Recommended Tools

In addition to the resources that the course provides, students may find it useful to obtain the tools below:

  • wire cutter
  • wire stripper
  • needle nose pliers
  • screwdrivers
  • hex set (ball ends)
  • electrical tape
  • small scissors
  • a small file

Lab Resources

The Senior Design Lab is located at ZJUI room D225. This lab provides you access to various equipment, some spare parts, computers, and a space to work on your senior design project. In addition, course staff will make themselves available in this lab during their office hours to provide guidance on your project throughout the semester. Your weekly meetings with your TA will also likely be at this location.

It is our intention that this laboratory space provides you and your team with all the tools you would need to develop and test your project (within reason, of course!). If there is something that you require in the lab to complete your project that does not exist in the lab, talk to your TA and we will see how we can solve your issue.

Lab Rules

There are two overarching rules of working in the Senior Design Lab (and, frankly, any shared lab). First, be safe, and second, be courteous. Lab privileges will be revoked if you fail to complete the required laboratory safety training or if you break any of the lab rules. Specific points and examples of what we expect:

Breaking the rules or exhibiting bad laboratory etiquette will lead to a loss of points and/or revocation of laboratory access.

Lab Bench Reservations

We do not expect the lab to become so crowded such that finding a lab bench to work at becomes difficult. However, in the case that this does happen (particularly in semesters with very high enrollment), we will move to a Lab Bench Reservation system. Reserving a bench guarantees that spot for you, however each team may only book one lab bench at a time, and for a maximum of 4 hours per day.

If the lab needs to move to a reservation-based system, you will be notified ahead of time.

A few ground rules:

  1. You may use a lab bench (a) during a time for which you have it reserved or (b) any time during which it is not reserved in the system (on a first-come-first-served basis). However, if you are working at a bench that is unreserved and somebody reserves it using the online system, the group with the reservation gets the lab bench.
  2. There is a limit on the amount of time for which you can reserve benches in ZJUI D225. The limit is currently a total of 4 hours of total bench time in the lab per group per day (e.g., 2 hours at Bench A and 2 hours at Bench B would max out your team's reservations for the day). While this may seem restrictive, keep in mind that the course serves more than 30 groups in a typical semester and the lab has only 14 benches. Also keep in mind that you can work at a bench if it is unreserved.
  3. Some lab benches have specialized equipment at them, such as digital logic analyzers. Try to reserve the lab bench that has the equipment that you need.
  4. Cancel reservations that you will not need as soon as possible to give other groups a chance to reserve the lab bench. You can cancel a reservation up to 1 hour before time and not have it count against your daily allotment.
  5. Conflicts and/or reports of people not following these rules should be sent to your TA with the course faculty in copy.
  6. Above all, be courteous. Especially near the end of the semester, the lab will be more crowded and many teams are stressed. Clean up the lab bench when you are done with it. Start and end your sessions on time. Be patient and friendly to your peers and try to resolve conflicts professionally. If we notice empty lab benches that have been reserved, we will cancel your reservations and limit your ability to reserve lab benches in the future. Similarly, do not reserve more time than you will need. If we notice that you are frequently canceling reservations, we will limit your ability to reserve lab benches in the future. Finally, do not try to exploit the system and reserve a bench for 30 minutes every hour for eight hours. We will notice this and revoke your ability to reserve a bench.

Assistive Chessboard

Featured Project

Problem: It can be difficult for a new player to learn chess, especially if they have no one to play with. They would have to resort to online guides which can be distracting when playing with a real board. If they have no one to play with, they would again have to resort to online games which just don't have the same feel as real boards.

Proposal: We plan to create an assistive chess board. The board will have the following features:

-The board will be able to suggest a move by lighting up the square of the move-to space and square under the piece to move.

-The board will light up valid moves when a piece is picked up and flash the placed square if it is invalid.

-We will include a chess clock for timed play with stop buttons for players to signal the end of their turn.

-The player(s) will be able to select different standard time set-ups and preferences for the help displayed by the board.

Implementation Details: The board lights will be an RGB LED under each square of the board. Each chess piece will have a magnetic base which can be detected by a magnetic field sensor under each square. Each piece will have a different strength magnet inside it to ID which piece is what (ie. 6 different magnet sizes for the 6 different types of pieces). Black and white pieces will be distinguished by the polarity of the magnets. The strength and polarity will be read by the same magnetic field sensor under each square. The lights will have different colors for the different piece that it is representing as well as for different signals (ie. An invalid move will flash red).

The chess clock will consist of a 7-segment display in the form of (h:mm:ss) and there will be 2 stop buttons, one for each side, to signal when a player’s turn is over. A third button will be featured near the clock to act as a reset button. The combination of the two stop switches and reset button will be used to select the time mode for the clock. Each side of the board will also have a two toggle-able buttons or switches to control whether move help or suggested moves should be enabled on that side of the board. The state of the decision will be shown by a lit or unlit LED light near the relevant switch.