Current Projects


Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV)

The Guadalupe River is an urban northward flowing river that is home to the endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. The South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (SBCCC) is an organization whose purpose is to restore and revitalize the waterways in the Santa Clara Watershed. In order to preserve the waterways, more information needs to be gathered regarding these fish species to verify the fact they are spawning throughout. 

To help aid in their search, a team of engineering students from San Jose State University are building an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) to photograph and monitor the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Its main purpose will be identifying naturally occurring fish versus hatchery fish with identification of the adipose fin. There are many challenges the team must overcome such as shallow water, murkiness, strong currents, and creating a user-friendly interface. 

The Spartan ASV will be able to navigate autonomously and with the use of sensors and sonar, take clear underwater photos of the fish with its corresponding GPS coordinates. Students will develop skills to solve real world problems not just relating to engineering and be able to collaborate in a multi-disciplined design team. Ultimately, autonomy is the world being built around us, and SJSU Spartan ASV will prepare a team of engineers to develop our future.

Community Partner: South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition


Automated Color Imaging Testing


Aquaponics is a popular aquaculture system in which waste produced by the fish in an aquarium are used to supply nutrients to a garden which in turn purifies the water returning to the aquarium. Our community partner, The Tech Interactive, has an aquaponics system consisting of a 50 gallon aquarium housing various freshwater fish connected to a vegetable garden growing various produce.

There is a very delicate balance between the aquarium system and the garden system. In order to make sure that the closed-loop system is healthy, we must regularly monitor of the delicate bio-chemical processes; Variances in the levels of ammonia (NH3), phosphate (PO43−), nitrites (NO−2), nitrates (NO3), pH, and temperature are significant as it has an effect on the overall health of the aquarium and garden.

Our aim is to provide an affordable and easy to use solution to measure water quality levels inside of an aquaponic system. Our automatic water quality testing device consisting of an Arduino Mega and color sensors will periodically sample circulating water, mechanically mix several testing solutions, and provide the results using color identification. The resulting color change will be displayed on a monitor as well as being logged into a database. It will alert the user if any of the parameters enter an unsafe range. Our device will help simplify the urban gardener's overall maintenance process and increase the longevity of their aquaponics system.

Community Partner: The Tech Interactive


Plastic Recycler for 3D printer


The SJSU engineering makerspace would like to have a system to collect, process, and reuse three different types of plastics; PET, PLA and ABS. This will help the college of engineering’s community by supplying a renewable material for 3D printing; thus, reducing the environmental impact of the campus community and saving resources by reducing the expenses of purchasing those materials.

In this project, EPICS students will design and build two machines. One machine will shreds these plastics into feedstock. The second machine will melt the plastic feedstock and then extrude it into 3D printer filament. This filament can then be used for most 3D printed projects manufactured in the community at only a small fraction of the cost on the college of engineering.


Community Partner: SJSU Makerspace



Learn about past projects.