We at Viaboxx are always interested in new technologies or ideas. Therefore, we actively support students who want to do their bachelor or master thesis in our company. Below you'll find a commentary from our latest student, Benedikt Kiefer, who wrote about parcel stations and sensors to detect parcels in compartment boxes:
Four months ago, I started my bachelor thesis at Viaboxx. My task was to test different types of sensors to detect parcels in a parcel station. To run experiments with the first prototypes, I chose the Arduino platform. The specific model I used for the testing was the Arduino Uno.
The first physical principle I tested was the capacitive principle. With the changing strength of the electric field, caused by an object, it is theoretically possible to detect a parcel. The prototyping was at first done with painted graphite electrodes. Later, I used aluminium foil due to the much higher capacitance of the capacitor. In various experiments, I analysed the effects of the mass and volume of the parcel on the accuracy of the detection. In practice, the capacitive sensor is a cost-effective and functional detection method. Not only can it detect even small objects like keys, credit cards and letters, but also is it easy to use for upgrading older parcel stations.
The second sensor I implemented with the Arduino works with a standing wave in the parcel box. The idea was to measure the destruction of the standing wave when the door is opened and a parcel is inserted into the box. For the practical realisation, I used a speaker to generate sound waves and a microphone to measure the sound volume. The physical effect is that the sound volume is 1,7 times higher if a standing wave occurs. The difference of the sound volume gives the information if the box is full or empty. My experiments showed that the sensor works very reliable and it is also possible to detect small objects down to the size of a pencil.
Doing my thesis at Viaboxx allowed me to improve my personal skills as well as to develop new skills in the field of programming and automation. Combined with the good working environment and the support of the employees, I managed to get a very good mark for my bachelor thesis. My special thank goes to Jan Nonnen for his support during my time at Viaboxx.
If you are also interested in working at Viaboxx as a student or doing your Bachelor or Master thesis in our company, feel free to contact us! We are looking forward to hear your ideas.