ELG 4911 - List of Projects
This document contains a list of possible projects for
ELG4910/ELG4911. You are not required to accept a project
from this list; you may suggest a project of your own,
or you may work on a project sponsored by another professor.
Note that several projects on this list require work with
an outside company or faculty member. In that case,
you must obtain their approval before beginning work.
Many new microcontrollers are specifically designed to
allow easy interfacing with the web via a small web-server
and TCP/IP interface, or to a touch tone telephone line
via a DTMF interface.
The projects listed here provide a sample of the many
interesting things that can be remote control enabled
using this technology.
Biometric Identification Projects
Biometric systems allow identification or identity verification
of people based on behavioural and/or physiological measurements.
There are many facinating projects in biometric applications.
The goal of the following projects is to implement the biometric
verification algorithms accociated with various biometric modalities.
Note that design of a successful system is difficult.
Biometric Systems, Technology, Design and Performance Evaluation,
Wayman, J.; Jain, A.; Maltoni, D.; Maio, D. (Eds.) (2005) Springer.
Biometric Technology for Human Identification,
Anil K. Jain and Nalini K. Ratha (Eds.), Proc. SPIE, Vol. 5404, 2004.
List of biometric technologies
- Fingerprint recognition
Fingerprint recognition is based on analysis of the
pattern of ridges on fingerprints. Capture devices are based
on optical devices or silicon measurements. You will need
to purchase a fingerprint image capture device (make sure
that the device allows raw output of fingerprint images).
- Iris recognition
Iris recognition is based on analysis of infrared illuminated images
of the human iris. You will need to design an camera system capable
of illuminating and imaging in the infrared.
- Face recognition
Face recognition is based on analysis of images of human faces.
You will need a digital camera.
- Dynamic signature
Dynamic signature recognition is based on analysis of the pattern
of signing of a document. The easiest data capture device for this
project is a USB Pen-Tablet input.
- Speaker identification
Speaker identification analyses the characteristics of the recorded
sound of a speaker. Text dependant speaker identification requires
the speaker to repeat a specific pass phrase. Data capture can use
a standard microphone input.
- Keystroke dynamics identification
Keystroke dynamics identification analyses the characteristic
pattern with which a person types on a keyboard. Typically, a user
is required to type a specific passphrase for login access.
The research group of D. Maltoni has developed a
high quality fingerprint simulator, SFinGe.
However, for our work, this simulator has some
Develop a model based fingerprint simulator along
the lines of SFinGe.
Biomedical Engineering Projects
- Inductive Plethysmograph System
Inductive Plethysmography systems non-invasively measure
breathing in a patient using two bands around the chest and
abdomen. Each band is made with a wire wound as an inductor;
as the inductor changes length due to chest expansion during
breathing, the inductance changes. These changes in inductance
are measured and output as an index of breathing.
The patent protection of the original inductive plethysmography
concept has now expired. Several companies (including some in the
Ottawa region) are now working on designing such a system with
− Design and build an inductive plethysmography
system which can measure breathing
Cohen KP, Panescu D, Booske JH, Webster JG, Tompkins WJ.
Design of an inductive plethysmograph for ventilation measurement.
Physiol Meas. 1994 May;15(2):217-29
- Accelerometer based activity monitor
Recently, the price / size of accelerometers has
dropped due to advances in MEMs technology. This project
seeks to build some innovative biomedical instruments
based on such devices.
These projects consist of an accelerometer and small microcontroller
to make mobile measurements. Subsequently, data is downloaded
to a PC were it is analysed.
− Idea #1: build a 'pedometer'. Measure the
movement of the leg, and use it to calculate the distance
− Idea #2: build an activity monitor similar
to the Actigraph activity monitor
− Idea #3: measure mountain biking behaviour.
Device would attach to the frame of the bike to measure
Design and build activity monitoring system based on a MEMs
accelerometer with a microcontroller. Design PC software to
download, analyse and present data.
- Pulse Oxymeter system
A pulse oxymeter measures the oxygen saturation in blood
by measuring the absorptivity of light across the finger.
As oxygen is used in the blood, oxy-hemoglobin (HbO2)
is reduced to hemoglobin (Hb). This changes the colour of the
blood, which can be measured by shining red and infrared
light through thin section of tissue (such as the finger).
(Technical details in the references)
Design and build a pulse oxymeter system. Test it by measuring
blood flow in your finger after exercise.
- Image Processing system for Ultrasound images of the eye
In closed angled Glaucoma, fluid pressure in the
eye increases because of inadequate fluid flow between the
iris and the cornea. One important technique to assess
patients at risk of glaucoma is to analyze ultrasound
images of the eye to detect the structural changes.
Currently, these images are analyzed manually. Recently,
we proposed an algorithm to automatically identify clinically
important features in the ultrasound image of the eye. The
main challenge is stable detection of features in the
presence of ultrasound speckle noise; the algorithm
addresses this using multiscale analysis and template
In this project, the algorithm will be extended to analyse
additional regions of the eye image to calculate additional
required clinical parameters to allow measurement of
iris thickness changes in a dose-response study.
Develop and test software to calculate the parameters
of the thickness of iris images.
- Pseudo-random noise based tissue impedance instrument
The impedance of tissue is measured by many biomedical
monitoring systems. Typically, a sine-wave current is
input across a pair of electrodes, and the induced voltage
measured across another electrode pair. See the reference
for applications on tissue impedance measurement.
One limitation of sinusoidal tissue impedance measurement
is that only one measurement can be made at a given
frequency. In many systems, such as for electrical
impedance tomography (EIT) it is necessary to make
many simultaneous measurements of tissue impedance.
Previously, the typical way to solve problem is
via time division multiplexing − to make
measurements in sequence.
This project aims to test whether it is possible to
address this problem differently. Instead of sine-wave
current injection, a pseudo-random noise signal is
used instead; this results in a more broad frequency
spectrum, but allows multiple signals to be in a
medium to be separated from each other.
Simulate, design, build and test a tissue impedance instrument
based on pseudo-random noise current injections.
Tissue impedance systems can be dangerous if protection
circuitry fails. To prevent this issue, this project does
not require testing on humans. Instead, tests should
be done on a saline phantom.
- Inflatable cuff-based blood pressure system
The most popular methods for blood pressure measurement are based
an inflatable cuff is applied around the upper arm. The cuff is then
inflated to occlude the brachial artery. The pressure in the cuff is
then released gradually. For the auscultatory method, a stethoscope is
used to listen at the brachial artery for characteristic Korotkoff sounds,
which indicate systolic and diastolic blood pressure. For the
oscillometric method, instead of using microphones (or stethoscopes) to
listen for characteristic sounds, the pressure signal generated from the
cuff is used to determine blood pressure.
The pressure signal is caused by the interaction between the cuff and
the blood flow through the brachial artery.
Design and build a inflatable cuff-based blood pressure system based
on either a microcontroller or a PC with an A/D card. You may use
either the auscultatory method (in which case you must design a
microphone / stethoscope input) or the oscillometric method.
A pressure input is required for both designs.
Note: testing the accuracy of your design is not a requirement
for this project; however, the results should be somewhat reasonable.
- Bird Call identification
Many computer software products have been produced
for bird watching enthusiasts. This project aims
to develop one more: if you hear a bird song,
record it, and play it to the PC, the PC will attempt
to match the song against a database of bird calls.
For an even more difficult challenge (not required)
a person can attempt to imitate the bird call,
and let the software identify the bird.
Develop software to identify bird calls based on
a sample audio recording. Recordings can be obtained
from the internet (see references).
(Note: this project is difficult)
- Doppler ultrasound motion detector / alarm
Moving objects shift the frequency of sound signals
based on the Doppler effect (most familiar from the
change in sound in auto races as the cars drive past).
This effect can be used in an alarm to detect motion.
Design and build a motion detector using doppler ultrasound.
System should be based on a microconroller with an
ultrasound emitter and detector.
There are many ingeneous ways to create house / car / computer
alarms. This projects illustrates a few possibilities, but you
are welcome to come up with others.
- PC to stereo FM transmitter
In order to play music from your computer on your
stereo system, you typically need to run wires.
However, one easy way to connect these devices is
to broadcast the music via the FM frequencies.
Build a microcontroller based FM transmitter. This
system takes two inputs: 1) 1/8 inch DIN stereo output
(analog output signal), and 2) USB (power and control
to switch channels).
In addition to simply broadcasting music, this system
will have a USB control and PC software to allow
changing FM channel. (I recommend you use an FM modulation
chip, rather than designing the modulation circutry yourself)
- Hand cranked recharger
Several companies advertise hand cranked emergency
rechargers. This is great for travellers who need
just a few extra minutes from their cell phones.
The refrences list a device that accomplished this
task fairly well, but has a few limitations, notably
the voltage drops at low crank speeds. The goal
of this project is to design a device that works at
any crank speed. The key idea is to store energy
on an internal capacitor until there is sufficient
energy for at least a few seconds of charging. At this
point the power output is enabled. If the stored
energy on the capacitor drops too low, power output
is turned off until the capacitor recharges.
Design, build and test a device hand cranked charger
that works (with stable output voltage) at any crank speed.
(You may purchase the crank and generator hardware, but
the electronics design must be yours)
While this project is "advertised" as a way to charge
your cell phone, it is clear that doing this will
almost certainly void your phone warranty.
You are not required to actually charge your phone with
this device for the course.
Most paper shredders will slice paper into thin strips
along one axis. This does not really provide protection
against a concerted attempt to reconstruct documents.
If each slice is scanned, then it is possible to use
a computer to reconstruct an optimal ordering of the
slices to rebuild the original pages.
Design and develop software to take scanned images of
shredded pages and reconstruct the original documents.
The software should be able to handle the case where
up to ten pages are mixed together in the shredder.
$Date: 2005-11-21 13:31:28 -0500 (Mon, 21 Nov 2005) $