Date

6-2016

Degree Name

BS in Computer Engineering

Department

Computer Engineering Department

Advisor(s)

Bridget Benson

Abstract

In today’s world of smartphones, self-driving cars, and internet-connected coffee makers, it seems as if computers are contained in everything around us. These “embedded systems” have become critical components of our lives, improving everything about the things they control, from cost, to speed, to simplicity. One area that embedded systems has hardly gained a foothold is in the world of floatbuilding. Most of the floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade, including the one built jointly by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona, are technologically very simple, using mostly analog components and rudimentary discrete digital logic to control all aspects of its motion and animation. Just as the automotive industry saw many improvements in the switch to digital communications and embedded systems, I believe that the same benefits can be had with Cal Poly’s drive system, replacing its entirety with a completely digital system.