Course Overview

COVID-19 Instructions for ECE 445 Senior Design in Fall 2020

Hello everyone! As you probably know, in this course you will form teams and propose projects that solve an engineering problem in a unique way. The projects generally involve a device that you will design, build, and demonstrate. We are excited to see what projects you come up with this semester! In the midst of an ever changing learning environment we want to encourage you to think, create, design, and build exemplary projects. We want to ensure that your experience in 445 demonstrates your potential as an engineer graduating from the University of Illinois.

This semester we face the challenge of conducting the course during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of students and staff is the paramount concern and while steps have been taken to ensure the lab environment is safe, we recognize that some students will be taking the course online only. In addition, we have to be prepared for the possibility that the university could transition to remote learning only before the Thanksgiving break. This has led us to make some changes in the course format and means we all need to do some contingency planning.

The course this semester consists of two sections: Students who will have access to the Senior Design Laboratory are in Section H. Students who will be online-only are in Section ONL. We expect that project teams will be a mix of in-person and online-only students and that work on each project will be distributed fairly among the team members. With this in mind, here are a few items that you will need to consider as we enter into this semester.

Recovery-Monitoring Knee Brace

Dong Hyun Lee, Jong Yoon Lee, Dennis Ryu

Featured Project

Problem:

Thanks to modern technology, it is easy to encounter a wide variety of wearable fitness devices such as Fitbit and Apple Watch in the market. Such devices are designed for average consumers who wish to track their lifestyle by counting steps or measuring heartbeats. However, it is rare to find a product for the actual patients who require both the real-time monitoring of a wearable device and the hard protection of a brace.

Personally, one of our teammates ruptured his front knee ACL and received reconstruction surgery a few years ago. After ACL surgery, it is common to wear a knee brace for about two to three months for protection from outside impacts, fast recovery, and restriction of movement. For a patient who is situated in rehabilitation after surgery, knee protection is an imperative recovery stage, but is often overlooked. One cannot deny that such a brace is also cumbersome to put on in the first place.

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Solution:

Our group aims to make a wearable device for people who require a knee brace by adding a health monitoring system onto an existing knee brace. The fundamental purpose is to protect the knee, but by adding a monitoring system we want to provide data and a platform for both doctor and patients so they can easily check the current status/progress of the injury.

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Audience:

1) Average person with leg problems

2) Athletes with leg injuries

3) Elderly people with discomforts

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Equipment:

Temperature sensors : perhaps in the form of electrodes, they will be used to measure the temperature of the swelling of the knee, which will indicate if recovery is going smoothly.

Pressure sensors : they will be calibrated such that a certain threshold of force must be applied by the brace to the leg. A snug fit is required for the brace to fulfill its job.

EMG circuit : we plan on constructing an EMG circuit based on op-amps, resistors, and capacitors. This will be the circuit that is intended for doctors, as it will detect muscle movement.

Development board: our main board will transmit the data from each of the sensors to a mobile interface via. Bluetooth. The user will be notified when the pressure sensors are not tight enough. For our purposes, the battery on the development will suffice, and we will not need additional dry cells.

The data will be transmitted to a mobile system, where it would also remind the user to wear the brace if taken off. To make sure the brace has a secure enough fit, pressure sensors will be calibrated to determine accordingly. We want to emphasize the hardware circuits that will be supplemented onto the leg brace.

We want to emphasize on the hardware circuit portion this brace contains. We have tested the temperature and pressure resistors on a breadboard by soldering them to resistors, and confirmed they work as intended by checking with a multimeter.

Project Videos