Course Overview

COVID-19 Instructions for ECE 445 Senior Design

We require everyone who uses the 445 lab in ECEB to adhere to the following lab policies regarding COVID-19.

  • You must wear a mask at all times while in the lab.
  • You must clean and disinfect your workstation when you are finished with it.
  • Welcome!

    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 web 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:

    Electronic Replacement for COVID-19 Building Monitors @ UIUC

    Patrick McBrayer, Zewen Rao, Yijie Zhang

    Featured Project

    Team Members: Patrick McBrayer, Yijie Zhang, Zewen Rao

    Problem Statement:

    Students who volunteer to monitor buildings at UIUC are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 itself, and passing it on to others before they are aware of the infection. Due to this, I propose a project that would create a technological solution to this issue using physical 2-factor authentication through the “airlock” style doorways we have at ECEB and across campus.

    Solution Overview:

    As we do not have access to the backend of the Safer Illinois application, or the ability to use campus buildings as a workspace for our project, we will be designing a proof of concept 2FA system for UIUC building access. Our solution would be composed of two main subsystems, one that allows initial entry into the “airlock” portion of the building using a scannable QR code, and the other that detects the number of people that entered the space, to determine whether or not the user will be granted access to the interior of the building.

    Solution Components:

    Subsystem #1: Initial Detection of Building Access

    - QR/barcode scanner capable of reading the code presented by the user, that tells the system whether that person has been granted or denied building access. (An example of this type of sensor: (https://www.amazon.com/Barcode-Reading-Scanner-Electronic-Connector/dp/B082B8SVB2/ref=sr_1_11?dchild=1&keywords=gm65+scanner&qid=1595651995&sr=8-11)

    - QR code generator using C++/Python to support the QR code scanner.

    - Microcontroller to receive the information from the QR code reader and decode the information, then decide whether to unlock the door, or keep it shut. (The microcontroller would also need an internal timer, as we plan on encoding a lifespan into the QR code, therefore making them unusable after 4 days).

    - LED Light to indicate to the user whether or not access was granted.

    - Electronic locking mechanism to open both sets of doors.

    Subsystem #2: Airlock Authentication of a Single User

    - 2 aligned sensors ( one tx and other is rx) on the bottom of the door that counts the number of people crossing a certain line. (possibly considering two sets of these, so the person could not jump over, or move under the sensors. Most likely having the second set around the middle of the door frame.

    - Microcontroller to decode the information provided by the door sensors, and then determine the number of people who have entered the space. Based on this information we can either grant or deny access to the interior building.

    - LED Light to indicate to the user if they have been granted access.

    - Possibly a speaker at this stage as well, to tell the user the reason they have not been granted access, and letting them know the

    incident has been reported if they attempted to let someone into the building.

    Criterion of Success:

    - Our system generates valid QR codes that can be read by our scanner, and the data encoded such as lifespan of the code and building access is transmitted to the microcontroller.

    - Our 2FA detection of multiple entries into the space works across a wide range of users. This includes users bound to wheelchairs, and a wide range of heights and body sizes.