Senior capstone design classes allow for both a theoretical and physical basis for learning the principles of the product realization process. By providing an example of the design process for a senior capstone project studied at Carnegie Mellon University, this work highlights insights gained about both the mechanical design process and the product itself. The product studied in this work is an umbrella check system that utilizes Radio Frequency Identification to create a tracking system for a communal resource. The product itself represents a departure from umbrellas as a personal item into use as common good within a community, which has important economic and environmental effects. This work will highlight the various product realization processes that took place in order to translate the product from a user need to a final design, including a traffic analysis based on Markov Models and the construction of several prototypes.

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