Drone, wine unit and weather station projects get high praise

28 January 2021

A quad copter' a wine storage system and a weather and condition monitoring station for high voltage power lines were standout projects from CQUniversity's fourth-year electrical engineering student's Embedded Microcontrollers subject.

Students were tasked with solving an everyday problem using CQUniversity's microcontroller kit consisting of a microcontroller' range of sensors' actuators (for example motors)' memory bank and displays.

A microcontroller is a compact/mini computer that can be programmed to perform specific tasks.

Associate Professor Preethi Preethichandra said this year's students created a new benchmark for the task and said he was particularly wowed by three students' work.

Kyle Stevens created a quad copter drone from scratch – no easy feat that took months of planning and construction.

Despite joking that he should have chosen an easier project' Kyle was very proud of his end result saying it was a sophisticated creation.

"This particular drone is built from scratch from a microcontroller with the main aim being a proof of concept to prove it could fly'"

he explained.

"It was a very difficult project … I had to do everything manually which a regular drone would normally do for you."

Montana Dawson's weather and condition monitoring station for high voltage power lines also proved popular showing how more renewables could be connected to the grid.

The unique model shows how monitoring weather directly on the lines can enable more renewable power sources to be connected' reducing the need to replace assets.

Essentially' the model shows a more economical way to connect renewables for governments and private suppliers.

Potentially wetting the lips of wine lovers everywhere' Yelena Nicholson's wine storage unit prototype has the potential to keep wine at perfect conditions even while being transported.

Despite not being a wine drinker herself' Yelena says she thought the prototype had merit.

"It monitors the temperature' humidity' and vibrations and it can react if certain levels are exceeded'"

she explained.

The unit can also keep you up to date on how many bottles are in storage so wine enthusiasts never run out unexpectedly.

Associate Professor Preethi commended the efforts of the three students saying that all students did "fantastically good jobs but these three were outstanding".