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Old 01-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
Borkil
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Default Need idea for senior design

My group is having trouble thinking of an idea to design and implement.

Here are the requirements

Design Project Specifications
Work on the design project is to be completed in teams of four students. The design project
topic is flexible, and each group is encouraged to pick a product that uses the strengths and
interest areas of their group members. The design must have the following components:

Microcontroller:To help make the project tractable, recommended microcontroller choices
include Freescale, PIC, and Atmel variants. Development tools are readily available in lab to
support these devices. Further, the devices themselves are relatively low cost and readily
available. Optionally, auxiliary processing can be accomplished using a “motherboard”.
Examples of these directly supported are Intel Atomand ARM-based platforms.

Interface to Something:Your embedded system must interface to some other device or
devices. It could be a computer, or it could be some embedded device such as a Palm Pilot,
telephone line, TV, etc. Some interface standards that could be used are: serial to a
computer, parallel to a computer, Universal Serial Bus (USB), Firewire, Ethernet, Infrared
(IR), Radio Frequency (RF), etc. This requirement has a large amount of freedom. To help
with some of the more complex interfaces such as Ethernet, USB, or Firewire there are
dedicated chips which encapsulate the lowest layersof the interface. This makes using these
interfaces easier to handle but not necessarily trivial. Be sure to investigate the interface(s)
you wish to utilize and make a reasonable choice. (NOTE: Interfaces involving A.C. line
current require special permission – see the instructor for details.)

Custom printed circuit board:Through the process of the design, each group willbe
required to draw a detailed schematic. From the schematic, a two-layer printed circuit board
will be created. Board etching will be processed by the ECE Department (the first one is
“free”, but any subsequent iterations are the team’s responsibility). The team is then
responsible for populating the board (solder the parts on the board), and for completing the
final stages of debugging and testing on their custom board.

Be of personal interest to at least two team members:It is very difficult to devote the
time and energy required to successfully complete a major design project in which you
and/or your team members have no personal interest.There are lots of possibilities, ranging
from toys and games to “useful and socially redeeming” household items, like audio signal
processors and security systems.

Be tractable:You should have a “basic idea” of how to implement your project, and the
relative hardware/software complexity involved. For example, you should not design an
“internet appliance” if you have no idea how TCP/IPworks. Also, plan to use parts that are
reasonably priced, have reasonable footprints, and are readily available. Be cognizant of the
prototyping limitations associated with surface mount components.

Be neatly packaged:The finished project should be packaged in a reasonably neat, physical
sound, environmentally safe fashion. Complete specification and CAD layout of the
packaging represents one of the project design components.

Not involve a significant amount of “physical” construction:The primary objective of the
project is to learn more about digital systemdesign, not mechanical engineering! Therefore,


Our first idea was to make a wifi (voip) portable "phone" but they shot that down because of cellphones. The second idea is to make a electronic monoply game board that connects to android devices so you can see your properties and money. They haven't shot that one down yet but they didn't seem to care for it. So anyone have an idea what to do?
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Last edited by Borkil; 01-22-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
Sleepingforest
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A tablet representation of a computer. Anything you do on the tablet is sent as input to the computer, with both a "mouse" mode (so it's like a laptop trackpad and the screen is off) and a "screen" mode (so you can use touch gestures). Meant specifically to make people feel better about Windows 8. While it's not in use as a touch device, it can display an RSS feed or something.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepingforest View Post
A tablet representation of a computer. Anything you do on the tablet is sent as input to the computer, with both a "mouse" mode (so it's like a laptop trackpad and the screen is off) and a "screen" mode (so you can use touch gestures). Meant specifically to make people feel better about Windows 8. While it's not in use as a touch device, it can display an RSS feed or something.
There are several applications that can do things like that.

We had our senior design projects handed to us, you are lucky. If you want examples to get you thinking, these are the projects from the semester I had it. http://www.egr.msu.edu/classes/ece48...mariesSp12.htm

I was on team 3, the "Android Enabled Programmable Camera Positioning System"
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:07 AM   #4
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Bluetooth sensor package that syncs to a tablet/phone? Temperature, humidity, pressure, weight scale, etc. Could be interesting depending on how it's packaged.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:29 AM   #5
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Start at the beginning. What are your and, your team mates, interests?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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If you seriously cannot think of something then you might want to consider whether you in the right field. You should not have any difficulty here. The possibilities are endless. I loved working on projects like this. This is how you get a job after graduating by the way... you wow your instructor with your design and get a letter of recommendation from them.

If I was in school today I would take a simple counter circuit, some hall effect sensors, and a gyro circuit and mount it all onto an RC car. Then write a program to scan and capture a room's dimensions based on data from the counter and gyro. As I drive the car around the room, the room will map itself out on the computer screen.

With android, arduino, and bluetooth, you can do all sorts of crazy cool stuff with an RC car. Just because a whole bunch of people already drive all sorts of stuff with their phones doesnt mean you cant expand upon it further.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm625 View Post
If you seriously cannot think of something then you might want to consider whether you in the right field. You should not have any difficulty here. The possibilities are endless. I loved working on projects like this. This is how you get a job after graduating by the way... you wow your instructor with your design and get a letter of recommendation from them.

If I was in school today I would take a simple counter circuit, some hall effect sensors, and a gyro circuit and mount it all onto an RC car. Then write a program to scan and capture a room's dimensions based on data from the counter and gyro. As I drive the car around the room, the room will map itself out on the computer screen.

With android, arduino, and bluetooth, you can do all sorts of crazy cool stuff with an RC car. Just because a whole bunch of people already drive all sorts of stuff with their phones doesnt mean you cant expand upon it further.
I agree. What disturbs me most is this is a senior project and the OP doesn't seem to know how to apply problem solving techniques to determine a viable project topic. Lead with your strengths and interests.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:51 AM   #8
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Here are a ton of old projects from our senior design class at UIUC:
http://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece...ome&p=Projects

There's a search function and plenty of documentation to get your gears turning.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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That's actually quite a restrictive project. When we were given ours, we had pretty much free reign on choice, it just had to be approved.

Would you happen to be on the East Coast, preferably in NJ or around the NJ area? We actually have quite a few senior design projects here that we send out to the local universities. I know of at least one that might fit your bill...
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