Grading Scheme

The grading scheme for the course, as well as links to specific requirements for each assignment/deliverable and evaluation sheets, are given in the table below. Due dates for each assignment/deliverable can be found on the course Calendar. Please note:

  • There is a 25% penalty per business day for any late submissions. "Late" means handed in after the deadline. Thus, if the deadline is 5pm and you hand in an assignment at 5:01pm, you will be penalized. The penalties are cumulative. If an assignment is due at 5pm on Monday and you hand it in at 5:01pm on Tuesday (two days late), your grade will be (1-25%)^2 of the grade you would have received had you turned it in on time.
  • Some assignments are "Individual" and team members are individually responsible for completing the assignment on time and will receive an individual grade. Many assignments are "Team" assignments and a single deliverable is handed in by the team. In most cases, all team members will receive the same grade on these assignments. However, the course staff reserves the right to "break up" any group's work and grade individually. This will be done if we feel the work or work quality has not been evenly distributed between group members.
  • The evaluation sheets provide a sense of what we are looking for with each deliverable. You should keep in mind, though, that the evaluation is not strictly binary. In other words, just because you have "checked off" each component described in the evaluation sheet does not ensure that you will receive a perfect score.

Below is the points breakdown for all assignments/deliverables for the course, sorted chronologically:

Item Team / Individual Score Points Evaluation Sheet**
Initial Post Team 5 None
Lab Notebook Individual 50 PDF
Request for Approval Team 5 None
Weekly TA Meetings Team N/A None
Project Proposal Team 25 PDF
Eagle Assignment Individual 10 PDF
Soldering Assignment Individual 10 PDF
Lab Safety Training Individual Lab Access None
Mock Design Review Individual 5 None
Design Document
Requirements and Verification
Team 40 PDF
Design Review * Team 20 PDF
Individual Progress Report Individual 25 PDF
Mock Demo Individual 5 None
Mock Presentation Individual 5 None
Final Demo * Team 150 PDF
Final Presentation * Individual 50 PDF
Final Report: Technical Team 30 PDF
Final Report: English/Format Team 20 PDF
Checkout Team N/A PDF
Peer Reviews (3 total) Individual 15 (total) None
Teamwork Individual 40 PDF
Continuing your project Priceless None

* Grades for these will be the average of the TA and Instructor grades; peer review grades will be used to provide feedback.
** Evaluation Sheets are subject to minor changes.

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Anuraag Vankayala, Amrutha Vasili

Cloud-controlled quadcopter

Featured Project


To build a GPS-assisted, cloud-controlled quadcopter, for consumer-friendly aerial photography.


We will be building a quad from the frame up. The four motors will each have electronic speed controllers,to balance and handle control inputs received from an 8-bit microcontroller(AP),required for its flight. The firmware will be tweaked slightly to allow flight modes that our project specifically requires. A companion computer such as the Erle Brain will be connected to the AP and to the cloud(EC2). We will build a codebase for the flight controller to navigate the quad. This would involve sending messages as per the MAVLink spec for sUAS between the companion computer and the AP to poll sensor data , voltage information , etc. The companion computer will also talk to the cloud via a UDP port to receive requests and process them via our code. Users make requests for media capture via a phone app that talks to the cloud via an internet connection.

Why is it worth doing:

There is currently no consumer-friendly solution that provides or lets anyone capture aerial photographs of them/their family/a nearby event via a simple tap on a phone. In fact, present day off-the-shelf alternatives offer relatively expensive solutions that require owning and carrying bulky equipment such as the quads/remotes. Our idea allows for safe and responsible use of drones as our proposed solution is autonomous, has several safety features, is context aware(terrain information , no fly zones , NOTAMs , etc.) and integrates with the federal airspace seamlessly.

End Product:

Quads that are ready for the connected world and are capable to fly autonomously, from the user standpoint, and can perform maneuvers safely with a very simplistic UI for the common user. Specifically, quads which are deployed on user's demand, without the hassle of ownership.

Similar products and comparison:

Current solutions include RTF (ready to fly) quads such as the DJI Phantom and the Kickstarter project, Lily,that are heavily user-dependent or user-centric.The Phantom requires you to carry a bulky remote with multiple antennas. Moreover,the flight radius could be reduced by interference from nearby conditions.Lily requires the user to carry a tracking device on them. You can not have Lily shoot a subject that is not you. Lily can have a maximum altitude of 15 m above you and that is below the tree line,prone to crashes.

Our solution differs in several ways.Our solution intends to be location and/or event-centric. We propose that the users need not own quads and user can capture a moment with a phone.As long as any of the users are in the service area and the weather conditions are permissible, safety and knowledge of controlling the quad are all abstracted. The only question left to the user is what should be in the picture at a given time.

Project Videos