Course Overview

Welcome to ECE 445/ME470 Senior Design ZJUI Spring 2022!

Welcome to the class! If you've looked at the course Calendar, you've probably already noticed that this class is quite different from most other classes in the department. The class only meets as a whole for the first four weeks of the semester. During these lectures you will meet the Course Staff, learn about specific requirements, resources, and project choices for the course, and have a chance to meet other students. These are some of the most important weeks for the class since the decisions you make during this time will determine what you'll get out of this class and, in many ways, how much you'll enjoy it.

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 create 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 course is taught hybridly for ME and ECE students, and some projects are mentored by ZJUI faculty. Here are a few items that you will need to consider as we enter into this semester.

Amphibious Spherical Explorer

Featured Project

The amphibious spherical explorer (ASE) is a spherical robot for home monitoring, outdoor adventure or hazardous environment surveillance. Due to the unique shape of the robot, ASE can travel across land, dessert, swamp or even water by itself, or be casted by other devices (e.g. slingshot) to the mission area. ASE has a motion-sensing system based on Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and rotary magnetic encoder, which allows the internal controller to adjust its speed and attitude properly. The well-designed control system makes the robot free of visible wobbliness when it is taking actions like acceleration, deceleration, turning and rest. ASE is also a platform for research on control system design. The parameters of the internal controller can be assigned by an external control panel in computer based on MATLAB Graphic User Interface (GUI) which communicates with the robot via a WiFi network generated by the robot. The response of the robot can be recorded and sent back to the control panel for further analysis. This project is completely open-sourced. People who are interested in the robot can continue this project for more interesting features, such as adding camera for real-time surveillance, or controller design based on machine learning.