Project for Computer Science thesis that could benefit the community

Hello! I'm a Computer Science student and next year, we will be doing our thesis project. I'm having a hard time thinking about a project that will use my skills as a programmer and Arduino. Primarily, I've been doing mobile and web applications. I bought Arduino Starter Kit to dig a little bit about hardware and technology though I haven't done complex projects yet but I'm willing to spend my time to learn.

I'm thinking of doing a thesis project that would use Arduino and web/mobile application as to maximize my skills. Usage of powerful algorithm and new technology is also being recommended by our professors. Of course, I would prefer a something that could benefit the community instead of just being a cool project.

If someone has some suggestions, I'll be very glad to hear them. Thanks!

Also, I have this idea of replacing the barcode of each item in a grocery. Maybe RFID? (but it would be so costly) Instead of scanning each item, which is a pain point, the customer could just slide items into a scanner.

Is the Arduino a required part of the project?
Are you expected to use sensors?

What about a "cheap" system that can identify when the next bus is due - so that it could be deployed at most bus stops.

I'm thinking of a simple gadget on each bus that simply identifies its route number. This is detected at a bus stop by an Arduino which broadcasts the number, the location and time to the web. Customers can access the web app with their phone to see almost real time progress of the buses on their route.

This would allow customers waiting for an overdue bus to know that it is coming (or not) and make their plans accordingly. It would also allow people to see the progress of buses before they leave home.

EDIT ... on second thoughts ...
This idea started in my head with the notion of a small display at each bus stop. But if the display is on a phone or PC it would be cheaper to have the active gadget on each bus as there are fewer buses than bus stops.


What about a tracking application for a shop?

Give all shopping cars an ID that are constantly sent to a serve.
The shop manager can see which parts of the shop give most traffic and/or congestion.

You need some smart location mechanism, communication with the server, a webpage with zoom, history view, showing the track from entrance to counter etc.

Think you might need a 2nd student to get this done.

You could also try to track the cell phones of the customers (forbidden in some countries, check yours) as that might give even more information

another idea:

Create the ultimate wheelchair, one that checks battery, tyres, GPS, a heads up display etc. Have a look at the high end automobile market and see what appliances you could map on the wheelchair.
e.g. compare GPS position with home and check if battery is enough to reach home again?
Solar panels (for energy and to provide shade at same time)?

Just go outside and observe.
With everything you see just ask, what is the problem with that? 99% of what you see have some kinds of problem.

A person walking a dog? What are his possible problems? (yes I meant also the dog) What can go wrong? The dog escapes!
  1. Can we predict it will happen? ==> preventive solutions
  2. can we measure it when it happens? ==> immediate action solutions
  3. or only afterwards? ==> delayed reactive solutions

A possible (cat 3) gadget could be an application that can track the dog and possibly “freeze/immobilize” the dog after escape. Of course in an animal friendly way, not some exoskeleton that puts the dog in a parking mode.
Another (cat 3) gadget could be the dog compass that points the direction the dog went.
A (cat 1/2) gadget could measure the distance between you and the dog, or measure that you are still connected to the dog e.g. tension on the rope, some wiring in the rope so if the dog disconnects a switch will go off. Or those things that have a variable ropelength, add a potmeter to it => long length is bigger risk

Note that a part of a good thesis is to learn to use your own creativity.

A person walking a dog? What are his possible problems?

A poop alarm ?

Dog poo is my pet hate.


What about a "cheap" system that can identify when the next bus is due - so that it could be deployed at most bus stops.


This is already a thing. Most bus companies have apps that let you see when the next bus is due. The API allows for expected versus actual ETA. Some apps already have real-time data. This information is part of the NaPTAN data and other apps (such as UK Bus Checker) uses it. Anyone can access it, but may be subject to license fees etc.

I suspect the buses use GPS to report their position.

Probably goes without saying, but you might consider turning generally useful parts of the Arduino code you write into libraries and publicly release them. That could benefit the Arduino community specifically.