Sam DeBruin

3005 Whisperwood Dr.
Apt 288
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Tel: (240) 672-2451

Research Projects:

  • PowerBlade

    By building on the experiences of Monjolo and PowerCube (below) we created PowerBlade. This plug load power metering system is so thin that devices literally plug though it into the outlet. This miniaturization enables extreme density of deployment, even higher than what PowerCube originally offered.

    We published our findings at SenSys'15, and a link to the complete text can be found below.

    PowerBlade Webpage

    PowerBlade Github

  • Monjolo (CoilCube)

    Recent advances in energy harvesting technology has made possible a host of energy harvesting applications previously unavailable due to power draw, energy availabilty, etc. Monjolo is a new wireless sensing paradigm that relies on energy harvesting to be the sensor - frequency of wakeups can be directly mapped to energy availability. This means that a central listener can listen for wireless packets (signifying a wakeup) and accurately infer the power source underneath.

    In order to test this design we have built several monjolo-based sensors, including CoilCube, the monjolo-based AC plug load power meter. Myself and Brad Campbell published our findings in SenSys '13. A link to the complete text can be found below.

    Monjolo Webpage

  • PowerCube

    With the explosive boom in power demand, a huge strain has been put on the power generation infrastructure in the world. What the Cubic Inch Power Meter project attempts to provide is a simple, straightforward way for power consumers to be informed about the power use in their home or office. The hope is that an informed user will use this information to reduce their own power usage.

    The device fits into an unobtrusive cubic inch form factor and monitors power use in individual wall sockets. This information is fed into a central database where it is aggregated and displayed to the user over the Internet.

    PowerCube Wiki

  • BlueLogic Logic Analyzer

    We are working on designing an ultra-low cost logic analyzer that operates over a Bluetooth link. Our design involves a Spartan FPGA and the Roving Networks RN-42.

    Challenges to this project involve a high sampling rate a low bandwidth Bluetooth link. Our low cost criterion restricts the use of extensive on board storage but our goal is 20MSamples/second and 256K samples recorded.

  • Environmental Sensing

    Working under Professor Robert Dick at the University of Michigan as well as engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and abroad, I am helping to design and build a device for monitoring air quality.


  • PowerBlade: A Low-Profile, True-Power, Plug-Through Energy Meter
    Samuel DeBruin, Branden Ghena, Ye-Sheng Kuo, Prabal Dutta
    SenSys '15 (Embedded Networked Sensor Systems)
    Full Text
  • Monjolo: An Energy-Harvesting Energy Meter Architecture
    Samuel DeBruin, Bradford Campbell, Prabal Dutta
    SenSys '13 (Embedded Networked Sensor Systems)
    Full Text


  • SkySpecs. SkySpecs is a local Ann Arbor startup founded in 2012 by Danny Ellis, Tom Brady, and myself. We aim to lower the barrier to entry of drones by making them safer and easier to use. We three were many of the original members of MAAV and when we graduated we attempted to commercialize our technology. To date we have raised over $1.4M in capital and have received numerous accolades at local business competitions and accelerators.

  • Endectra. Endectra is commercializing a revolutionary material innovation which enables highly sensitive, rugged, low power, and directional detection of neutron radiation. This is a key element in U.S. national security, multinational anti-terrorism activities, and global prevention of nuclear isotope proliferation because neutrons emitted from illicit nuclear materials are very difficult to shield.

  • Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles. MAAV is a multi-diciplinary team of student engineers from EECS and Aerospace Engineering. Founded in 2009, MAAV builds autonomous quadrocoptors for the International Aerial Robotics Competition every summer. For several years I was the team lead for the hardware subteam, designing and creating printed circuit boards for the flight systems.


  • Resume
  • In order to save costs while producing high quality circuit boards, I have developed a technique for creating custom solder stencils using Cadsoft Eagle and AutoDesk AutoCAD. The technique uses a laser cutter. A pdf describing how to produce the necessairy files can be found here. A tutorial for using this file to actually cut the stencil can be found here.