April 26, 2017

Purdue senior-design students to display 55 inventions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University students completing a mechanical engineering senior design course will demonstrate 55 inventions, from a coffee grounds dispenser to a smart irrigation system and a solar powered water heater.

The students will display their works during the School of Mechanical Engineering’s Thomas J. and Sandra H. Malott Innovation Awards competition on Friday (April 28). The projects will be on display from 1-3 p.m. in the Gatewood Wing of the Mechanical Engineering Building. An awards ceremony will be in the same location at 2 p.m.

The senior design teams were advised by 10 mechanical engineering professors.

Creations include:

* A pedal-driven skateboard with a braking system to allow a faster, safer commute for users.

* A warehouse robot that can transport totes from storage to a packing station or delivering the tote back to storage.

* A sensor system that controls a motor-operated valve allowing for uniform water distribution across a field and eliminating water waste.

* A luxury armchair with a fully functioning refrigerated system that delivers one of two beverages to the user.

* A device designed to prevent medication users from abusing prescription drugs by controlling the amount of medication that is released to the person and at the appropriate time.

* A project that focuses on utilizing heat to dilate blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow to a person’s legs and muscles.

* A glove device helping people with hand disabilities close their fingers and maintain a grip on cylindrical objects.

* A low-cost dryer intended for small farms in sub-saharan Africa to aid and accelerate the drying process of harvested grains.

* An attachment to shopping carts making them semi-autonomous and allowing the cart to follow customers through the store.

* A wheelchair design enabling disabled airline passengers greater ease in navigating though the cabin.

Thomas J. Malott retired as president, CEO and director of Siemens Energy and Automation in 2000. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1962 and an honorary doctorate in 2002. He also holds a master’s in business administration from Western Michigan University. His career included executive positions with Parker-Hannifin and the Ransburg Corp. Malott served on the board of directors for Siemens Energy and Automation, Siemens Mexico, Siemens Canada, Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution, Siemens Foundation and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He also served on the advisory board of Lutron Electronics.  He was an inaugural member of the Purdue Foundation Development Council and was awarded the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer and Distinguished Engineering Alumnus awards in 1991 from the university.

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu 

Source: John Starkey, 765-494-8607, starkey@purdue.edu

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