A mind-controlled vehicle that moves just by thinking it to move, shoes that charge electronic devices while walking, and “The Ultimate Tailgate Station” – a solar-powered, motorized cooler with GPS tracking, electronic-device charging and an Android app that controls it all – will be among 80 innovative projects showcased to the public at UCF on Friday, April 19.

Mike Strobridge, a UCF engineering student who uses his thoughts to control a model-sized car, trained his brain for two months to prepare. While donning a headset that harnesses his brainwaves, he will show visitors how he makes the car go forward by thinking of pain (such as stepping on a tack), and go backwards by thinking in Swedish.

He is among 350 graduating seniors of the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science who will demonstrate their engineering talents at the 2013 Senior Design Day Showcase, which includes the fifth annual Symposium on Renewable and Sustainable Energy, sponsored by Progress Energy.

The keynote speaker is Bobi Garrett, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“The CECS Senior Design Day showcase is UCF’s equivalent of national computer and car shows that ‘wow’ visitors with the latest technologies, innovations and prototypes that can be seen and experienced,” said Charles Reilly, CECS associate dean for Academic Affairs. “What’s so impressive is that these innovative, high-tech solutions to real-world problems are created by students.”

The projects represent the engineering skills that students have acquired during their rigorous academic coursework at UCF. During their senior year, students work with their faculty advisors to develop innovative project proposals, conduct design analysis, design and build prototypes, prepare engineering reports and give presentations and demonstrations of their projects on Senior Design Day.

All projects will be displayed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Engineering II building and the Harris Engineering Center on UCF’s main campus. Complimentary hot dogs and water will be available on the front lawn of the Harris Engineering Center starting at noon, while supplies last.

Senior Design Day Showcase is free and open to the public.

See a full list of projects and a complete schedule here: http://www.cecs.ucf.edu/documents/SeniorDesignProgram.pdf

As part of Senior Design Day Showcase, Progress Energy sponsors a Senior Design Symposium on Renewable and Sustainable Energy. The event features 24 senior design projects related to renewable and sustainable energy. The projects will be displayed in the Engineering II atrium. Student teams will deliver formal presentations about their projects in the Engineering II, Room 102 lecture hall.

Highlights of “green” projects include: a multiple team effort to bring off-grid electricity to the South African township of Pomolong; a solar unmanned aerial vehicle that provides rush-hour information; a self-charging children’s recreational vehicle; a refrigerator that uses a magnet-based cooling system to cut energy costs by a third; a solar-powered boat; a project that extracts high-altitude wind energy, and other innovations.

Keynote speaker Bobi Garrett is scheduled to speak at 8:30 a.m. in Engineering II, Room 102 lecture hall. She is considered a leading expert on the commercialization of renewable and sustainable energy solutions.