Tuofei is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at Stanford. He is currently coadviced by Prof. Abbas El Gamal and Prof. Ram Rajagopal. His research interest is in power system optimization, a.k.a. the future of smart grid.
He obtained his BS and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University. He was adviced by Prof. Aggelos Katsaggelos in the Image and Video Processing Lab (IVPL), where he completed his master thesis on RGB-D SLAM for micro-aerial-vehicles.
Tuofei is originally from Shenzhen, China where the world largest electronics market at Huaqiang Bei stimulated his interest in electrical engineering. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball/soccer, running and backpacking. His favorite basketball player is Manu Ginobili, thus the picture on the right. More pictures of his travel can be found here.
In recent years, micro-aerial-vehicles (MAVs) have gathered interests from different fields: surveillance, search and rescue, remote sensing and photography. However, most of such missions have been conducted outdoor where GPS data is available for localization and control. Maneuvering an MAV indoor autonomously, where GPS is unavailable, remains a challenging problem formulated as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).
In this project, I built an MAV system that relies on an RGB-Depth sensor for navigation and path planning. I demonstrated the capability of it executing autonomous missions indoor. See here and here for more details.
As a part of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) at Northwestern, SmartTree is a student-run design project aimed to bring solar energy to Northwestern and get the community involved in sustainability. SmartTree provides a ‘trunk’ of solar-powered AC and USB outlets centered around a seating area, so anyone can bring his or her laptop or phone outside without having to worry about running low on battery. Having SmartTree on campus will not only allow students to best utilize technology outdoors, but also raise awareness for the potential solutions clean energy can bring to everyday life.
I led the design and construction of the electrical system, which consists of eight solar panels, maximum power point trackers (MPPTs), four 36V lead acid battery packs, battery management system and user interface, which includes AC and USB outlets and a screen that displays energy generated by the 'tree'. More detail about the design can be found here
I worked on the Northwestern Solarcar Electrical team for two years. I helped design and source power electronics system of our previous car SC6, including interface between solar array, MPPT, Li-ion battery pack and the battery management system.
Some boards I have designed can be found in the PCB section. I really like working on it unfortunately I have to leave the team due to other commitmants. (miss y'all solar car peeps)
While working for Keurig, I developed a bar code reading prototype for their coffee machine. Yep you're a right, a coffee machine that can read bar code. dumb idea isn't it? The idea is that Keurig want to identify the beverage you put in the machine and adopt different brewing process. I developed a prototype that uses a small camera module to take a picture of the bar code that's attached to the side of the cup and recognize it. I stripped down the coffee machine to its PCB and TFT screen and used the native micro-controller on the coffee machine to interface with the camera and process the image.
Over the course of modeling and simulation there're a few mini project that I found interesting. Here're some of them.
Self-driving car isn't that hard (come on Uber/Tesla/Google!). Jk, this is a simple mechatronics project that I built to use a phone camera to track the course. The phone talks to a PIC32 micro via USB-CDC, then the PIC32 in turn control a motor to follow the course. More info can be found here. The control needs a lot of tuning but this project focuses more on the system integration side instead of the actual image processing and control. That's why the car zigzag a bit along the course
I've designed various PCBs for courses, work and projects. The thumbnail is my first project using EAGLE for PCB design, its a simple Arduino equiped with a Atmega328P microcontroller. It can be programmed by the Arduino IDE via an FTDI interface. Some other examples are here .
One of the first embedded system project I took on. We hacked an electric toothbrush by adding an IR emittor to it with an oscillator to generate a pulse. On the screen side, we have an IR receiver that detects a specific frequency. When the user turned on the electric toothbrush, it will automatically trigger the screen to play an instruction video on how to brush teeth properly.