Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

John Spinelli

Second Advisor

Jennifer Currey




wingman, barbell, lifter, lifting, spotter


The goal of this project was to design and build a self-spotting bench press. In modern day society, health and fitness have become the focus of many Americans. As a result, working out and weight lifting play a large role in many people’s lives. In order to obtain more strength, one must maximize his/her potential muscle growth by working the muscles until failure. This can be extremely hazardous on the bench press without a human spotter there to provide aid if the circumstances require it. The Wingman is used to replace the role of the spotter and allows lifters to work their muscles until he/she doubts him/herself capable of lifting the barbell. Consequently, the Wingman is able to perform the functions of a human spotter and provides assistance to the lifter when it is necessary. The Wingman recognizes when the lifter can no longer lift the barbell, whether it be from manual activation by the lifter or automatic activation by the system. The Wingman then lifts the barbell and weight vertically away from the lifter. The system is able to compensate for any horizontal or vertical movement of the barbell. The Wingman also displays the number of repetitions and the total time to complete each set. The system is able to accomplish these tasks while maintaining true free weight lifting features. Therefore, the Wingman is a safe alternative to lifting without a human spotter. The Wingman… there to take the fall so you can be the strongest of them all.