Ideation and initial post to Piazza

Video Lectures

Finding a Problem and Generating Solutions m4v
Diving Deeper m4v
Votingm4v
Reverse Brainstormingm4v, notes
Homeworkm4v

Assignment Description

This exercise is intended to facilitate project brainstorming and team formation. Please see the videos linked below for guidance on brainstorming to find problems and engineering solutions to those problems.

In the first lecture, the course staff will assign you into groups of approximately 8 students to work on this assignment. These are not the groups or projects you will be working with on your course project, they are strictly for this assignment!. Each brainstorming group will use the brainstorming methods outlined in the videos above to come up with problem statements and corresponding solutions. This ideation exercise is intended to stimulate the process of finding a suitable senior design project for this semester but not all problem statements or proposed solutions may fit within the scope of ECE 445.

After the first lecture, all students must make a post on the Web Board. This initial post must consist of either a problem statement or a proposed solution and may be posted as a reply to an existing thread.

Requirements and Grading

Grading will be out of 5 total points and awarded based on the existence of substantive post on the Web Board ("Hello world" type posts will not receive credit).

Submission and Deadlines

The initial Web Board post is due by 11:59pm on the date listed on the Course Calendar. All students must either create or respond to a post. Students posting after the deadline will not receive credit.

VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Craig Bost, Nicholas Dulin, Drake Proffitt

VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Featured Project

Our group proposes to create robot drummer which would respond to human voice "beatboxing" input, via conventional dynamic microphone, and translate the input into the corresponding drum hit performance. For example, if the human user issues a bass-kick voice sound, the robot will recognize it and strike the bass drum; and likewise for the hi-hat/snare and clap. Our design will minimally cover 3 different drum hit types (bass hit, snare hit, clap hit), and respond with minimal latency.

This would involve amplifying the analog signal (as dynamic mics drive fairly low gain signals), which would be sampled by a dsPIC33F DSP/MCU (or comparable chipset), and processed for trigger event recognition. This entails applying Short-Time Fourier Transform analysis to provide spectral content data to our event detection algorithm (i.e. recognizing the "control" signal from the human user). The MCU functionality of the dsPIC33F would be used for relaying the trigger commands to the actuator circuits controlling the robot.

The robot in question would be small; about the size of ventriloquist dummy. The "drum set" would be scaled accordingly (think pots and pans, like a child would play with). Actuators would likely be based on solenoids, as opposed to motors.

Beyond these minimal capabilities, we would add analog prefiltering of the input audio signal, and amplification of the drum hits, as bonus features if the development and implementation process goes better than expected.

Project Videos