The proteus project is one of many
current multidisciplinary research efforts underway through the Kate Gleason
College of Engineering focused on the development and integration of swarm
technologies with microsystem technologies. Swarm research attempts to understand
how large numbers of entities with limited intelligence and resources can
accomplish sophisticated tasks. For example, social insects construct intricate
nests, birds fly in flocks, and fish swim in schools. Microsystem research is
focused on developing highly integrated devices that can perform mechanical,
electrical, optical, computational and even biological functions using elements
that are sub millimeter in size.
One research initiative is the development of swarms of
self-guided, self-powered water-bourne microsystems. The development of such
microsystems will enable a wide range of novel applications. This project takes
the essential first step in a research program that begins with the development
of a macro scale, limited function, proof of concept prototype. Future goals
for the proteus project are smaller devices with higher degrees of autonomy and
collective functional ability.
The current proteus design team is continuing work
performed by a team assigned to the project during the 2001-2002 school year.
The members of last year's team were Phil McNeill (ME), Steve Slabyk (ME),
David Kostusiak (EE), Edward Wilkolaski (EE), and Stephen Smith (ISE).
Unfortunately the team was unable to meet all project deliverables. However,
their design ideas and analysis have been extremely helpful to the current team.
Much of the information presented in this website is at least partially
attributable to the previous team and thus they are recognized as contributors.
There is also currently a second research initiative
underway which is closely tied to the proteus project. An alternative design
using electromagnetic fields to move an autonomous body through a fluid was
developed by a team of faculty and research students during the summer of 2002.
This research effort is known as the chunxil project and it shares many of the
objectives of the proteus project.
The main objective of this multidisciplinary design project team is to
demonstrate the feasibility of propelling an encapsulated, self-powered
microsystem through a liquid medium utilizing an inertial drive mechanism.
The following requirements were developed through an interview
/ discussion process with our customer, Professor Paul Stiebitz.
Critical Performance Parameters (Order Qualifiers, Minimum Required Performance)
Critical Performance Parameters (Order Winners, Desired Performance)
- The system shall operate in a semitransparent liquid within the range of 65 to 75 degrees F.
- A combination of one or more systems shall propel themselves in two dimensions.
- The system shall be capable of operating continuously for a minimum of 2 minutes without intervention.
- The system shall be capable of repeated 2-minute periods of operation.
- The system shall continuously traverse a controllable path without external intervention.
- The entire system should be as small as possible and shall fit within a 1.5" in diameter sphere.
- The system shall obtain average speeds which maintain semblance with a Reynolds number of 2 or less.
- A combination of one or more systems shall propel themselves in three dimensions.
- The system should be polygonal in shape.