Vacuum Cleaner Perceptions Device

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Group Design Project
Design, build, and test of a device for subjectively evaluating vacuum cleaner noise and vibration perceptions
Group Members
Colm Corr, Max Hodgkins, Vipulesh Kengatharan, Patrick Ludwig, Fenou Kengne, Liam Nash, Brandon Taylor

Supervisors
Dr. Matthew Wright

Supporters
Dyson Ltd

Common methods used to curate feedback on vacuum cleaner sound are often unrealistic. Where a completed product is not available, such as during development of a product, subjective testing cannot perfectly replicate use of the final product. Our project aims to create a device that, while having the outward feel and appearance of an unmodified vacuum cleaner, can be programmed to produce variations on ordinary vacuum sound. During subjective testing, users of the device will evaluate the sound and vibration in more realistic conditions. The device has been created by installing our parts into an existing vacuum body. These included a loudspeaker, vibration actuator, microcontroller, battery, and other supporting electronics. These components are mounted to the chassis through the additive manufacturing of bespoke components. Vacuum noise is synthesized in real-time on the microcontroller, where we have designed digital filters to account for the rig response for a realistic reproduction.

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