Improve How We Make Things

2021-2022 Capstone Design Projects

Project AI-05: IoT Solution for Real-time Building Monitoring

Project Client: FPInnovations

Project Description: As renewable resources, specifically wood, become a more and more popular material for structures, accurate monitoring of the status of the buildings is paramount to safety. Our project attempts to solve this issue by providing an inexpensive wireless system that can provide a variety of high-quality data on metrics needed to determine the integrity of the wood structure. The data is provided in real-time and there is a variety of control the user is given, such as adjusting the sampling rate of each sensor individually. This system solution is perfect for any companies who are looking to maintain the integrity of their wood buildings or firms that provide monitoring services for commercial wood structures.

A major technical challenge that we resolved was to provide this building monitoring system at a much less expensive price than competitors on the market, while still maintaining the same accuracy and precision of data.

Contact Information: Andrew Haselhan:; Ziang Qiu:; Ahmed Tameem:; Qingyang Zhang:; Michael Ragan:

Project AI-61: Lab-in-the-pack

Project Client: UBC ECE

Project Description: Traditional electronics labs full of top-end equipment are overpowered and expensive for the high school to early undergraduate academic use case. Furthermore they require a dedicated space that many users must share. This makes physical electronics inaccessible to most.

The Lab-in-the-Pack provides all the functionality of the essential electronics lab (multimeter, oscilloscope, signal generator, and power supply) in a portable and cheap device. Think about how the Raspberry Pi changed the computing landscape in the early teens. This device aims to create a similar transformation for electronics hardware by offering acceptable functionality at a comparable price.

Project AI-64: Armed Parcel Pad

This team will not have a booth at the Design & Innovation Day due to confidentiality agreements.

Project Client: Taylook Group Inc.

Project Description: This product was made with the intention of reducing parcel theft for those who frequently order packages. Our sponsors came up with the idea when they realized that there is no accessible way to stop thieves, other than a camera, which is not an instant deterrent. The armed parcel pad sets off an alarm when a package is removed and is disarmed when the owner opens their front door. As a group, we created the pad, wireless door jamb sensor, and everything in between to get this product working. Additionally, we designed a companion app to inform the mat’s owner of its status. Overall, we hope that this product can be useful to future online shoppers!

Contact Information: Mahmoud Abdelhadi, Phone: 604-781-5604, Email:

Project AI-81: Monitoring and Control of Small to Medium Agricultural Greenhouses

Project Client: Sierra Wireless

Project Description: Implemented a solution to monitor and control small-to-medium size greenhouses using Sierra Wireless’ Octave and mangOH Yellow technologies.

Project CG-06: Avionics for Space Capsule

Project Client: Self

Project Description: The “Avionics of a Space Capsule” ECE Capstone project aims to design the electrical components required for a data collection orbital capsule. This includes functionality such as 4K camera recording, sensor data collection, RF radio transmission and parachute deployment. A secondary objective from the client is the promotion of the Canadian space industry, and garnering the interests of university students and post graduates for participating in future space exploration and space industry. 

Our avionics system will be tested to survive the harsh conditions in space. The project will be tested against space conditions to ensure proper functionality such as thermal, vacuum, and vibration tests. Our system is designed for future expansion by our client to fit all of their mission needs.

Project CG-45: Ultra-Fast Failure Test Unit (UF-FTU) Version 2

Project Client: UBC SOC lab Ivanov group

Purpose of project: Transistors are used in all electronic devices, like laptops, smart phones, cars and even ventilators. They are crucial in electronic systems because of their ability to switch the flow of current on and off. Transistors age slowly, causing them to become less responsive, and prone to failure over time. This results in circuits becoming less reliable. Researchers at UBC are studying how transistors age. Aging is caused by environmental factors such as temperature and operating voltage. Output switching voltage of the transistors need to be sampled so that performance degradation can be measured and analyzed. The current method of gathering sampled data uses an expensive oscilloscope shared amongst several different research groups.

Major design contribution: Our project goal was to design a more affordable alternative that measures the changing voltage level in transistors over time and stores the data in memory for post processing. Implementing our system involved the usage of various development tools and software, such as the Xilinx design suite, Vivado, Vitis and Petalinux. To streamline the utilization of our design, we took on the additional challenge of writing a simple system-configuration program to be run out of a terminal window, and a graphic-user-interface for post-processing data analysis. This design contribution eliminates the need for any additional software and makes our design more accessible for the client.

Contact information: Romina Adib: 587-707-2321 ; Boran Gungor: 236-867-5252 ; Jude Lu: 778-895-5919 ; Lukas Lund: 250-204-5853, ; Steven Su: 778-814-6668

Project HA-38: Airborne Time Domain Electromagnetic System Controller

Project Client: Precision GeoSurveys

Project Description: Our project was commissioned by Precision Geosurveys, who enlisted us to develop a small-scale proof of concept for a geological surveying device. We designed and tested prototype electrical hardware and control systems to generate high electrical current pulses. When attached to an appropriate antenna, our device will produce electromagnetic waves which can be used to locate sub-surface minerals. Precision Geosurveys will build off our prototype to develop a full-scale commercial design.

Team Members: Tyler Verwoerd: ; Wesley Britton: ; Simon Wu: ; Rowan McDonald: ; Shawn O’Connell:

Project JY-62: robotic tweezers

Project Client: UBC Studios

Project Description: Our Client, UBC Studios, is attempting to produce 3D digital reconstructions of sample insects using photogrammetry. Our project is designed to aid in this process by providing a small, teleoperated robotic arm capable of picking up and holding these small insects, while also sending real-time feedback to a human operator. The subsystems of this project include a pair of motorized tweezers, a 3 degree of freedom robot and a controller that directs the movement of the robot, and force applied by the tweezers and receives a measurement of the force exerted by the sample of the tweezers.

The main problem we needed to solve in this project was interaction between the controller and the tweezers, mainly the relying of applied force to the tweezers and restoring force back to the controller. This problem involved creating a controller that could measure the force applied by an operator, then using a wireless interface, transmit that information to the robot, applying the force and finally, returning the restoring force exerted by the sample back to the operator.

Contact information: Tyler Keeling: ; Jake Cronin: ; Alex Vazquez: ; Robert Zokol:

Project JY-66: A hybrid lab notebook: erasable paper meets encryption

Project Client: Shakiba Lab, School of Biomedical Engineering, UBC

Project Description: Our application provides post-processing for physical notebooks scanned to PDF. It bridges the gap between traditional and electronic lab notebooks. Our app is developed for Shakiba labs, but is an open source project and can be used by any lab looking for a hybrid solution to storing lab records.

Major design contribution: Our application uses the google vision API to provide optical character recognition to extract metadata from notebooks.

Contact Info: Michael Fu:; Vicki Fu:; Mudit Pandey:; Justin Scott:; Brendon Xu:

Project PB-33: Monitor Nature with AI Automatic Change Detection

Project Client: Korotu Technology

Project Description: The primary outcome of this project is to create a mobile application and a back-end solution for detecting deforestation changes using AI. Users can select a location on the map and track deforestation changes between different years. Users can also add locations to their watchlist to receive automatic notifications if a significant amount of deforestation has happened in that area. The land cover classification of locations is performed using deep learning. The client’s interest in this project stems from its vision of creating sustainable natural climate solutions that are easily accessible by the general public. The target audience for this project includes individuals and communities interested in tracking the change in land use in the area.

Although there are already existing products regarding natural change detection, they are not easily used by the general public. These tools are used by governments and provinces to monitor changes at large scales. A publicly available, easy-to-use nature-monitoring app has the potential to help protect places that rely on clean air and biodiversity.

Contact information of the team members: Berk Akkaya:; Kerem Gurel:; Yan Hua:; John Li:; Lemuel Pranoto:

Project PL-13: Sustainable Voice-Enabled Modular IoT Smart Curtain Powered with Solar Energy

Project Client: Jorbo Technologies

Project Description: Sunblock is a sustainable IoT voice-controlled solar powered blind module that aims to satisfy the desire for increased home automation in modern homes. Sunblock provides increased home accessibility through the adjustment of blinds through a web app, as well as voice control. In addition, Sunblock enables home automation through automatically shading of the room, and is self-powered with an integrated solar panel. 

Project PN-17: Gesture Controlled Drone Vlogging Assistant

Project Client: Huawei Technologies Canada Inc.

Project Description: In a world that’s becoming increasingly connected, creating and sharing videos is just one more way to do so. What could be easier than having a personal drone to help you do just that? By utilizing Huawei’s Atlas 200DK board, the DJI Tello Ryze drone, and Huawei’s existing HiFly github repository, we have created a gesture-controlled drone system to help users seamlessly shoot and create videos without ever touching a controller. Additionally, this drone is able to track and follow the user, so they will never need to worry about being out of frame. 

Project PN-18: Gesture Controlled Robot Pet

Project Client: Huawei Technologies Canada Inc.

Project Description: In our rapidly developing and fast world the need for companionship and fun is ever increasing. Our team seeks to challenge this need through the technology exploration of a gesture controlled robot pet.

Our Robot pet is a robotic companion for those wanting a pet but cannot afford the maintenance or caretaking as required for real pets. It can assist in scenarios where companionship and fun is needed, but the handling and upkeep is daunting or forbidding, e.g. in a healthcare or senior home facility. It is capable of responding to human gestures, performing assistive tasks such as capturing photos at the user’s command from a distance and expressing its mood through an attached screen.

To make this robot pet come to life, we explored the development of our robot pet through an Atlas 200 DK development board which runs Computer Vision and Deep Learning models offline to enable gesture recognition and improve interaction with the robot pet.

Contact Information: Aayush Bisht:, (778) 929 4039 ; Muhammad Ahnaf Ahsan:, (778) 680 4369 ; Kaien (Kyler) Huang:, (778) 867 0796 ; Tae Hoon (Tony) Lee:, (250) 891 4565 ; Tong (Elena) Shao:, (226) 377 9785

Project TL-84: ALEASAT Satellite Antenna and Ground Station

Project Client: UBC Radio Science Lab, UBC Orbit, SFUSAT.

Project Description: ALEASAT is the latest joint project of UBC Orbit, SFUsat, and UBC’s Radio Science Lab with the purpose to operate as a disaster mitigation and educational satellite for amateur radio operators. This requires highly reliable radio frequency (RF) communications stretching across hundreds of kilometers. The overarching 2021-2022 capstone objective is to design, optimize and implement the airlink of a cutting-edge amateur 1U CubeSat to be launched in 2022. To this end, the capstone team has been involved in designing, constructing, and programming a robust ground station to facilitate the transmission and reception of low-power radio signals, as well as designing and prototyping the corresponding spacecraft antenna which will be attached to ALEASAT orbiting 400-500 km above the earth!

Project TL-85: Inexpensive Microfluidic Flow Rate Control, Sensor, & GUI

Project Client: UBC BioMEMS and SOC Research Groups

Project Description: Microfluidic chips are gaining popularity in biochemical research, since it brings the concept of “lab on a chip” to reality. It is essentially a miniaturized device that integrates fluidic channels (where the biomedical experiments are performed) into a single chip. To perform the experiment, a dedicated microfluidic control system is needed. The project goal is to deliver an inexpensive microfluidic flow-rate control system including flow rate monitoring and GUI implementation. Our client consists of UBC BioMEMS and UBC SOC Research Group, and our target audience also includes general biomedical researchers.

Major design contribution: What is the technical challenge that you solve? The key challenge of the design is to deliver a decent performing system while keeping the cost at a fraction of the existing system in our client’s lab. The off-the-shelf products for microfluidics applications are often very expensive, so we decided to design our system from the ground up using cheap and easily sourceable components. With four major components (pressure regulator, selector valve, flow sensor, and graphical-user-interface) developing concurrently, we manage to come up with a design with a cost under $400 compared to our client’s existing $25000 system.

Contact information: Steve Farra: ; Alan Hu: ; Jacky Jiang: ; Justin Lim: ; Edward Ma: