College of Engineering, Computer Science & Construction Management

Senior Capstone Projects

ARM - Automated Robotic Manipulator

Sponsored by Amazon Web Services

Team Members: Erik Dominguez, Abel Flores, Cesar Lopez, Gissel Soto, Jason L Vasquez

Description: The Automated Robotic Manipulator represents a cost-effective solution for automating common household tasks. Most functions of the human upper body are mimicked to some degree with room for future iteration based on user feedback and emerging technologies.  The concept was designed with manufacturability, simplicity, and redundancy in mind. All the arm joints are in the xy-plane or yaw direction, which directs most of the stress of the payload to the mechanical joints, rather than back into the motors.
Automated Clean Line

Sponsored by Benchmark

Team Members: Cameron DeCristofaro, Oscar Dominguez, Ryan Gomez, Justin McKenzie

Description: In order to provide the highest quality components for their customers, Benchmark requires their post-manufacturing process to follow stringent guidelines for removal of contaminants. The Automated Clean Line aims to remove as much human interaction from this cleaning process as possible. This machine allows for the operator to input component identification and initiate the cleaning cycle. The machine stores part specific cleaning recipes, and monitors and records all required metrics for verification of cleaning parameters. With the Automated Clean Line, Benchmark is able to ensure these finished parts meet all customer specifications.

DIN Rail Automated Assembly

 Sponsored by Bently Nevada

Team Members: Josh Gupta, Joshua Eddy, Manuel Mendez, Nikolai Zalamea

Description: One of Bently Nevada's most successful products is the Proximitor Turbine Condition Monitoring Sensor, which is mounted onto a DIN Rail Mount. This sensor can monitor numerous parameters that help operate and maintain large scale power generation facilities. The DIN Rail Mount itself is made up of four individual components for which the assembly is currently done by hand. This process is tedious, time consuming, and takes away from other tasks a skilled operator could be doing. The aim of this project is to automate the assembly of this DIN Rail Mount for up to 400 units a day with very little operator interaction necessary. 

Automation for Space Mechanisms

 Sponsored by Blue Canyon Technologies

Team Members: Caleb Cusworth, Jordan Hoffman, Diego Martinez, Joseph Mitchell, Diego Valdez

Description: The project goal is to automate the process of placing the magnets onto the rotors. The current tedious process requires a skilled technician to individually place the magnets onto the rotors. BCT is expecting a rise in production for their components in the coming year which poses a problem with the current process. Automating the assembly of the rotors for the reaction solves the problem with the current process and allows them to increase their throughput for the future. The design solution utilizes an Epson SCARA robot in conjunction with a pneumatic gripper to pick up stacks of magnets and place the magnets onto the rotors. The Epson SCARA robot provides the necessary precise movements needed to perform this pick and place operation while having the robustness to resist the strong magnetic forces that occur. The technician will now be required to load the work cell with the designated number of magnets to be placed and the pallets of rotors instead of the manual placing. The pneumatic end effector will also hold the gaussmeter probe which is necessary to determine the strength of the magnets placed and the polarity. The readout from the gaussmeter will determine whether or not the magnets are in their correct position according to their polarity.

BuildBot 2_0

 Sponsored by Haas Automation

Team Members: Adam Baber, Greg Harris, David Kerr, Clarissa Smith

Description: Haas Automation is a machine tool company that continuously innovates manufacturing processes and transforms the industry. In 2022, Haas Automation sponsored a CSU Chico team to develop a Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) machine as a proof of concept for what will eventually become a regular Haas product. BuildBot 2.0 is a continuation of that project with the aim of hardware and software improvements.
WAAM is the process of using Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding to create a rough metal billet, which will then be processed through traditional subtractive machining. The goal of BuildBot is to use this process to reduce stock costs and metal waste. The BuildBot 2.0 team also prioritized longevity and functionality, based on the original BuildBot 1.0 model. For rapid fabrication and cost reduction, the original BuildBot 1.0 chassis was incorporated into the design with additions to expand the printing area.
BuildBot 2.0 features a larger print area (400mm x 400mm x 300mm) and a long-lasting ball screw gantry. BuildBot 2.0 also adds a small ventilation system, complete with a carbon filter and trap to prevent metal slag from entering the filter. The storage area was moved beside the printing enclosure. This will contain the welding machine and junction box for easy access, as well as any items the operator might use in testing and use. An improved touch screen interface is also included at operator height for convenience.
In comparison to traditional billet machining, BuildBot is cost and time effective. For the purposes of rapid prototyping and small custom jobs, BuildBot's costs and overall waste are generally lower than using purchased stock. BuildBot is also greener in energy usage than custom casting methods for complex geometries. Though the first BuildBot to market is many iterations away, BuildBot 2.0 brings better ventilation, larger printing, less maintenance, a friendly user interface, and a greater lifespan to the larger BuildBot project.

Rotary Accuracy Tester

 Sponsored by Haas Automation

Team Members: Wilfredo Martinez-Lopez, Logan Maloney, Roman Padilla, Treyton Wood


Haas Automation is the largest machine tool builder in the Western world and manufactures a complete line of CNC lathes, horizontal machining centers, CNC vertical machining centers, and rotary products. To achieve that title, Haas Automation has to be at the forefront of quality and innovation with its product lines, one of which is its Rotary products. A rotary table is a compact machine that fits inside a CNC vertical mill and adds a fourth machining axis, offering more flexibility for machining complex geometry. 

This project aims to design and build an updated and mobile version of HAAS's 25-year-old rotary table accuracy checker to make it safer and easier to use. To achieve this, the current oil bath system was eliminated and exchanged for a machined ring to hold the high-accuracy encoder in a fixed position. It allowed rotary tables of all 8 sizes to have their positional measurements recorded through their range of motion. The encoder and machined ring have to hold a 2 arc-second tolerance, where one arc-second is 1/1,296,000 of a full rotation. This system must output these measurements graphically on the monitor to be recorded along with the machine identification information, and shipped with the specific rotary tested, ensuring its quality to Haas's customers. 

Improving Methods - Human Athletic Sports Performance Information

 Sponsored by Dr. Gerald Keene

Team Members: Ryan Sewell, Spencer Hyams, Michael Harmon, Gerardo Munguia


Introducing our advanced workout platform, the PowerBell, meticulously engineered to redefine athletic training and physical therapy methodologies through innovative data acquisition mechanisms. At its core lies a meticulously designed gear reduction motor system, capable of faithfully replicating loads exceeding 500 pounds with exceptional precision and reliability.

Complementing its formidable strength simulation capabilities, this platform integrates sophisticated real-time data collection functionalities, providing users instantaneous access to a wealth of biomechanical and performance metrics. From force exertion to other critical movement parameters, every aspect of the user's performance is meticulously captured and presented in a comprehensive data display interface.

The PowerBell is engineered with a focus on practicality and usefulness, empowering athletes and physical therapists alike to make informed decisions in their training and rehabilitation endeavors. By seamlessly integrating data-driven insights with user-friendly functionalities, our platform facilitates a deeper understanding of performance metrics, enabling more effective training regimens and rehabilitation protocols. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, all while ensuring a low-cost solution, we strive to contribute to advancements in athletic performance and therapeutic outcomes.

High-Precision Reticle Placement System

 Sponsored by KLA

Team Members: Christopher Jewell, Bryan Krum, Paul Maready, Xavier Sanchez, Aaron Tongon


The primary objective of this project is to lift a quartz substrate reticle from a static/pick stage and to then accurately and precisely place the reticle on a dynamic/placement stage. The robot will then go back and pick up the reticle from the dynamic stage and then place it back down on the static stage, completing the cycle. We must record the deviation of the reticle when placed on the dynamic stage during each cycle and then display our data on a user-friendly user interface. This project will serve as a standalone research and educational project, where KLA can utilize this system to improve and explore future designs and prototypes.

The concept that was developed utilizes an Adept-Omron Cobra e800 series robot that has an end effector mounted to its head. There will be a static stage and a dynamic stage which will be mounted in front of the robot and also on the left side of the robot, respectively. The static stage will have an aluminum base, fixed to the table with Nylon contact points. Similarly, the dynamic stage will have Nylon contact points on an aluminum baseplate, but the baseplate will be mounted on top of a set of linear actuators, allowing for 360 degrees of rotation. This system will utilize VISION Software in which a camera will move the robot into a "general" direction of the dynamic stage, then using quad-cells and lasers attached to the dynamic stage and end effector, respectfully, the robot will be able to more accurately and precisely place the reticle down on the dynamic stage, where we can then record and display the data.

Automated Spark Gap Inspection Stand

 Sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Labratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF), Pulse Power Group

Team Members: Kristen Welch, Matthew Markell, Caleb Spencer, Alec Gutierrez


This capstone project’s goal is to design and implement a measurement system on a mobile cart that inspects the ST-300 assembly and gives the minimum gap distance between electrodes. The ST-300 assembly that is inspected for this project is housed inside of the National Ignition Facility, specifically within the main storage modules of the capacitor bays. It is important to the sponsor that the spark gap distance is known so that incidents such as a pre-fire or misfire can be better controlled and avoided. To achieve this, the system required must be able to measure the accuracy of the gap distance between the electrodes (approximately 3" in diameter) and spaced 1/8" apart down to the 0.001" without touching the electrodes and making the inspection via the 15/16" inspection port. 

The solution this team has implemented is a capacitance-based feeler gauge which can make touchless measurements using a thin ceramic wand that passes between the two electrodes. This measurement system is mounted on precision linear and rotational stages that facilitate repeatable and accurate placement of the wand. The alignment and measurement system is secured onto a durable and mobile cart that can be maneuvered around the facility easily. The system also incorporates a touch screen interface to control the automatic measurement process and log data. A borescope has also been procured as part of the project to enhance the capabilities of visual inspection inside of the assembly. 

Bend and Free Recovery Test System

 Sponsored by Medtronic

Team Members: Megan Alman, Mohit Bhardwaj, Ulisses Cervantes, Heather Vo


Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, designs and manufactures a variety of heart valves to serve patients with cardiovascular diseases. The heart valves are made of nitinol, a metal alloy with extremely unique properties. Most notably, it has "shape memory," which refers to its ability to recover to its original and "memorized" shape even after experiencing deformation. This "shape memory" is reliant on temperature. Considering these unique properties, Medtronic needs a reliable system to evaluate their nitinol heart valves and ensure that they're up to specification. 

The Bend and Free Recovery (BFR) Test System is a semi-automated procedural system designed to measure and record the displacement of nitinol heart valves against changes in temperature. The BFR System features machine vision software integrated into a LabVIEW GUI to collect and record data, with an option for automatic data processing. Most importantly, the BFR System adheres to ASTM F2082 testing standards while exhibiting a more streamlined and organized procedure. 

Motorized Fenestration Device

 Sponsored by Sierra Pacific Windows

Team Members: Devin Caruso, Matthew Erickson, Austin Kroepel, Omar Alvarez-Hernandez, Austin Willems


Sierra Pacific Windows manufactures clad/wood windows and doors for residential and commercial builders. SPW is committed to the safety of our crew members. The most common injuries that occur in the plant are sprains and strains due to lifting heavy product. In order to reduce the number of these types of injuries we are looking at ways to assist employees during the lifting and transporting processes. We are in need of a way to pick up fully assembled windows off of our build up lines and transport them throughout the plant

Our project: Build a motorized window lifting end-effector for a forklift capable of lifting and moving windows up to 700lbs. The windows range in size between 36”x36” to 120”x96” and can be picked up in both vertical and horizontal orientations. 

Catheter Delivery System

 Sponsored by Medtronic

Team Members: Alexis Moreno, Ennio Perez, MacQuarrie Templeton, Quinn Uerling


The purpose of this project is to design and build a system capable of testing a catheter system. A guide catheter and guide wire will be inserted through a port into the test track. A catheter will then be ‘loaded’ into the machine and will follow along the guide wire and catheter. The system will then run automatically, using a pair of grippers and a linear slide to push the catheter along the track 4 times. A load cell attached to the grippers in order to read the force of each push. 

While the test is in progress, the load cell will graph the force felt in LabVIEW. Once the test is complete, the LabVIEW program will calculate the average of each push as well as export all recorded data to excel. 

Archived Projects