Request for Approval


The request for approval (RFA) is the very first step in successfully completing a senior design project. Before submitting your RFA, you must post your project idea to the Web Board using the "Idea" post type. Once your idea has been fleshed out through the Web Board, you can move on request for approval through PACE under the My Project page. Once submitted, your project will be cloned to the Web Board as "Project Request" post. You can edit the project on the My Project page, add your teammates and see comments from the instructors. The course staff may provide feedback on your idea (which will appear at the bottom of your project's page), or suggest changes in the scope of the project and ask you to re-submit an RFA. Based on your incorporation of feedback your project will be approved or rejected. If it is rejected, the My Project page will revert back to it's original format and your project will disappear.

Once the course staff has approved the project idea, you will receive instructions on how to submit your project through PACE, at which time you will be assigned a project number in the Projects list, a TA, and a locker in the lab. Once your project is approved, please go to the Projects page, log into the PACE system, and make sure all of the information is correct.

Video Lecture

Video, Slides

Requirements and Grading

The RFA is graded credit/no credit based on whether your project is approved before the deadline. Note that submitting an RFA before the deadline does not guarantee approval before the deadline. The RFA is submitted through PACE under the My Project page, and should be Markdown-formatted with the following information:

# Title

Team Members:
- Student 1 (netid)
- Student 2 (netid)
- Student 3 (netid)

# Problem

Describe the problem you want to solve and motivate the need.

# Solution

Describe your design at a high-level, how it solves the problem, and introduce the subsystems of your project.

# Solution Components

## Subsystem 1

Explain what the subsystem does.  Explicitly list what sensors/components you will use in this subsystem.  Include part numbers.

## Subsystem 2

## ...

# Criterion For Success

Describe high-level goals that your project needs to achieve to be effective.  These goals need to be clearly testable and not subjective.

Projects must be legal and ethical. They must have significant scope and complexity commensurate with the size of the team. This is, of course, a subjective assessment of the course staff. To gain some insight into this judgment, please browse projects from previous semesters. The project must involve the design of a significant hardware component at the circuit level. In exceptional cases, projects not meeting this criteria may be acceptable when augmented by a Special Circuit assignment (however this is typically a last resort).

Beyond these basic requirements, you have total discretion in proposing a project. This is a great opportunity for you to pursue your own interests. Since you choose your own projects, we expect a high level of enthusiasm from you and your team.

Submission and Deadlines

The RFA submission deadline may be found on the Course Calendar. Typically, approval of the RFA is due during the afternoon of the third Thursday of the semester.

Quick Tips and Helpful Hints

Posting: Choosing a project: Choosing partners: Some general project ideas that are fraught with pitfalls:


Aashish Kapur, Connor Lake, Scott Liu


Featured Project

# People

Scott Liu - sliu125

Connor Lake - crlake2

Aashish Kapur - askapur2

# Problem

Buses are scheduled inefficiently. Traditionally buses are scheduled in 10-30 minute intervals with no regard the the actual load of people at any given stop at a given time. This results in some buses being packed, and others empty.

# Solution Overview

Introducing the _BusPlan_: A network of smart detectors that actively survey the amount of people waiting at a bus stop to determine the ideal amount of buses at any given time and location.

To technically achieve this, the device will use a wifi chip to listen for probe requests from nearby wifi-devices (we assume to be closely correlated with the number of people). It will use a radio chip to mesh network with other nearby devices at other bus stops. For power the device will use a solar cell and Li-Ion battery.

With the existing mesh network, we also are considering hosting wifi at each deployed location. This might include media, advertisements, localized wifi (restricted to bus stops), weather forecasts, and much more.

# Solution Components

## Wifi Chip

- esp8266 to wake periodically and listen for wifi probe requests.

## Radio chip

- NRF24L01 chip to connect to nearby devices and send/receive data.

## Microcontroller

- Microcontroller (Atmel atmega328) to control the RF chip and the wifi chip. It also manages the caching and sending of data. After further research we may not need this microcontroller. We will attempt to use just the ens86606 chip and if we cannot successfully use the SPI interface, we will use the atmega as a middleman.

## Power Subsystem

- Solar panel that will convert solar power to electrical power

- Power regulator chip in charge of taking the power from the solar panel and charging a small battery with it

- Small Li-Ion battery to act as a buffer for shady moments and rainy days

## Software and Server

- Backend api to receive and store data in mongodb or mysql database

- Data visualization frontend

- Machine learning predictions (using LSTM model)

# Criteria for Success

- Successfully collect an accurate measurement of number of people at bus stops

- Use data to determine optimized bus deployment schedules.

- Use data to provide useful visualizations.

# Ethics and Safety

It is important to take into consideration the privacy aspect of users when collecting unique device tokens. We will make sure to follow the existing ethics guidelines established by IEEE and ACM.

There are several potential issues that might arise under very specific conditions: High temperature and harsh environment factors may make the Li-Ion batteries explode. Rainy or moist environments may lead to short-circuiting of the device.

We plan to address all these issues upon our project proposal.

# Competitors

Accuware currently has a device that helps locate wifi devices. However our devices will be tailored for bus stops and the data will be formatted in a the most productive ways from the perspective of bus companies.