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Our Engineering Proposal


Names:Stanley Yeo, Nicholas Soon, Kaliraj Santoshraj ,Timothy Kom
Class: S2-07
Group Reference: E 

1.    Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[  ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
e.g. Investigation of the anti-bacteria effect of chrysanthemum

[   ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography

[  ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals

] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics
e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene 

[  ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore  

[ X] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households  

2.    Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:
Title:Development of a smart lift

A. Problems being addressed
1.In the lifts we often use nowadays,we always have to press buttons to get us from one storey to the other.There are many times when we are carrying bulky items and cannot reach for the lift buttons.Would it be easier for us if we could find an alternative way to reach our level without pressing a button?

2.How can we add a weight sensor into the model we are going to build.There are many times when overloading of the lift causes damages.How will we add a feature that will stop such incidents from happening?

B. Goals
Specify Requirements

In particular, we want to

(a)reduce break-downs of elevators 
(b)provide an alternative solution to pressing buttons in elevators
(c)build an intelligent elevator system that can be used in all multi-storey buildings

Part 1 -The Lift Shaft

The Lift Shaft
1.1 The design of the shaft
1.2 Considerations of the use of materials
1.3 Consideration of suggestions
1.4 From concept to reality
1.5 Risk and safety precautions

1.1 The design of the shaft
To begin with the development of The Smart Lift, Our group had to decide on the design of the shaft. Many questions were asked. How do we maximise the use of space to make the lift as compact as possible? How do we prevent the lift unit and counter weight to not crash onto the walls of the shaft? How do we ensure that when there is a problem with the internal components it will be fixed easily? And these were probably the smallest problems out of the many questions we questioned ourselves in search of the perfect lift. After thinking of possible ways the shaft should look like, we started on our initial sketches and modelling.Here is the first version of our lift shaft.

Figure 1.1.1 : Overview of shaft

Figure 1.1.2 : Side view of shaft

Figure 1.1.3 : Top view of shaft

1.2 Considerations of the use of materials
Our initial ideas was to make a the shaft out of a combination of acrylic and plywood, but soon we decided that it was a waste of time to produce and it will cost a lot more that just wood itself. One more problem was structural integrity. Afraid that the shaft would submit the the load of the lift and counterweight, we devised an brand new idea. Our Team redesigned the whole shaft.

1.3 Consideration of suggestions
Some of the suggestions Mr Tan and some of our other friends include having a pulley system to give the lift a mechanical advantage. Another suggestion was to have doors at the side as an alternative to a windowed shaft. Thinking of it, having doors really will light our load. It will be easier for us to install and/or replace parts easily without having to take the whole shaft apart. Having the doors will also allow people to take a look at how our lift works.

1.4 From concept to reality
1.4.1 Making sure that the shaft will work properly with the lift component (Details in chapter 2)
After the lift component had been designed, our team did some minor adjustments to both the shaft and lift component to fit them together. The result? A Smart Lift that will work in coordination and there will be no big problems as long as the parts fit properly without any room for error. To ensure that, the lift shaft has been design in all sides to have a little leeway of about 10mm to 20mm just incase anything goes wrong.

1.4.2 Finalised version of sketch
As mentioned, here are our sketches.The whole lift will be around 264(mm) by 264(mm) by 74(mm).
Figure : Sketch of the front panel of shaft.

1.4.3  Modelling of the 3D Model
After the Dimensions were completed, we made here 3D model using Sketch-Up.

Figure 1.4.1 Overview of the 3D model.
Figure 1.4.2 Top view of the 3D model.

Figure 1.4.3 Bottom and Side View of 3d model.

To download 3D model, please click here .

1.5 Risk and safety precautions

Materials Might Be Too Weak To Hold Load
Make Sure That The Materials Are Strong
The Components Might Not Fit
Double Check all specifications
Might injure ourselves when dealing with heavy duty tools
Be careful at all times

Part 2-The Lift Unit

2.1 Equipment

2.1.1 The Type of Lift to be Made

2.1.2 Considerations for Types of Materials to be Used
2.2 Procedures
2.2.1 Dimensions
2.2.2 Overcoming Internal Structural Problems
2.2.3 From Paper and Pen to Digital Modelling
2.2.4 Overcoming Modelling errors
2.2.5 Concept to Reality
2.2.6 Fitting of parts
2.3 Risk and safety
2.3.1 Hazards and Complications
2.4 Analysing Data
2.4.1 Brainstorming and Organising Data
2.4.2 Getting Suggestions
2.4.3 Resources Required

2.1 Equipment
2.1.1 The Type of Lift to be Made
First to start off, the group had to start decide on what type of lift to make. A bubble lift? A conventional lift? A cargo lift? And if so how to construct the correct type of design for this specific functions? A geared or gear-less lift? Or one that was hydraulic or traction? Well, our group decided to just do a conventional lift. Due to time constraint and difficulty, we decided to make a conventional lift using the normal counter-weight system. Now, we had to decide what software to use. Java? Arduino? We decided to use Arduino despite none had used it before. However, learning to program it with  Arduino would be much easier than programming Java which was probably more complicated. Next, we also had to think of other complications which could be happened for this lift.

2.1.2 Considerations for Types of Materials to be Used
Next, there are other things that needs consideration as well. The type of material used has to be strong and light. Acrylic and Plywood was probably going to be a good choice. Plywood and Acrylic were both very strong with very high amounts of resistance to heavy weights. The average weight of a 3mm piece of acrylic with an area of a square meter would weigh 7.5kg(With reference to and 2.3kg per square meter for 3mm plywood. Acrylic is also translucent or transparent, depending on the type of acrylic used, which means that we can see whatever is going inside the lift although it is enclosed. Also, we can get to see the mechanics behind the scenes without taking everything apart, which can be interesting. However, some pieces of wood may be thicker than 3mm, for example 7mm, due to internal electronic components which need to have thicker walls for the components not to move as much.

2.2 Procedures
2.2.1 Dimensions

2.2.2 Overcoming Internal Structural Problems

Inside the lift where the buttons are, there must be the mother board and all related wires. Therefore, 2 panels are in the lift with a spacing of 2mm in between. This allows wires to be able to go through easily and should have enough space for the buttons and LED wiring. The case fan must also be powered by Arduino but it has three pins, therefore we would also have to convert the three pin into an Arduino pin. To keep the lift upright and not shake while moving up and down, we also can put a rod in 2 corners so that the lift can be guided along it and not be out of alignment.

2.2.3 From Paper and Pen to Digital Modelling

Front view of lift. The door frame which is made of acrylic(Translucent/Transparent)Case fan can also be seen from the front.

From the side view, you can see how the ventilation works. A piece of wood covers the case fan from view if you are inside the lift
when you look up.

This is part of the lift where the rods are inserted through the holes and ensure the lift does not sway.
There will be 4 of these structures on the lift,2 of them will be secured at the top and bottom of the lift,at 2 out of 4 corners of the lift.They have to be positioned on the opposite side as each other so as to ensure stability.

This pulley system is located at the top of the lift.One pulley at the top will allow the steel cable that holds the lift to pass through. It is attached to the motor.The use of this pulley will decrease the amount of force used by the motor to move the lift up and down.

2.2.4 Overcoming Modelling errors
After all the modelling, we went through the tedious procedure of measuring every piece of the 3D model to ensure it was the correct size. Once we discovered an error, we would have to redo the various designs, modules and parts such that everything would fit into the size limit of 230mm. This included the top pulley as well.

2.2.5 Concept to Reality
Next, we have to go to the carpenter to get the wood with the correct dimensions. We would also have to get to an online website where we type in the dimensions and they cut it for us. For the rest of parts, we would then get the rest of the parts online at Sim Lim square or Fook Hai building.

2.2.6 Fitting of parts
After everything, we will have to glue(epoxy/Cyanoacrylates glue) and screw everything together. Then, we will compile everything together and put the lift in the shaft. Wiring and programming will then occur after construction happens.

2.3 Risk and safety
2.3.1 Hazards and Complications
Other complications include the moving of the lift from each level to the other. Since connecting only one cable to the lift and to the motor and then the counter-weight, the motor required would need to be very powerful as a lot of torque is needed. Therefore, a moveable pulley system with several wheels attached to the shaft and lift would be required to ensure that a normal motor could be able to pull the lift up and down at a reasonable speed. Thus, this would also ensure that there is more accuracy in the lift stopping at the correct location at each floor. The quality of wood used must also be considered; if the material is of cheapskate quality, it may snap or break although it may be of the same thickness which it should be. Therefore, the plywood used should be solid plywood and not be plated with it only.

2.4 Analysing data
2.4.1 Brainstorming and Organising Data
Ideas and procedures are important to ensure the smooth running of this part of the project. Therefore, we need to organise all the data we currently have and compile them together so no errors would happen throughout the course of this project. We had compiled our current ideas such as the dimensions to prevent any errors and complications when the lift could not fit into the shaft. Ideas now include: LED light buttons, a working ventilation fan in the lift, etc. Other ideas will be considered once we have finished the whole project.

2.4.2 Getting Suggestions
After that, we had to get suggestions to improve our current design. We needed more innovations in our lift thus got Mr Tan to give us some ideas. These included an overload sensor and a sound sensor for the lift. This would work when the person in the lift says the floor he needs to go to and the lift would go up without the need for buttons. This would work well when the person’s hand is full and he cannot press the buttons. This would help him as he would not need to put everything down to press the buttons.

2.4.3 Resources Required
Acrylic and wood pieces(Used for the main body of the lift)
Case fan(Ventilation inside the lift)
Metal pulley(Pull and support the lift as it goes up and down)
Screws and nails/Glue(To put together all parts)
Buttons and LEDs(LEDs will light up when various buttons are pressed.

This is all for the part 2(Lift) and will be continued in Part 3(Electronics).

Part 3-Electronics

3.1 Equipment
3.1.1 Finding the right materials
3.1.2 List of materials

3.2 Procedures

3.3 Risk and safety
3.3.1 Risks and safety precautions

3.1 Equipment

3.1.1 Finding the right materials

  With consideration of the type of lift we are about to build,the wires of the lift would have to move up and down together with the lift unit.This alone would pose many problems with the wiring of the lift.
Problem 1.What type of electrical wire would be most suitable to provide power to the lift unit?

Problem 2.How would we prevent the wire from entangling and damaging the lift unit?

3.1 Equipment

3.1.1 Finding the right materials
  With consideration of the type of lift we are about to build,the wires of the lift would have to move up and down together with the lift unit.This alone would pose many problems with the wiring of the lift.
Problem 1.What type of electrical wire would be most suitable to provide power to the lift unit?

Problem 2.How would we prevent the wire from entangling and damaging the lift unit?

Figure 3.1.1-General layout of lift

Resolving Problem 1.
For the power cable to enter the lift shaft and connect to the lift unit,it has to be light and flexible.Such properties would allow the wire to bend as the lift unit makes its way upward and downward.This will ensure that the wire would not resist and motion of the lift unit.To solve this problem,we have found a type of power cable called the ribbon wire that is both light and flexible and therefore suitable for us to use.

Resolving Problem 2.
Our original plan was to drill the wire hole at the first floor(refer to figure 3.1.1),but we decided to shift it up to the second floor for fear that the wire might be damaged as the lift unit rose higher and the wire had to pay out, or might obstruct the lift unit as it descended to the first floor.The wire might not be able to fit back into the wire hole and out of the lift shaft as the lift unit reached the first floor.

Figure 3.1.2

In order not to damage the wire or the lift unit as the lift moves up and down,the wire will be inserted via a hole drilled into the side of the lift shaft at the second floor.

Figure 3.1.3

Resolving Problem 3.
The motor will be controlled by Arduino(see section 4.

List of materials
1.  8  30mm LED Buttons
2.  4m Ribbon Wire
3.  Motor

3.2  Procedures
3.2.1 Connection of Lift unit to Arduino

     First,button holes of diameter 30mm would be needed to be drilled into the side of the lift shaft and also the lift unit.This would enable the buttons to be fitted outside the shaft and inside the lift unit.These buttons will then be wired to the Arduino,which will control the lift according to which buttons are pressed.We will need 7 buttons,1 on the second floor,2 on the third floor,and 1 on the fourth floor,and 3 in the lift unit. There will also be a safety button in the lift unit to ensure safety of the user.The motor will only start after a  5 second delay ,allowing the user to have time to take his hand out of the lift unit so as to prevent injury or damage.

   For each of the buttons is attached with 1 pin to the Arduino.The Arduino will be programmed to start the motor after the safety button has been pressed and allow the motor to reach the designated floor.In order for the lift unit to reach the designated floor,the motor that is controlled by the Arduino will be programmed to coil the wire up or down a fixed number of times.These calculations have to be very precise because we have to ensure that the lift unit is not out of place.

Figure 3.2.1

3.2.2 Connection of Arduino to Motor

  Another problem that we encountered was that the motor could only turn in one direction.How would we be able to use the motor for both pulling in and letting out of the steel cable?The construction of the lift would be impossible if the motor could only perform one function.There would not be enough space in the shaft to place two engines.To solve this problem,we have come up with a solution on how to move the motor both clockwise and anticlockwise.

This system circuit will comprise of 4 switches.We will connect each switch to 1 pin on the Arduino.The Arduino will be programmed such that when switches 1 and 3 in the diagram is closed ,the motor will turn clockwise.When switches 2 and 4 are closed,the motor will turn anti-clockwise.

   For a single digit LED display,the minimum number of pins that have to be connected to the Arduino is 9.The Arduino will be programmed to display the which floor the lift unit is currently at.

3.3 Risk and Safety
3.3.1 Risk and Safety Precautions
Safety precautions
Electrocution when handling electrical cables
Where rubber gloves when coming in contact with wires/electric current.
We might hurt ourselves when using tools such as drills
We have to be careful when using sharp and dangerous tools.
There might be many splinters on the wood.
We will wear gloves when making the prototype.
If all switches are open at the same time in Figure 3.2.2,the motor might be overloaded and break down.
We have to take precaution and label the switches of prevent the wires being connected wrongly and the  motor failing.

Part 4-Arduino

4.1 Equipment
4.1.1 Finding the right materials
4.1.2 List of materials

4.2 Procedures

4.3 Risk and safety
4.3.1 Risks and safety precautions

Equipment list:

Arduino Uno x 1
LED x 7
Voice Recognition x 4
Relay Motor x 1
Push Buttons x 7

4.2 Coding
Figure 4.2.1
This shows a LED lighting up. This is the most basic thing when you are coding Arduino.

Figure 4.2.2
shows the coding which makes the LED switch on and off.

Figure 4.2.3

Figure 4.2.3 shows the circuit such that when you push the pushbutton, the LED lights up.

Figure 4.2.4

Figure 4.2.4 shows the LED light lighting up when the pushbutton is pushed.

Figure 4.2.5 shows the program for the the actions in  Figure 4.2.3 and Figure 4.2.4 .
We were asked to program 12 pushbuttons and 4 LEDs such as in the diagram below. He He wanted me to program such that when PB1, 2 or 3 is pressed LED 1 lights up. When PB4, 5, 6 is pressed LED 2 lights up. When PB7, 8 or 9 is pressed LED 3 lights up. When PB10, 11 or 12 lights up, LED 4 lights up.

The diagram below shows the program for the task.
4.3 Risk and safety

There is a possibility of the person handling the arduino to be electrocuted
There is a possibility of the items such as LEDs to break easily as they are fragile.
There is a possibility of the person handling the parts to bleed as the end tips of the parts are sharp and scratch you.

4.3.1 Risks and safety precautions
When handling with arduino you must wear gloves.
You have to be very careful when handling the parts.


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