Course Overview

Welcome to ECE 445! 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 few weeks of the semester. During these lectures you will meet the Course Staff, learn about specific assignments, requirements, and resources for the course, and have a chance to meet other students to share ideas and form teams. 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.

Outside of lecture, you are expected to be working on your own to develop ideas and form teams. You are also expected to actively participate on the Piazza discussion board to exchange ideas, receive feedback from course staff, and eventually get your project idea approved. Once your team has a project approved, you will be assigned a TA, with whom you will have weekly meetings. Think of your TA as a project manager. Keep in mind that they are not there to do the work for you. Rather, they are there to keep you on track, point you towards resources (both within and outside of the department), and evaluate the result of your efforts.

Expectations and Requirements

We have high expectations for students participating in ECE 445. You are soon to be alumni of one of the top ECE departments of the world. Our alumni hold themselves to high technical and professional standards of conduct. In general, projects are expected to be safe, ethical, and have a level of design complexity commensurate with the rigor of the ECE Illinois curriculum. Requirements for specific assignments due throughout the semester can be found by looking through the Grading Scheme for the course. Please read through this documentation well before each assignment is due. Specific due dates can be found on the course Calendar.

Below are a few words of wisdom to keep in mind throughout the semester to increase your enjoyment and success in the course:

Cypress Robot Kit

Todd Nguyen, Byung Joo Park, Alvin Wu

Cypress Robot Kit

Featured Project

Cypress is looking to develop a robotic kit with the purpose of interesting the maker community in the PSOC and its potential. We will be developing a shield that will attach to a PSoC board that will interface to our motors and sensors. To make the shield, we will design our own PCB that will mount on the PSoC directly. The end product will be a remote controlled rover-like robot (through bluetooth) with sensors to achieve line following and obstacle avoidance.

The modules that we will implement:

- Motor Control: H-bridge and PWM control

- Bluetooth Control: Serial communication with PSoC BLE Module, and phone application

- Line Following System: IR sensors

- Obstacle Avoidance System: Ultrasonic sensor

Cypress wishes to use as many off-the-shelf products as possible in order to achieve a “kit-able” design for hobbyists. Building the robot will be a plug-and-play experience so that users can focus on exploring the capabilities of the PSoC.

Our robot will offer three modes which can be toggled through the app: a line following mode, an obstacle-avoiding mode, and a manual-control mode. In the manual-control mode, one will be able to control the motors with the app. In autonomous modes, the robot will be controlled based off of the input from the sensors.