it was way too heavy for what the zoo wanted. The second design was a slingshot design that was made of wood and had wheels on it to make it transportable. This ended up working very well and met all the requirements.

Team Members: Group Leader – Derich Weiland; Technical Liaison – Joseph Leitch; Purchasing Agent – Carl Herron; Webpage Specialist – Toby Lawton

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sorin Cioc; Client Advisor: Beth Posta; Project Sponsor: Toledo Zoo

Special Thanks: Beth Posta, Toledo Zoo – For access to the zoo and being our contact; Bill Weiland, Derich’s father – Access to farm with tools, material, and initial testing place; Dr. Cioc, University of Toledo – Main source of guidance

UT Greywater System for Parks Tower

technical drawing of greywater systemOur group was tasked with determining if a greywater filtration system is viable for Parks Tower. A greywater filtration system could help the university become more environmentally friendly as well possibly provide a large cost savings. After research, we determined it will be possible to collect and filter all shower water and pump the filtered water back into Parks Tower to supply the toilets. Our group found 4 other systems that could use any excess filtered water, these are: redirecting water to the river, using it in cooling towers on campus, using it in the boiler system, or divert it to city sewage. A cost analysis was performed for all 4 methods and ROI was calculated, with the best being 40 years. The group concluded a greywater system would best be installed in any new structure to be built on campus, not a standing structure like Parks Tower. This project will be passed on to next semester where they may determine if there is a viable way to implement any of these designs or come up with new designs.

team members standing next to project display boardTeam Members: Brandon Wolters – Group Leader; Gabe Walters – Technical Liaison; Jonathan Estes – Purchasing Agent; John Hayes – Web Developer; Keenan Coon – Industrial Engineering Specialist

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brian Trease; Client Advisor: Michael Green; Project Sponsor: University of Toledo

Special Thanks: Ryan Gierhart from the Ohio EPA (Northwest Region); Lucas County Health Dept.; Greyter Water Systems; Wahaso (Water Harvesting Solutions)
Adaptive Tricycle

Adapted tricycleThe Toledo Ability Center aims to give the disabled a path to independence. In this project, their client Willy has autism and cannot currently ride a bike or tricycle with his family as the result of having balancing deficiencies. Thus, this project aims to design a stylish and customized tricycle that will keep Willy aesthetic. The designed tricycle will need to have non-restrictive restraints while still firmly securing the client. In addition, the tricycle needs to be adjustable to account for Willy’s growth. The main goal, however, will be to maintain a safe functional tricycle for Willy, and thus, it will need to sustain a high factor of safety.



team membersTeams Members: Tyler Drees, Jay Nagy, Jeremy Keil, Collin McCabe, Mohammed Alotaibi; 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mohamed Samir Hefzy; Client Advisor: Angie Goodnight; Project Sponsor: The Toledo Ability Center

Special Thanks: Wersell’s Bike Shop & Rifton
 Modification and User Testing of  Hand-Operated Tricycle

Team members standing with client on adapted tricycleOur client Dolores Guinn is an Army veteran who has lost motor function in her legs due to illness. She is an avid outdoorsman and hunter who wants to continue to do what she loves despite not being able to walk. As a result, she has asked for a hand-powered tricycle that she can use to hunt and ride on in the woods behind her house. To meet her needs, we met with her throughout the semester to grasp a better idea of what functions Dolores really needed first, which ranged from multiple gears to forward and reverse function of the bike.

By the end of the semester, we produced a working tricycle that moves in forward and reverses through all 3 gears and was built from standard bicycle parts, in order to maintain the simplicity of design and repair. The final test drive included Dolores herself pulling our group leader Bryon on a sled to simulate dragging an animal. The final result was that the tricycle functioned as intended with and without weight added.

team member using grinderTeam Members: Bryon Jordan- Group Leader; Jeffrey Banachowski- Purchasing Agent; Thomas Garner- Technical Liaison; Dustin Reeder- Communications Contact

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Adam Schroeder; Client Advisor: Dolores Guinn; Project Sponsor: Angie Goodnight, Toledo Ability Center

Special Thanks: Garner Precision Collision, Toledo Bikes

Nitinol Actuated Prosthetic Hand

prototype of prosthetic handNitinol is a shape memory alloy made from nickel and titanium. Shape memory alloys express the ability to “remember” a set shape. When deformed, heat can be applied to eliminate residual strain left on the material, causing it to return to its “memorized shape”. This unique property provides the opportunity to convert heat energy into mechanical energy. Our group applied this concept to a 3D printed prosthetic hand. Sending electricity through nitinol springs heats up the nitinol and forces it to contract. The springs pull wires that run through the hand and fingers. This allows us to manipulate and bend the fingers for effortless movement.

group membersTeam Members: Bryce Williams, Marcus Ardner, Nate Durkovic

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elahinia; Client Advisor: Mohammadreza Nematollahi; Project Sponsor: Dr. Elahinia

Special Thanks: Maker Society

T-Shirt Gatling Gun

prototype of t-shirt gatling gunThe University of Toledo Athletic Department has a tradition of providing an engaging and exciting experience for its sports fans. At the beginning of our semester, the department approached us about designing a device that would further increase the level of excitement for fans.

Currently, the University uses two carbon dioxide powered t-shirt cannons to launch shirts during timeouts and stoppages of play. These cannons work but are relatively unreliable and the Athletic Department thought that we could design something more reliable that would also make the experience more exciting. After discussing the idea with our team, we decided that a Gatling style cannon that sequentially launched shirts out of multiple barrels would be the answer.

After 4 months of work, we are proud to present the Athletic department with our solution, and hope they will be able to use it to help create an even better environment for the University’s sports fans.

team members with prototype of gatling gunTeam Members: Ryan O’Callaghan, Richard Gobrecht, Evan Hartenburg, Tyler Sullivan

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sorin Cioc; Client Advisor: Adam Simpson; Project Sponsor: UT Athletic Department

Special Thanks: John Jaegly, Tim Grivanos, and the Entire M.I.M.E. Machine Shop
Rocket RC Blimp for UT Athletics

RC drone for blimpOur group was tasked with creating a UT Athletics equivalent of the Toledo Walleye ‘Super Spike’ RC drone powered blimp. UT Athletics is currently looking at options to increase crowd engagement during stoppages of play. A remote-controlled blimp, similar to ‘Super Spike’, could be used to drop prizes on the fans at Toledo sports games. By designing the drone portion of this project, we have been able to complete a custom built which includes the blimp controlling capabilities as well as a prize drop mechanism. Because of its modularity, it will be possible to add additional features as desired in the future.

group members at hockey gameTeam Members: Scott Brittenham, Richard Gahutu, Michael Kranz, and Thomas Walbom

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Langenderfer

Client Advisor: Mr. Adam Simpson

Project Sponsor: University of Toledo Athletics Department

Special Thanks: The Toledo Walleye and Huntington Center

FCA Dundee Engine Plant Process Improvement

team members at plantThe objective of this senior design project is to identify and improve upon processes that are hindering the speed and reliability of the World Gas Engine and Tigershark 4-cylinder engine line at the Fiat-Chrysler Engine Plant in Dundee, Michigan. Our client and his co-workers have decided there is a bottleneck in the system, but have yet to come to a conclusion as to what the main issue is. They have brought our team in to have a fresh set of eyes on the issues and provide on the ground support. FCA wanted us to proceed with Option 2: Finding a motor, gearbox and other components that would be able to increase the speed of the conveyor system. After extensive research and contacting the suppliers, we found a system that would improve the speed by 6 m/min without hindering the performance of the line. After conducting multiple time trials, we decided that we needed to implement a faster motor and gearbox combination than what was suggested to get us up to 18m/min. Upgrading to this system will improve overall travel time by 15 seconds. This will also require additional add-ons of heavy duty stop gates. This is so the stop gates can handle the load of an entire queue full of pallets. This would save approximately $3.2 million per year considering the production line runs 40 hours per week.

Team Members: Abdel Hakim Abou Yassine, Brendan Bennekamper, John Heninger, and Benjamin Nadarajah  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Franchetti; Client Advisor: John Montri; Project Sponsor: FCA Dundee Engine Plant 

Special Thanks: Dr. Trease, Dr. Franchetti, and FCA Dundee Engine Plant.
Snow Adhesion Testing

design team standing with snow adhesion experimentFor this leg of a multi-part project, the design team's objective is to design an experiment to test adhesion of snow to aluminum at differing Liquid Water Contents and test each of the experiments to gather data points. A secondary goal is to design a way to test snow adhesion on different materials. Moving forward the data gathered from various testing can help us understand and quantify how snow adheres to different materials with the ultimate goal of designing a way to passively remove snow from cable stay bridges, smart car camera lenses, and the sides of ships sailing through cold waters.

Team Members: Kyle Stallings, Jesse Haefka, Khaled Alresayes and Joel McVicker Jr.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Hossein Sojoudi and Dr. Douglas Nims

Client Advisor: Dr. Hossein Sojoudi and Dr. Douglas Nims

Special Thanks: Dr. Sojoudi, Dr. Nims, Jamie Heil, Mehdi Sarayloo, Behrouz Mohammadian, Mr. Jaegly

Low-Cost 3D Printer Benchmarking and Upgrade

Design team by project displayThe OneUp 3D printer was released in 2013 as the first 3D printer available for under $200. Dr. Rizvi purchased this printer from Kickstarter but did not manage to get it working. The printer was made of low-quality materials, such as MDF board and zip ties, and also used a very outdated slicer. After a senior design group got the OneUp to print at a low quality, this team was tasked with upgrading the printer in terms of print quality, build volume, and material compatibility. A new board was installed on the OneUp and after using a new slicer and updated firmware, the OneUp was printing better than before. With Dr. Rizvi’s guidance, the decision was made to build a brand-new printer with parts designed by this group. The new printer named “Theseus” was, an upgrade in virtually every aspect when compared to the OneUp. The new frame, gantry, additional z-screw, build plate, print head, hot end, and cooling system all increased the printer’s quality. After testing the Theseus printer, the print quality was much better than the OneUp and was even comparable with more expensive printers such as Makerbots and Ultimakers.

Team Members: Luke Poston Team Leader; Patrick Shemenski, Technical Liaison; Anthony Coustillac, Purchasing Agent; Dejan Orsag Web Page Specialist

Faculty Advisor and Client Advisor: Dr. Reza Rizvi 

Special Thanks to the UT Makers Society

Processing and Characterization of Medical Cements

Bone Cement Synthesis Process. Raw cement sample to ground cement sample to newberyite to complete reinforced cement sampleBone cement is used in many different surgical situations ranging from dental surgery to spinal surgery.  The current types of bone cement behave like ceramic with low elastic strength.  Because of the low elastic strength, developers desire as high of compression and tensile strength as possible. The objective of this project is to improve the compressive strength and the injectability of our client, Dr. Bhaduri’s, FDA approved Orthopaedic Medical Cement. This bone cement is used in bone fractures to minimize the hospital time, speed up recovery, and causes less pain to the patient when applied correctly. The bone cement is completely biodegradable and biocompatible, which is an important parameter that the project team had to consider when formulating potential design solutions to increase the injectability and compressive strength. This bone cement an also be utilized for dental applications and small bone fractures, thus making it a viable solution for many orthopedic applications performed every day. The compressive strength of the material needs to be improved, along with the injectability properties. Throughout this report, the project team developed potential solutions to each of these main objectives, and then testing procedures were also determined. A final conclusion and a path forward was developed at the end of the report.

design teamTeam Members: Jacob Ritchart, Ryan Kahle, Seth Bell, Brent Biernacki

Faculty Advisor and Client Advisor: Dr. Sarit Bhaduri

Project Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Special Thanks: Terry Schulin

Toledo Transducer Manufacturing Anomaly Analysis

Team members with client advisorLoad cell manufacturer Toledo Transducer is experiencing a high reject rate of 30% for one specific model of transducers due to sensor linearity errors. Manufacturing of the load cell after machining is believed to be the root of these failures, specifically grit blasting. Our group’s project was to find the root cause of the linearity errors and then try to propose a solution to it. All the while documenting our findings. Sample parts were obtained and measured in a blind test using the university’s coordinate measuring machine as well as pressure indicating film. We achieved a solution after doing various measurement and calibration tests to sample parts pre- and post- grit blasting and came to a definitive solution to the problem.

Team Members: Kyle Breymaier - Communications Specialist; Scot Lamparter - Assistant to the Technical Liaison; Timothy Reed - Group Leader; Chip Rowe - Purchasing Agent; Austin Warchol - Technical Liaison

Faculty Advisor: Dr. John Jaegly; Client Advisor: Brad Mettert; Project Sponsor: Toledo Transducer

Special Thanks: Special thanks to John Jaegly, and Brad Mettert for all the help they gave

High-Precision Adjustable Secondary Mirror Mechanism

rendering of proposed mechanismThe goal for our project is to design a high precision mirror mount to help align a secondary mirror on optical communications satellites for NASA Glenn Research Center. The mechanism will need to have five degrees of freedom and use precision calibration for permanent alignment of the mirror. The cross-sectional area of the mechanism must as small as possible so that there is minimal blockage of the signal. NASA is researching the use of optical communications because it allows data to be transferred up to 10 times faster than with radio waves. Optical communication is projected to be the future of data transmission in space applications.


team members in front of NASA Glenn Research CenterTeam Members: Tyler Smith, Ciaran Duffy, Nick Pasquale, Michael McQuillen

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brian Trease

Client Advisor: Kelly McEntire

Project Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center

Last Updated: 6/27/22