Team RoboLock

Team RoboLock on Presentation Day. From left to right: Ryan Pakbaz (TA), Bryan Wang, William Moy, Matthew Brick, Brian Dunlay (team lead), and Professor Steven Butner


It was a great day for the RoboLock team. We built a door last weekend, and this week transported it to our lab to mount and test our full system with the piezo sensor in place. This morning, we downloaded our final firmware revision, made last-minute changes to our presentation, rehearsed our speeches a couple of times, and then brought the door down to the engineering courtyard where we would be demoing for the lunch hour.

During transport, Brian accidentally got his hand caught near the piezo and ended up ripping off one of the connections to the piezo rendering it useless. Fortunately, we had a few backups and were able to quickly fashion a fix in the courtyard with a couple of alligator clips, a piece of duct tape, and a new piezo.

Our door stood out like a sore thumb, clearly the largest object of all of the projects throughout the courtyard. Here are some of the photos we took while demoing to the passers-by:

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Thanks to the help from the CS/Engineering networking team, we were able to provide networking capabilities during our lunch demo session as well as during our presentation to the audience and judges. Our presentation had a couple of small hiccups, which fortunately turned into moments of laughter rather than anything catastrophic, and we were able to give a very successful presentation and overall demonstration of our project to the room.

Here’s the photo RoboLock took during our on-stage demonstration, as seen on the Android application:

Our live demo went extremely smoothly, and we were very proud of all of our hard work being realized on stage.

In the end, we were confident that we gave a solid performance, and the judges seemed to think so as well – they went out to deliberate for what seemed like a long time. When they returned, they told us that it was a close call, but that they would be awarding the Best Capstone Project award to … US! Team RoboLock won best Computer Engineering Capstone Project of 2012! We were honored, excited, and overall very happy with our team’s success.

The other teams we presented with did fantastic work, and Professor Butner was a fantastic help throughout our two quarters. We are sad that he is retiring this year, but wish him well.

That’s all for team RoboLock… thanks for following!

We made it! And we’re presenting today.. will post follow up details and pictures after the presentations are over! 


After days of debugging, we’ve successfully taken a picture, transmitted the data over a network, and reassembled that data! Hello world!


We’re well on our way to preparing RoboLock for our end-of-year demonstration. All of our subsystems are working (GPIO, UART/Camera/Keypad, I2C/LCD, ADC/Piezoelectric sensor, and Ethernet/TCP/IP networking) except for SDRAM, which unfortunately has some problems interfacing with our ARM7 processor. Fortunately, the SDRAM is not a critical component and we have decided to push ahead without it.

We are in the midst of integrating all sub-systems into a Finite State Machine to carry out correct operation of the device. Here is a picture of our initial design:

Finite State Machine

We’ve also started on our TCP and HTTP servers as well as our mobile application:

RoboLock App for Android

Presentation day is June 7th and we’re almost there!

We have successfully written a program to the device that toggles GPIOs and twinkles the LEDs. Once our code becomes more developed, these LEDs will serve as simple outputs for error codes as well as other fun things, like an intensity indicator for how hard someone is knocking on the door.