Lab Notebook

Video, Slides

Keeping a professional record of your design work is a requirement of the course. If maintained properly, lab notebooks serve as an official and legal record of the development of the intellectual property related to your project. It also serves as a way to document and track changes to your design, results of all tests performed, and the effort you have put into your project. A well-kept notebook will simplify writing of all required documentation for this course (design review, final paper, etc) as all of the information in those documents should already exist in your notebook. Finally, keeping a notebook is simply good engineering practice and likely will be required by future employers, so it is a good idea to get in the habit of maintaining one now.

The Book

Any notebook with permanent bindings designed for laboratory record keeping is acceptable. Notebooks should have pre-numbered pages and square grids on their pages. We will not accept normal spiral-bound notebooks, as these are not permissible in court since pages can be easily replaced. While most of you probably won't be taking your design to court, we want to teach you to get into the habit of keeping legally acceptable records. Some of you may decide you do want to patent your project, so it will be very beneficial to have given yourself the legal advantage from the start.

Electronic Notebook

Alternatively, lab notebooks may be kept digitally as Markdown documents in a Git repo on Github or Gitlab, as in the example below. See a complete example of a 445 Git repo here.

notebooks/
├── alex/
│   ├── README.md
│   └── an_image.png
├── pouya/
│   └── README.md
└── nick/
    ├── README.md
    └── another_image.png
	

Notebook entries:

Each complete entry should include:

  1. Date
  2. Brief statement of objectives for that session
  3. Record of what was done

The record will include equations, diagrams, and figures. These should be numbered for reference in the narrative portion of the book. Written entries and equations should appear on the right-hand page of each pair. Drawn figures, diagrams, and photocopies extracted from published sources should be placed on the left-hand side, which is graph-ruled. All separate documents should be permanently attached to the notebook. All hand-written entries must be made in pen.

Overall, the book should contain a record that is clear and complete, so that someone else can follow progress, understand problems, and understand decisions that were made in designing and executing the project.

What to include:

There is always something to record:

Suppose you are only "kicking around" design ideas for the project with someone, or scanning library sources. Your objective is what you're hoping to find. The record shows what you found or what you decided and why, even if it isn't final.

One of the most common errors is to fail to record these seemingly "unimportant" activities. Down the road, they may prove crucial in understanding when and where a particular idea came from.

Submission and Deadlines

Lab notebooks must be submitted at lab checkout on Reading Day. If you are unable to attend lab checkout, please make arrangements with your TA ahead of time.

Cypress Robot Kit

Todd Nguyen, Byung Joo Park, Alvin Wu

Cypress Robot Kit

Featured Project

Cypress is looking to develop a robotic kit with the purpose of interesting the maker community in the PSOC and its potential. We will be developing a shield that will attach to a PSoC board that will interface to our motors and sensors. To make the shield, we will design our own PCB that will mount on the PSoC directly. The end product will be a remote controlled rover-like robot (through bluetooth) with sensors to achieve line following and obstacle avoidance.

The modules that we will implement:

- Motor Control: H-bridge and PWM control

- Bluetooth Control: Serial communication with PSoC BLE Module, and phone application

- Line Following System: IR sensors

- Obstacle Avoidance System: Ultrasonic sensor

Cypress wishes to use as many off-the-shelf products as possible in order to achieve a “kit-able” design for hobbyists. Building the robot will be a plug-and-play experience so that users can focus on exploring the capabilities of the PSoC.

Our robot will offer three modes which can be toggled through the app: a line following mode, an obstacle-avoiding mode, and a manual-control mode. In the manual-control mode, one will be able to control the motors with the app. In autonomous modes, the robot will be controlled based off of the input from the sensors.