Paul Bupe Jr

Electrical Engineer


Hello here, I'm Paul. I'm an electrical engineer with a passion for robotics and controls - specifically dealing with creating autonomous and intelligent systems. My primary areas of interest include electronic systems design, control systems, logic design, and programming. I have been involved in robotics since my high school years and have worked on quite a number of interesting projects, some of which are included on this site. I am also a graphic designer and web developer, among other things.

Education

I have a Master of Science in Applied Engineering with a concentration in Electrical and Electronic Systems from Georgia Southern University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Southern University.

Skills and Tools

MATLAB/Simulink NI LabVIEW C / C++ Python PHP JavaScript AutoCad MultiSim SolidWorks Node.js PhoneGap HTML5 / CSS3 (LESS, SASS) Adobe Creative Suite Visual Studio Microsoft Office Suite LaTeX Windows, OS X, Linux Environments Soldering (advanced)

Selected Projects


Ultra-fast, Autonomous, Reconfigurable UAV Disaster Communication System

Masters Thesis. Georgia Southern University - 2015.

Aeronautics Unmanned Systems Swarming Pixhawk 3DR MAVLink RS232 WebSockets Git (Bitbucket) Python C++ C Javascript HTML / CSS

Abstract

The recent years have witnessed an increase in natural disasters in which the destruction of essential communication infrastructure has significantly affected the number of casualties. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina in the United States resulted in over 1,900 deaths, three million land-line phones disconnections, and more than 2000 cell sites going out of service. This incident highlighted an urgent need for a quick-deployment, efficient communication network for emergency relief purposes. In this research, a fully autonomous system to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as the first phase disaster recovery communication network for wide-area relief is presented. As part of this system, an automation algorithm has been developed to control the deployment and positioning of the UAVs based on a traditional cell network structure utilizing 7-cell clusters in a hexagonal pattern. In addition to the software algorithm, a fully functional control interface was developed which allowed for full control of the system both locally and over an internet connection. This system represents a novel approach for handling a large-scale autonomous deployment of a UAV communications networks.

Achievements

  • Successfully developed a system and protocol to autonomously deploy multiple UAVs for emergency (or planned) communication relief in an outdoor setting.
  • Designed and developed a fully functional web-based flight control graphical user interface for system.
  • Created an algorithm for UAV swarming in a hexagonal cell pattern using GPS localization.
  • Developed a fly-by-wire system to autonomously control multiple UAVs by modifying open source flight control software.
  • Designed parts and equipment in SolidWorks to facilitate project.
  • Properly utilized the 915 MHz ISM band for telemetry.
Assembled UAV Swarm
Overview of the three primary components of the system.
Closeup of single UAV.
Soldering connectors onto and heat-shrinking the ESCs.
Wiring and soldering the power distribution harnesses.
Arrangement of UAVs in hexagonal cell pattern.
Interface showing configuration window.
Interface showing connected UAVs.
Interface and control code running on workstation.

Autonomous Rover

Semester Project. Georgia Southern University - 2014.

Robotics Autonomous Systems Localization Arduino AVR Serial C++ C

Project Summary

The goal of this project was to build a ground rover that could navigate a closed arena and sort wooden blocks based on color and size. The wooden blocks were placed in designated areas in random order and had to be detected, picked up, and placed in their respective final positions sorted according to color and size.

Rover consisted of a differential drive tank tread base and utilized sonar for localization, an infrared array for measuring length, and an RGB sensor for detecting color

Achievements

  • Led a team of two undergraduate students
  • Built a fully functional differential drive rover with a 6 DOF robotic arm.
  • Designed, tested, and fabricated power distribution circuitry for the rover.
  • Developed a precise and accurate localization system using only ultrasonic transceivers and IR reflectance sensors.
  • Utilized digital signal processing to analyze raw color data from an RGB sensor.
  • Developed and implemented a finite-state machine based motion planning algorithm.
Rear view of rover with block placed over sensor array.
Closer view of robot.

Robot Control Interface over WIFI

Mechatronics Project. Georgia Southern University - 2014.

Robotics Autonomous Systems Mechatronics PID Control Arduino AVR Serial HTTP PHP HTML / CSS JavaScript C++ C

Project Summary

This project sought to fully utilize the Parallax mobile robot base kit and map out all the capabilities of the robot. The robot features two very power 12VDC motors that can move at up to 150RPM and is steady and powerful enough to carry a human adult. Most importantly, the wheels have very useful quadrature encoders that can be used to measure speed, distance, and a number of other characteristics. By creating a circuit to interface to these controllers from an Arduino, the full power of the robot was unlocked because the robot then became a precise device that, coupled with ultrasonic sensors, can be used in mission-critical application such as swarms.

Lastly, this project interfaced the hardware side of the robot to the online world through a WiFi-enabled Arduino and a web interface to monitor vital information. This fully sets up the robot for integration into ROS and a swarm environment.

Achievements

  • Interfaced AVR microcontroller to mounted quadrature encoders.
  • Conditioned all sensor data and packaged them for transmission.
  • Transmitted all data over WIFI in real time to a web-based interface.
  • Created a fully functional web-based interface to monitor all systems.
Control GUI.
Power distribution circuitry
Control system prototype with WIFI.

Smart, Modular, Home Automation System

Senior Project. Georgia Southern University - 2013.

Home Automation Smart Systems Networking Arduino Linksys Switch AVR Serial Ethernet DHCP HTTP C++ C PHP SQL HTML / CSS JavaScript

Project Summary

The primary goal of this project was to design and implement a home automation system that is affordable, modular and in turn easily scalable. The goal was not to replace what already exists but to create a more cost-effective, secure and scalable product. Full-scale commercial home automation systems can cost thousands of dollars without regard to scalability, putting them out of reach of the average household’s budget.

This project used low cost equipment and equipment that already exists in most households (computers and routers), to create a home automation system that will meet and even surpass commercial systems at a fraction of the cost.

Achievements

  • Designed and implemented a modular home automation system that included lighting, power monitoring, HVAC control, and irrigation.
  • Successfully interfaced system to an off-site server and database making it controllable from anywhere in the world via a web and mobile interface.
  • Handled networking multiple microcontrollers and interfacing to a central server and database utilizing C, PHP, SQL / MySQL, JavaScript, and the HTTP protocol.
  • Worked as part of a four person team
  • Led team in designing and implementing system including setting goals and milestones.
  • Coordinated with team members to schedule work days and deadlines.
Energy monitoring system in housing.
Final web control and monitoring interface.
System overview.
Testing communication of the modules over Ethernet.
Rear of the demonstration panel.
Front of the demonstration panel.
Testing the energy monitoring system in a residential building.
Soldering the circuit for the LCD controller using shift registers.
HVAC relay modules in their housing with ribbon cable for control.
Testing the DC switched-mode power supply.

Electromyogram

Circuit Design Project. Georgia Southern University - 2012.

Circuit Design Circuit Analysis Networking TL084 LM324 LM339

Project Summary

The scope of this project was to design and implement an electromyogram detector with a bar- graph LED output. An electromyogram works by measuring the potentials created as a result of muscle contractions. These muscle contractions, when measured externally, generate voltages of around 1-2mV peak. Frequencies from these measurements can range anywhere from around 10 Hz up to around 1 kHz. Electromyograms are extensively used in athletics and physical therapy.

The electromyogram circuit features 3 main stages. First the circuit has a precision instrumentation amplifier. After the amplifier stage, there is then an envelope detector. The final stage of this circuit is the output, which is the LED bar-graph display. All of these circuits will be discussed in detail in the experimental section of this report.

Achievements

  • Designed an electromyogram circuit based around precision instrumentation ampifiers.
  • Prototyped the circuit on a breadboard.
Full Schematic
Envelop Detector.
Amplified signal.
Working Prototype.

Autonomous Heavyweight Sumo Tank Robot

High School Project

Robotics Autonomous Systems Localization VEX ROBOTC

Project Summary

This high school team project was a 120 lb "Heavyweight sumo" robot built to compete in the National Robotics Challenge. The robot was built completely from scratch with many parts donated by companies, such as the roller chain being donated by Diamond Chain. This robot utilized two NPC motors powering a custom built differential drivetrain.

The robot utilized ultrasonic transducers for detecting targets and utilized a circular search algorithm. The final build of the robot was covered in angled foam in ordered to absorb or redirect sonar pings from other robots, similar to the operating principle of anechoic chambers -- this resulted in the robot being "invisible" to other robots that utilized ultrasonic transducers. This robot was overall very rudimentary but extremely effective and powerful.

Achievements

  • Worked with team to design and fabricate (including welding and machining) a fully autonomous 120 lb differential drive robot.
  • Developed and programmed an autonomous "search and destroy" algorithm using ROBOTC on a VEX microcontroller.
  • Designed and fabricated an H-bridge circuit to control two high-current motors
  • Handled the integration of high current and low current systems.
Rear view of the robot showing the high-current driving relays.
Roller chain and machined sprockets.
The drivetrain of the robot with motors attached.
Roller chain installed with pads -- ready for rubber surface.
Front view showing the power distribution and VEX controller.
Making final adjustments on the robot using a lawnmower lift.