Animated Loudspeaker Ensemble

Photo of Chanel Hope, Andrew Munson, Patrick Sloan, Robbie Stewart Students: Chanel Hope, Andrew Munson, Patrick Sloan, Robbie Stewart

Sponsor: Dr. Michael Benedikt

Date: Spring 2012

The ALE must meet a short list of requirements. The ALE must rotate 360° about the z-axis, which is defined as the vertical axis perpendicular to the floor. The ALE must also rotate 120° about the x-axis, which is defined as the horizontal axis, parallel to the floor. The ALE must be able to spin continuously at 60 rpm and jump from position to position quickly. The minimum increment of control for which the ALE can be moved must be 2° or less. The final requirement is that the controller must be intuitive to use with one hand. Additional constraints require the system to be lightweight, ideally less than 35 lbs. The system must be reasonably sized so that the ALE is aesthetically pleasing and not too cumbersome to carry. In addition, the mechanical system must be quiet enough not to be aurally detected at a distance of 30 feet. The final constraint is that the whole system must cost under $2000.

The design team developed an electromechanical system that produces and enables control of the vertical and horizontal rotation of a pair of loudspeakers. The team also modeled the system's dynamics in order to produce a prototype for the sponsor. The design of the Animated Loudspeaker Ensemble (ALE) can be broken down into the following three subsystems: signal delivery, actuation, and control.

The final design for the ALE comprises a spinning platform that supports and tilts the loudspeakers. The speakers are actuated by two DC motors, and the speakers' positions are tracked using two optical encoders. The ALE is controlled by a LabVIEW-based PID control scheme. The actuators and encoders interface with a computer via a myDAQ, and the user handles a joystick to tell the ALE where to go.

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Photo related to Animated Loudspeaker Ensemble project
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