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.

Low Cost Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand

Featured Project

According to the WHO, 80% of amputees are in developing nations, and less than 3% of that 80% have access to rehabilitative care. In a study by Heidi Witteveen, “the lack of sensory feedback was indicated as one of the major factors of prosthesis abandonment.” A low cost myoelectric prosthetic hand interfaced with a sensory substitution system returns functionality, increases the availability to amputees, and provides users with sensory feedback.

We will work with Aadeel Akhtar to develop a new iteration of his open source, low cost, myoelectric prosthetic hand. The current revision uses eight EMG channels, with sensors placed on the residual limb. A microcontroller communicates with an ADC, runs a classifier to determine the user’s type of grip, and controls motors in the hand achieving desired grips at predetermined velocities.

As requested by Aadeel, the socket and hand will operate independently using separate microcontrollers and interface with each other, providing modularity and customizability. The microcontroller in the socket will interface with the ADC and run the grip classifier, which will be expanded so finger velocities correspond to the amplitude of the user’s muscle activity. The hand microcontroller controls the motors and receives grip and velocity commands. Contact reflexes will be added via pressure sensors in fingertips, adjusting grip strength and velocity. The hand microcontroller will interface with existing sensory substitution systems using the pressure sensors. A PCB with a custom motor controller will fit inside the palm of the hand, and interface with the hand microcontroller.