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.

Electronic Automatic Transmission for Bicycle

Tianqi Liu, Ruijie Qi, Xingkai Zhou

Featured Project

Tianqi Liu(tliu51)

Ruijie Qi(rqi2)

Xingkai Zhou(xzhou40)

Sometimes bikers might not which gear is the optimal one to select. Bicycle changes gears by pulling or releasing a steel cable mechanically. We could potentially automate gear changing by hooking up a servo motor to the gear cable. We could calculate the optimal gear under current condition by using several sensors: two hall effect sensors, one sensing cadence from the paddle and the other one sensing the overall speed from the wheel, we could also use pressure sensors on the paddle to determine how hard the biker is paddling. With these sensors, it would be sufficient enough for use detect different terrains since the biker tend to go slower and pedal slower for uphill or go faster and pedal faster for downhill. With all these information from the sensors, we could definitely find out the optimal gear electronically. We plan to take care of the shifting of rear derailleur, if we have more time we may consider modifying the front as well.

Besides shifting automatically, we plan to add a manual mode to our project as well. With manual mode activated, the rider could override the automatic system and select the gear on its own.

We found out another group did electronic bicycle shifting in Spring 2016, but they didn't have a automatic function and didn't have the sensor set-up like ours. Commercially, both SRAM and SHIMANO have electronic shifting products, but these products integrate the servo motor inside the derailleurs, and they have a price tag over $1000. Only professionals or rich enthusiasts can have a hand on them. As our system could potentially serve as an add-on device to all bicycles with gears, it would be much cheaper.

Project Videos