College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Jim Widmann


Each New Years’ Day, the Cal Poly Rose Float presents a flower-covered float to the world at the Tournament of Roses parade. This floral display, paired with moving mechanical animations, shows off Cal Poly to the world. This project strove to keep Cal Poly on the cutting edge of technology both in parade floats, and in engineering, by creating a completely electric-powered animation system.

To accomplish this, a group of students set out to make the fully electric animation system that can power both the hydraulic and electric mechanisms on the Float. This was accomplished through months of planning and development leading up to manufacturing, assembling, and testing the system. The students used deep cycle lead acid batteries to power an electric motor. This motor turns a hydraulic pump that pumps fluid throughout the animated mechanism actuators.

Aside from being cutting edge, this new animation system is both quieter and a lower-profile on the float. This allows for the design of the float to be lower, more unique, and beautiful. It also creates less noise pollution during animation testing and makes communication easier during this time.