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Crazy Example project idea (Bruce Walker). Here is my crazy cool bizarre idea... I saw this thing, and thought that the usability on it was...So here's what I'm thinking....Let me know if you are interested in my crazy example idea for a project. (

Alright, here's an idea. I don't know if there's much to this, but here's a start. I noticed in the women's restroom in the Psych building on the ground floor near the elevators, the paper towel dispenser is TOO high. Everytime I wash my hands, as should everyone else (hopefully), I have to stretch my arm vertically to pull down a small lever above my head for a particular length of paper towel to be ejected/released from the dispenser. In the process, this is where the engineering part comes in, I guess, water begins to RUN down my arm. So, I have get up on my tipie toes, try and level my arm out (horizontally) and pull the lever and rip the paper towel all quick enough to catch the water before it runs down too much of my arm.

Now, besides just lowering the dispenser, do you think there's anything else possible to make this experience a little bit more.. uh..enjoyable?


    • Comments from Ray the TA: ————–
Lulua, that is a great idea for something that needs to be changed! However, to be a complete project, you would have to take on something a little bit larger in scope - like considering the whole bathroom as a system that could be redesigned.

My name is Brent Louie and I was thinking about doing a project on the Georgia Tech shuttles. I have noticed that the stinger has some serious flaws. Namely that is more often than not takes longer to wait for a stinger than to walk to your next destination. Also the Tech trolley comes more frequently, yet it has no pull cord for the people riding the tolley to tell the driver that they need to get off. Consequently the driver stops at every bus stop even if no one gets on or off. Anyway I thought that this might be interesting to do a project on. I have no one else working with me right now. Feel free to e-mail me

Brent Louie gte088w

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Brent, the shuttles are an excellent system to consider. Your said that your main issue with the system is the efficiency of it - you should be able to get there faster then walking when taking the shuttles. So, there are many other factors besides extra stops that effect this. These may include, but are not limited to, number of stops, number of shuttles, and information about the shuttle system and location provided to the user. You could even include a evaluation of the brand-spankin-new GPS system. As long as you think of the shuttles within a context of a whole system, I think that it would be a great topic to do for your project.

I am with the Solar Jackets, the solar car team at Tech. We are currently in the middle of the design phase for our next car, which will be ready for the 2005 race. We need some help in the design of the driver/passenger cockpit. There are many factors to consider, like brake/accel pedal location, steering mechanism type and location, driver/passenger comfort, egress within 10 seconds, etc.
If interested, contact
Nathan Melanson

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
This sounds like a really cool idea! Transportation Human Factors gets a whole chapter in the textbook for this class...This could be a very fruitful project.

More notes (1/15/2004):
After the TA contacted me, here is some more info:
  • I am a student in the class, so I will be working alongside you to make this project a reality
  • We will be using TGW 1.0 (Our first solar car) as a starting point. It was the first car we ever built, and it has a lot of the typical first time mistakes. (The steering is extremely counter-intuitive.) TGW 1.0 is a completely built, working solar car.
  • TGW 2.0 (Working name of our new car) is still in the CAD model phase, but the actual body will be manufactured just after spring break, so we can see the results of our project before the semester ends.
  • You don't need any special engineering skills. We have engineers working on the team, so they can turn our suggestions into the CAD designs needed to build a working prototype.
  • We also have access to a large amount of info about the cockpits of other solar cars, so we can do some requirements gathering from the competition.
  • This is not a project where it is just a theoretical exercise. The results will actually be implemented. You will make a difference.

Update: 1-15-2004:
In the words on the great Strong Bad: DELETED!!
Even though this project is a cool idea, this project is being withdrawn as a possible project idea for this class. I am keeping the idea up, so if anyone wants to help the Solar Jackets with the design of this project in their "spare" time, we would be more than willing to help you out. Solar car racing is more than just racing solar cars. Nathan

Orginal post:
I have another idea for a project. Solar car races are cross country events, and we spend a large amount of time out in the middle of nowhere. The 2005 race will start in Mexico, cross the border into the States, cut through the Great Plains, and head into Canada. Besides the solar vehicle, we travel in caravans of multiple vehicles. Many teams bring along a semi as a support vehicle. Different teams use their semi in different ways. One team uses the semi as a spare parts storage trailer. Another team has equipped theirs with a full machine shop. But we (the Solar Jackets) would like to do something different. We want to turn the container into a dorm on wheels. There should be room for 15-20+ people, including sleeping quarters, food storage, utilities (water, electricity, air conditioning),and of course, storage for all the stuff 20+ people will need on the month long journey. So, basically design a mobile living quarters for twenty that would make the Department of Housing drool in envy. :) Contact:
Nathan Melanson

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Nathan, we've already discussed this idea...but just in case anybody else in the class was thinking along these lines, the majority of this design process falls outside the scope of Engineering Psychology, so I would not recommend this project.

I was thinking about looking at SCOTs(Self Check-Out Terminals). I actually worked for NCR for about 3.5 years, and spent about 8 weeks or so (mainly devoted to cable management) on their SCOT where I had to work with HF constantly about what was "easy" and "appealing" for the customer. If anyone is interested in this, or is looking for a group member, I am dire need of a group since I don't know anyone in the class. I am EE senior. Please contact Kevin - gte108w. Thanks.

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Kevin, sounds like a great idea, and something that you are familiar with. It also may give you some great insight what the HF group was dealing with, so I think it would be a great learning experience. Dr. Walker and I recommend focusing on a specific SCOT; the ones at Home Depot might be an especially interesting project, given the huge variety of products (ever tried to self checkout a piece of lumber?)

    • Reply from Kevin
Ray, Home Depot is actually one of NCR's customers, so that is the terminal that I was on the design team. I have had one other person interested, making it a grand total of two (including me), so if anyone else is interested please contact me.

I had no idea what to think of doing as a project for this class, especially because, being a chemistry major I doubt many of my specific interests would correlate well with others in the class. So instead, I tried to think back to things that I thought were ridiculous and/or annoying that affected me as well as others within the past semester. One thing which seemed particularly ludicrous was the change in the method of getting GT football tickets for the year. Seeing as this affected a large portion of campus, this would be an easy topic to get a opinion survey on as well as advice on improvement and ways that it was improved. We could compare our current system with those of other colleges, etc, etc.

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Will, I think this idea would work - I'm actually not too familiar with how the system works currently. It sounds like there would be plenty of data collection and evaluation opportunities. What about the design process, though?...what would be redesigned? Is there a machine already, or would you have to design one from the ground up?

Ticket Project info

This might not be a broad enough subject to do an entire project on, but the BuzzCard system at this school sucks. I can't think of a single advantage of using it over credit cards and/or cash. I'm a junior ME major, if that matters to anybody. Jason Turner gte930v

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Jason, I think your project idea may actually be too broad. The buzzcard system is used for many purposes: building admittance, library security, buying food at lunch, etc. You will need to choose something more specific about the buzzcard for your project. If you are particularly interested in aspects of the buzzcard and how it is used for currency, maybe you could do something like redesign the student center lunchroom, and how paying is handled. If you have other problems with the system that you are more interested in, let me know what you are thinking.

Campus Wayfinding
Names of buildings are sometimes hidden by trees, names of buildings on the official on-line campus map can be viewed only if a sections zoomed in and does not have a printable version that indicates what building names are. The lot map provided by parking on their website is difficult to read.
The new number for parking lots was done to help way finding, E lots are supposed to be on the east-side, W on the west-side, and various numbering schemes were discussed in a parking & transportation advisory committee meeting to designate north vs. south campus.
How do people know where Stinger busses will take them (especially if construction blocks their normal route)? Perhaps maps at stops or inside the Stingers would be helpful.

    • Comments from Ray the TA:
Jason, this sounds like a great idea; the campus wayfinding system could use some work. I think it may be better to be a tad more specific; either choose aspects of the wayfinding system relevant to the map and labeling of buildings or aspects of the wayfinding system relevent to the stinger - this may include, like you mentioned, setting up maps (maybe even interactive ones) inside the stingers or at the stops, and changing the signage for the Stinger. Although these two aspects may overlap some, I encourage you to choose one to focus on.

Automobile Interior setups

Had an idea, but scrapped it for an another group.

Sung Jin Paik

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  • Eng. Psyc Class last edited on 8 August 2005 at 4:09 pm by