Lectures :: ECE 445 - Senior Design Laboratory


Spring 2024 Lecture Material:


Pre-Lecture #1:

(before the first lecture)



Brainstorming and Ideation

  • Brainstorming and Ideation slides (pptx)
  • Videos (watch before coming to class)



Lecture #1:

(January 16th)



Getting Started

  • Welcome, Course Overview, and Request for Approval (link)
  • Conflict Management Workshop (link)
  • Pitches
    • Sound Asleep (link) – Maggie Li (mtli2@illinois.edu)
    • AUVI- Continuous Fistula Monitor (link) – Richie Li (rlli4@illinois.edu)
    • Custom Cameras and Sensors for Medical Applications (link) – Professor Viktor Gruev (vgruev@illinois.edu)
    • Custom NIR and Visible Light LEDs for Surgery (link) – Professor Viktor Gruev (vgruev@illinois.edu)
    • Autonomous Underwater Drone (link) – Professor Viktor Gruev (vgruev@illinois.edu)
  • Brainstorming



Pre-Lecture #2:

(before the second lecture)



Beyond Ideation



Lecture #2:

(January 23rd)



Moving Forward

  • Introduction
  • Current Sensing for Electric Vehicles(link) Professor Olga Mironenko (olgamiro@illinois.edu)
  • Machine Shop – Gregg Bennett (gbenntt@illinois.edu)
  • Pitches
    • Autonomous Sailboat (link) – Professor Arne Fliflet (afliflet@illinois.edu)
    • The Watt Balance (link) – Daniella Pope (ddpope2@illinois.edu)
    • GPS Tags for Bat Conservation(link) – Josie Hoppenworth (jch8@illinois.edu)
    • ECEB Submetering(link) – Professor Jonathan Schuh (schuh4@illinois.edu)
  • Senior Design and Lab Safety (link) – Casey Smith (cjsmith0@illinois.edu)
  • PCB Tips (link)


Pre-Lecture #3:

(before the third lecture)



Design and Writing Tips



Lecture #3:

(January 30th)



Last Stop Before RFA

  • Intellectual Property – Dr. Michelle Chitambar (mchitamb@illinois.edu) (link)
  • Writing Center – Dr. Aaron Geiger (ageiger2@illinois.edu) (link)
  • Ethics (link)
  • Lionfish Trap project pitch – Katharine Klugman (klugman3@illinois.edu) (link)
  • Lab Notebook (link)
  • Modular Design (link)
  • R&V Table (link)
  • Proposal (link)
  • Design Review (link)

Spring 2023 Video Lectures:


Finding a Problem (Video)
Generating Solutions (Video)
Diving Deeper (Video)
Voting (Video)
Reverse Brainstorming (Video)
Homework for Everyone (Video)

Important Information

Using the ECE 445 Website (Video)
Lab Notebook (Video , Slides)
Modular Design (Video, Slides)
Circuit Tips and Debugging (Video , Slides)
Eagle CAD Tutorial (Video)
Spring 2018 IEEE Eagle Workshop (Slides)
Spring 2018 IEEE Soldering Workshop (Slides)

Major Assignments and Milestones

Request for Approval (Video, Slides)
Project Proposal (Video, slides)
Design Document (Video, slides)
Design Review (Video, slides)
Writing Tips (Video, slides)


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.