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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need ideas for my senior design project. I'm a Computer Engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and I'd love to do something motorcycle related.

Computer Engineering is a lot like Computer Science and Electrical Engineering combined, in that we deal with hardware like microcontrollers and write the code that controls them. Our senior design class is a very open one, nationally accredited (technical writing and industry components), and is one of the top draws for GT's Capstone expo each semester. In other words, we take this class seriously and have the potential to produce serious results.

I'll be in a group of 3-5 people. I'm the only one with motorcycle experience so far, and we also don't actually have a motorcycle. I have access to plenty, but I obviously won't have one parked on the street or in a garage at all time. Keep that in mind as you're suggesting ideas.

Other than that, what can we make better? What can we add? Got an idea for something completely new? Want consumer priced data collection with industry-grade performance? Can I make a better Scottoiler?

This is an actual design class, not a research class. With the appropriate idea I intend to have at least a working prototype to present by the end of the semester. So whatcha got?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does Georgia Tech have a formula SAE team?
Yes, GT Motorsports, and we do Solar Jackets and Wreck Racing. I could definitely contact them for anything I need. I also have access to a ton of microelectronic parts and just about any other facility or equipment Tech has.

Also, since I know you have antenna experience from the Gorilla Alarm thread, know that Computer Engineering also has big interests in Digital Signal Processing. My adviser's favorite projects are usually music and DSP oriented. Can you think of any DSP applications for motorcycles? Like, say, improving the antenna strength for a Gorilla Alarm with off-the-shelve products? :p
 

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how about a heads-up-display helmet for adventure touring. it could show map instructions and such. or maybe it just interfaces with a camera to allow point and shoot on the fly.

or how about a recharging system for helmet intercoms that runs off either the bike or solar panels?

or some kind of crash avoidance system/alarm to prevent vehicles from slamming into the back of a bike idling at a stop light. or as part of an anti-theft alarm that would honk if some blind fool is about to knock over your parked bike while trying to squeeze into a tight parallel parking spot.

just spitballin here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
or some kind of crash avoidance system/alarm to prevent vehicles from slamming into the back of a bike idling at a stop light.
Now this piques my interest! A distance finder on the back of the bike that measures the velocity of the oncoming car. The easy route would be a audible beep warning system to a flat speaker that can be mounted in your helmet. The more involved route would be interfacing it with the bike's speedometer (or a GPS or iPhone accelerometer more likely), and having it work while you're riding as well, not just at a stop.

Keep it coming guys!
 

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A bit redundant as above, blind spot sensors with an activation module for lights on the mirror housings.

A wind screen projected cluster that provides nav, tire pressure, chain oil/lube monitor/reminder (for those not having a scottoiler), oil life monitor, fuel monitors, even could integrate the blind spot sensors to project in the upper corners of the wind screen. Some vehicles already have them, but to integrate things like these into a motorcycle hud would be awesome, but not sure about cost effectiveness.

Or a backing up beeper for parking. :icon_biggrin:
 

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i dont mean to put a damper on anything, but how original does this need to be?
 

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How about a cheaper <$75 gear indicator using an arduino board?

Btw, I'm a GT grad BSME class of 2010. Currently doing my MSME and was in Wreck racing. Surprised i've never seen your bike on campus, I ride to campus sometimes when I go play soccer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i dont mean to put a damper on anything, but how original does this need to be?
It depends on how prevalent the existing solutions are, and how we implement our solutions. A oncoming sensor like the one I outlined isn't exactly new tech, as plenty of cars already have it standard. It's not currently in use on a bike as a safety feature though, and being able to interface it with a smartphone app so that everyone could use it (IE not bike specific) might make it a worthy project.

No damper here though. As long as some other university hasn't finished and fully documented it somewhere that I could copy, then the project is probably up for grabs. And I'm here for the ideas! Tell me to make a better Scottoiler, and it's up to me to figure out how to do it without infringing on intellectual property.

How about a cheaper <$75 gear indicator using an arduino board?

Btw, I'm a GT grad BSME class of 2010. Currently doing my MSME and was in Wreck racing. Surprised i've never seen your bike on campus, I ride to campus sometimes when I go play soccer.
I sold the bike last year, but it was on campus from Spring 2010-Summer 2011. I usually parked it between the Bio building and Howey, behind DM Smith, or in the MC parking behind the Student Center parking deck.

I thought about the gear indicator, but that will be VERY bike specific and involved. I ruled that out early, which is the only reason I'm shooting it down now.
 

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Is your design group multi-disciplinary?

A couple things I can think of:

Self canceling turn signal add on module (using accelerometer's to detect change in bike orientation)

Auto adjusting headlight (hi-lo control)

Headlight that turns through a corner (again, use accels to detect orientation change and lean angle)

Could try an tackle a combination of the above too.

Push button shifting (using electrical or pneumatic actuation) [This was a senior design project for one group when I graduated. They installed it on a 4-wheeler]
 

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well seeing as i dont know how a scottoiler works in the first place....i cant tell you how to make it better.

i read an article today that bmw has been working on their connectride project in conjuction with their connectdrive that i think has already been implemented into some models.a bit that i liked-- a left turn assurance for example. bike heading straight, has the right away. car goes to make a left turn into the bikes path. the bike uses laser, radar and possibly even cameras to notice the possible collision. the bike will then make the headlights brighter, utilize flashing lights and even activate the horn. if the car proceeds to make the left turn, using intervehicle communications, the bike will make the car activate the brakes.

i thought all of that was awesome. i just didnt know how original your project had to be, which is why i asked. interfacing with a cell phone app, now that would be pretty cool.
 

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Self canceling turn signal add on module (using accelerometer's to detect change in bike orientation)

id buy this in a heartbeat. cant even count how often ive accidentally left the turn signals on.
 

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I have never owned a bike where the mirrors gave a proper rear view. Video cameras are cheap now. A video rear view mirror system with a good user interface would be neat. Maybe all in the helmet(faceplate heads up display, camera on the helmet). Maybe a dedicated display where you would expect a mirror to be. The goal is to make it work well and naturally.
 

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i agree w/ born again. video rear view. think panorama display mounted above tank or behind windscreen. that way you have no "mirrors" or anything sticking up from the handlebars.

i believe the rearview mirror helmet (reevu) is similar to what you are describing. i remember at first it wasn't available in the USA. maybe it is now, not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, since I've gotten a few responses here and elsewhere about it I will go ahead and say it: HUDs are probably outside the scope of this project, especially in-helmet HUD's.

Can they be done? Yes
Are they useful? Yes
The problem is development time. For most of these suggestions, not only do we have to make a custom HUD, but we have to display some data point as well (velocity potentially being the simplest)

I will bring up the idea of ONLY making an in-helmet heads up display with the group and our advisor. It's the type of ambitious project that could get some industry notice. It's also the type of project that gets senior design students in scheduling trouble :D

Aside from the scheduling, and just with a simple HUD, we would also have to worry about optics (getting a small enough projector unit + interfacing with helmet contours + accounting for lighting and visibility), and safety and size goes hand in hand (where does it mount? If its fully integrated will it be safe? What kind of failsafes do we need for crashes?)

I love the idea and would love to own one, but it may be just a little much.

Edit: other than the HUD, I like the rear view display idea. It's doable and there are a few applications that might work well (fisheye and/or wide angle rear lens for more defined left/right views). I just wanted to address the HUD thing first.
 

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I personally wouldn't want an actual LCD screen display from a camera, too distracting. I liked the warning system better.

If you could use some type of sensor and/or camera(s) to detect objects in your blind spot(s), that send a signal to a simple left/right/rear indicator either in the helmet, or more preferably mounted to, or integrated with, the current gage cluster, I'd buy it.

No reason to go crazy, but some way of detecting objects approaching quickly, or accelerating, and then having the LED indicator flash more quickly or brighter or something would be a good feature.

The only tricky part in making it applicable to all bikes, is the difference in blind spots and mounting/integration options. But I suppose that's true of just about any aftermarket part.
 

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Yes, GT Motorsports, and we do Solar Jackets and Wreck Racing. I could definitely contact them for anything I need. I also have access to a ton of microelectronic parts and just about any other facility or equipment Tech has.

Also, since I know you have antenna experience from the Gorilla Alarm thread, know that Computer Engineering also has big interests in Digital Signal Processing. My adviser's favorite projects are usually music and DSP oriented. Can you think of any DSP applications for motorcycles? Like, say, improving the antenna strength for a Gorilla Alarm with off-the-shelve products? :p
Improving alarm reception with a new antenna would be pretty trivial for a senior design project, unless it was superfly awesome by using the subframe as the antenna (this would be difficult, but if you're interested look into how much work was put into using the metal border on the iPhone 3G act as an antenna). Any DSP use for engine management seems to wonder into power commander territory. And if it's for fuel system logging, it starts to look like those fuelbot thingies.

Tangent: my old prof had a pet open source project where an application would generate music based on available wireless signals (it's spawned out to a few mobile phone apps nowadays)

Random brain twitches of ideas:
- Although there are wide-band sensor / data logging kits available.. I think there's possibilities within that realm of thought. It may be hard to propose to your academic superiors if they're not into that sort of thing. But it would be easy peasy to integrate your course curriculum into the project.
- Automatic heated accessories that are individually activated/modulated by multiple sensor inputs (grips, seat, pegs, ambient temp)
- Self adjusting headlights (although fancy bikes may have this already) [ edit: muskrat already mentioned this ]
- Dynamic target headlights (like with cars when they angle towards bends.. but these would adapt for lean angle) [ edit: muskrat already mentioned this ]
- Motor-assisted rear preload adjuster (spanner wrench + rear shock nuts = bloody knuckles)
- Tool for setting sag and (somehow) rebound and comp dampening rates
- Tool for rear wheel alignment
- If you can get your hands on a Bosch ABS unit, absolutely anything to do with that. Maybe a piggy-back module allowing for different ABS 'modes' via DSP?
- User-programmable integrated tail light (sort of like what DRC has but with more user-side stuff)
- Gyro sensors inside of helmets (crash/drowsy detection)
- Anything to do with the ignition system (valet mode, limit drive by wire throttle inputs)
 

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Alright, since I've gotten a few responses here and elsewhere about it I will go ahead and say it: HUDs are probably outside the scope of this project, especially in-helmet HUD's.

Can they be done? Yes
Are they useful? Yes
The problem is development time. For most of these suggestions, not only do we have to make a custom HUD, but we have to display some data point as well (velocity potentially being the simplest)

I will bring up the idea of ONLY making an in-helmet heads up display with the group and our advisor. It's the type of ambitious project that could get some industry notice. It's also the type of project that gets senior design students in scheduling trouble :D

Aside from the scheduling, and just with a simple HUD, we would also have to worry about optics (getting a small enough projector unit + interfacing with helmet contours + accounting for lighting and visibility), and safety and size goes hand in hand (where does it mount? If its fully integrated will it be safe? What kind of failsafes do we need for crashes?)

I love the idea and would love to own one, but it may be just a little much.

Edit: other than the HUD, I like the rear view display idea. It's doable and there are a few applications that might work well (fisheye and/or wide angle rear lens for more defined left/right views). I just wanted to address the HUD thing first.
If you go for HUD, it may be easier to approach having the display on a windscreen rather than inside of the helmet (real world market would be for touring bikes to output GPS, nightvision, radar/lidar detection, caller ID from mobile phone etc). Atleast that way you can avoid having to work around all sorts of safety mumbojumbo.
 

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I have never owned a bike where the mirrors gave a proper rear view. Video cameras are cheap now. A video rear view mirror system with a good user interface would be neat. Maybe all in the helmet(faceplate heads up display, camera on the helmet). Maybe a dedicated display where you would expect a mirror to be. The goal is to make it work well and naturally.
i've seen this done
now a HUD like this http://www.gizmag.com/go/2430/ could be hella useful
 
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