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:

    BusPlan

    Aashish Kapur, Connor Lake, Scott Liu

    BusPlan

    Featured Project

    # People

    Scott Liu - sliu125

    Connor Lake - crlake2

    Aashish Kapur - askapur2

    # Problem

    Buses are scheduled inefficiently. Traditionally buses are scheduled in 10-30 minute intervals with no regard the the actual load of people at any given stop at a given time. This results in some buses being packed, and others empty.

    # Solution Overview

    Introducing the _BusPlan_: A network of smart detectors that actively survey the amount of people waiting at a bus stop to determine the ideal amount of buses at any given time and location.

    To technically achieve this, the device will use a wifi chip to listen for probe requests from nearby wifi-devices (we assume to be closely correlated with the number of people). It will use a radio chip to mesh network with other nearby devices at other bus stops. For power the device will use a solar cell and Li-Ion battery.

    With the existing mesh network, we also are considering hosting wifi at each deployed location. This might include media, advertisements, localized wifi (restricted to bus stops), weather forecasts, and much more.

    # Solution Components

    ## Wifi Chip

    - esp8266 to wake periodically and listen for wifi probe requests.

    ## Radio chip

    - NRF24L01 chip to connect to nearby devices and send/receive data.

    ## Microcontroller

    - Microcontroller (Atmel atmega328) to control the RF chip and the wifi chip. It also manages the caching and sending of data. After further research we may not need this microcontroller. We will attempt to use just the ens86606 chip and if we cannot successfully use the SPI interface, we will use the atmega as a middleman.

    ## Power Subsystem

    - Solar panel that will convert solar power to electrical power

    - Power regulator chip in charge of taking the power from the solar panel and charging a small battery with it

    - Small Li-Ion battery to act as a buffer for shady moments and rainy days

    ## Software and Server

    - Backend api to receive and store data in mongodb or mysql database

    - Data visualization frontend

    - Machine learning predictions (using LSTM model)

    # Criteria for Success

    - Successfully collect an accurate measurement of number of people at bus stops

    - Use data to determine optimized bus deployment schedules.

    - Use data to provide useful visualizations.

    # Ethics and Safety

    It is important to take into consideration the privacy aspect of users when collecting unique device tokens. We will make sure to follow the existing ethics guidelines established by IEEE and ACM.

    There are several potential issues that might arise under very specific conditions: High temperature and harsh environment factors may make the Li-Ion batteries explode. Rainy or moist environments may lead to short-circuiting of the device.

    We plan to address all these issues upon our project proposal.

    # Competitors

    https://www.accuware.com/products/locate-wifi-devices/

    Accuware currently has a device that helps locate wifi devices. However our devices will be tailored for bus stops and the data will be formatted in a the most productive ways from the perspective of bus companies.