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:

Low Cost Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand

Michael Fatina, Jonathan Pan-Doh, Edward Wu

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.

Project Videos