Archive for the ‘PROJECTS’ category

Remote controlled aircraft

September 29, 2011

This mechanical engineering project is about the construction of a flying model of an air craft controlled by a remote control. The materials for construction include light weight materials like wood, plastic and foam.

The tasks included in this working project are:
1. Building the body of the RC plane.
2. Building the RC plane controls.
3. Building the Electronic controls.
rc airplane controls
The four primary controls of an RC plane, collectively called control surfaces, are:

1. Throttle
2. Elevator
3. Ailerons
4. Rudder

The flight of the plane is directed by the movements of these control surfaces. The control surfaces are controlled by small servo motors which are in turn controlled using the remote control.

Even when the plane is made it is not easy to control it without crashing your model several times. So it is better to take a flight video each time you try to fly it, so that if the model is destroyed beyond repair, you may be able to present the video during your project evaluation.

Useful references:


Wall Climbing Robot (WCR)

September 29, 2011

You would rather hesitate to do the inspection and maintenance in a typically dangerous environment like the exterior of a tall building or a nuclear facility and pray to God to provide for someone else to do the same. Well, consider your prayers answered! A wall climbing Robot is willing to go through the trouble so that you can still keep smiling!

But, the idea of developing a wall climbing robot is always held back by the mighty force of GRAVITY!

And BEWARE. This won’t be an Easy Project for you. But this definitely is a fantastic Mechanical Engineering Seminar Topic, especially if you can demonstrate how it defies gravity.

You need to move against gravity to accomplish the task. Adhesion is what is required primarily, to help keep the robot firmly on to the wall. Reliable adhesion is a major factor in developing a WCR. Once a proper suction is obtained, locomotion is the next step.  It is also equally important to keep the weight as low as possible so that the effort to stick on to the wall is quite low.

Wall climbing robot

Adhesion is achieved by making use of

  1. Suction cups

Suction cups offer excellent grip (almost upto 1 atm). But, the negative aspect of using a suction cup is that it needs a vacuum pump. Since the vacuum pump is bulky and has high power consumption it is rather difficult to accommodate one in a WCR. Moreover, a suction cup would find itself useless when trying to stick to a rough surface.

2.    Electrostatic  chuck (ESC)

ESC achieves controlled adhesion by means of electrostatic forces.

Mobility is achieved by making use of an electric motor.

With these things in mind, I hope you would have got an insight of the Wall Climbing Robot.



Working model of Hovercraft

September 29, 2011

The idea of making a Hovercraft dates back to 1716 when Emmanual Swedenborg recorded a design, but it was short lived.  In 1870, Sir John Thornycroft filled patents involving air lubricated hulls. And it was in 1959 a hovercraft was built, by Christopher Sydney Cockerell  by discovering the Momentum Curtain theory. Hover craft also called Air cushion vehicle (ACV) travels on any kind of flat surface. It is supported by a cushion of pressurized air.


  • Can be powered by one or more engines
  • Small crafts have a single engine with the drive split through a gear box
  • Usually one engine drives the fan responsible for lifting the vehicle
  • The other forces air from



Two main principles:

1)      Lift

2)      Propulsion

  • A skirt is required to quarantine airflow
  • No contact with ground hence friction is eliminated
  • The shape of the body affects stability
  • All parts are essential for proper working


1)      Lifting fan: Usually a centrifugal fan is preferred. When rotated air is sucked into the center hole, it is coupled via a gearbox and connected to the engine

2)      Thrust propellers: An aircraft type propeller with variable type pitch blades. Diameter ranges from nine feet to nineteen feet. In bigger crafts the propellers are rotated while in smaller ones, rudders are used.

3)      Skirt: Flexible strip which is fitted below the bottom edges of the plenum chamber. Skirt design is the most sensitive design parameter as it protects the craft and helps to lift it even higher.

hovercraft diagram

In theory hover crafts are simple machines but a plethora of problems exist to make a functioning hovercraft. The plans as well as the design must be flawless. To build a hovercraft one must be well aware of the demands of construction. Only then can one design a hovercraft.

Pneumatic paper cup forming machine

September 29, 2011

Pneumatic paper cup forming machine” is a wonderful project topic for mechanical engineering students.

In a pneumatic system, energy is stored in a potential state in the form of compressed air. Working energy is produced in a pneumatic system when the compressed air is allowed to expand. So, in order to do work, a device is required which is able to supply an air tank with sufficient amount of air at a desired pressure. This device usually happens to be a positive displacement compressor.

Advantages of using a pneumatic machine:

1)    Lower cost than Hydraulic Machines

2)    Works on air which is freely available.

3)    Compact when compared with Hydraulic Machines

4)    Energy can be controlled relatively easily using valves.


The procedure for the development of the paper cup has been broken down into 5 stages

Stages of development:

1)      Body Sealing

A Cup fan wall shaped sheet of paper should be first sealed so as to obtain a cone shape.

2)      Bottom inserting

Round pieces which serve as the bottom of the cup is inserted into the cone and sealed

3)      Bottom knurling

Knurling of the excess portion of the cone is done

4)      Rim Curling

Rim curling is done to make the cup end curled.

5)      Dispensing

The finished cups are automatically discharged from machine.

Pneumatic paper cup forming stages

Factors to be taken into account while designing the cup:

1)      Bottom diameter

2)      Top diameter

3)      Height

4)      Bottom knurling height

5)      Side sealing width


For best results double PE coated paper is used in the development of cups. Since, in one side PU coated paper cups the paper becomes softened and the chances for the beverage to leak out are high.

Electrical Power Generation System Using Railway Track

September 29, 2011

The system includes a power source, such as a power generation device or an external powersource. The power co-generation system includes first and second electrical capacitance portions that are electrically coupled to the power source and that are configured to carry positive and negative charges, respectively. The power co-generation system further includes a biasing device that is configured to separate the first and second capacitance portions with respect to one another. Thus, by varying the distance between the capacitance portions in response to a vehicle on the rail, the capacitance portions cooperate to act as a variable capacitor that facilitates the co-generation of power with respect to the system. That is to say, the mechanical energy of the biasing device is converted into electrical energy for the system.


In accordance with another exemplary aspect of the present technique, a method of co-generating power via a vehicle traveling on a rail is provided. The method includes the act of driving first and second capacitor plates with respect to oneanother in response to the vehicle that is traveling on the rail. The method also includes the act of charging the first and second capacitor plates via a power source, such as a power generation device or an external power source. The method  further includes biasing the first and second plates apart from one another, thereby displacing the plates with respect to one another. This displacement changes the electrical capacitance between the first and second plates and, resultantly, increases the electric potential between the first and second plates. In turn, this displacement of the first and second plates facilitates the co-generation of electrical energy from the kinetic and potential energy of the vehicle on the rail.


Hydrogen (water) Powered vehicle

September 29, 2011

Not a Gimmick! Finally the science of Hydrogen automotive power has been made a reality! Technically a device that converts the energy stored in hydrogen into motion can be called a Hydrogen engine. Hydrogen would make a great fuel for the environment since burning Hydrogen produces nothing but water!

Hydrogen Powered vehicle essentially consists of the following

1)      Fuel tank

Liquid hydrogen is stored in a tank at the rear of the car and is pumped forward to the fuel cell stack as and when required.

2)      Fuel Cell Stack

When Hydrogen is combined with Oxygen in a fuel cell a chemical reaction creates electricity.

Hydrogen Powered vehicle


1)      Battery Pack

The battery pack is periodically recharged by the fuel cell. The power from the battery pack is used to provide rapid acceleration.

2)      Electric Motor

The stack provides electricity for the electric motor that powers the vehicle

Right from the year 1625, when Johann Baptista van Helmont discovered the gas, Hydrogen; people were curious enough to find the uses of the new found gas. It nearly took a mind boggling 181 years to develop an internal combustion engine which runs on a mixture of hydrogen and water by the icon of 18th century who is none other than, Francois Issac de Rivaz. The Swiss inventor, is credited with the development and construction of the world’s first IC engine back in 1806. From then onwards, it was always a challenge to develop the best IC engine. This has lead to developing different varieties of engines.

A pictorial representation of the Hydrogen powered vehicle is shown below.

Hydrogen Powered vehicle

Magnetic Levitation Train

September 29, 2011

Love to turn a 45 minute car ride to an 8 minute blur?

China was the first to country to have an up and running Maglev you could buy tickets to. Back in 1979 the Germans developed the 1st Magnetic levitation (Maglev) train.  The first to overcome the limitation of wheel and rail, because the rail moves entirely without contact!

This is a wonderful topic for your mechanical engineering seminar as well as project if you dare to make a working model.

The functions of the wheel and rail on a normal rail road including support guidance propulsion and braking are accomplished through an electro magnetic levitation and propulsion system. The mechanics have been replaced by electronics. Support Magnets draw the vehicle towards the guide way from below. While, guidance magnets hold’s the vehicle laterally on track. These support and guidance magnets are mounted on both sides of the vehicle along its entire length. An electronic control system ensures that it levitates at a constant height above the guide way. The Maglev train is propelled and braked by a synchronous long stator linear motor. This motor is not located in the vehicle itself but rather in the guide way. It functions on the same principle as a traditional rotating electrical motor, whose stator has been cut open, unrolled and stretched length wise along both sides of the guide way. But, instead of a rotating magnetic field a traveling magnetic field is generated in the windings, one that pulls the vehicle along the guide way without contact.

The guide way can be elevated where it makes ecological sense. in this way it won’t divide the landscape or developed areas and the area beneath the guide way can continue to be used as before. The guide way can be built at ground level to allow easier co location with existing transportation systems. Therefore, the guide way can be adapted to the landscape instead of being the other way round.

Maglev Train

The operation control system controls and safe guards the vehicle’s switches, guide ways and stations along the maglev route. The vehicle communicates with the control system by means of directional radio data transmission. The vehicle’s location is monitored by means of a location reference system integrated into the guide way. The only motor section in operation along the guide way, is the one in which the vehicle is currently traveling. When the vehicle passes from one section to the next, the new motor section is automatically switched on. More power is supplied on gradients and acceleration segments along the route than on flat segments this way the propulsion power is distributed very economically. It is always available exactly where it is needed.

The technology’s success in India could ultimately hinge on a combination public funding and private investments.