Mock Design Review


The Mock Design Review (MDR) is intended to aid your team as it prepares its design document. The MDR focuses narrowly upon providing feedback on the preparation of historically problematic design document elements. If these elements fall short during your Design Review the following week, precious time is lost…. to your detriment.

The MDR provides feedback on your preparation of important design review document elements including, but not limited to:

During the MDR, your team will have approximately 5 minutes to present an example of each of these elements. Expect to share the 30-minute MDR session with 4 to 5 other design teams… and come prepared to learn from their work… both the good and bad.

Your task is to prepare and present an “elevator pitch” of your project (i.e. high-level project description in 2 minutes). Your pitch is your MDR submission and should include samples of each element listed above extracted from your design document draft. During the MDR, speak to your MDR submission, which will be projected for all to see.

This is not a presentation of your design document, which will be substantially longer than the 4 to 6 pages of your MDR submission. Organize your submission in accordance with the design review document guidance and the example design review document. (Your submission should look like a report prepared in MS Word rather than a PowerPoint presentation). During the MDR, make your pitch directly from your submission.

The course staff will focus on providing feedback on the form of the sample MDR elements you present – the very limited available time will not afford detailed feedback on your design.

Requirements and Grading

We are looking for a high-level understanding of your design efforts – substantially via the sample elements (listed above) extracted from your in-progress design document. Upload your MDR submission to your project page on PACE (i.e. ECE 445 web board) before arriving at MDR:

As in your future design document, number pages after the title page in your MDR submission.

Any material obtained from websites, books, journal articles, or other sources not originally generated by the project team must be appropriately attributed with properly cited sources in a standardized style such as IEEE, ACM, APA, or MLA.

The course staff at the MDR will assign individual grades to each student based upon:

Submission and Deadlines

Sign-up for the Mock Design Review on to the ECE 445 course website – specifically at the Sign up for Team Presentation item on the PACE tab. Sign-up will open the Monday one week prior to the MDRs.

Upload your MDR submission (.pdf format) to the ECE 445 course website before your MDR session – specifically at the My Project item on the PACE tab.

While you will not complete peer reviews during the MDR, you are expected to actively contribute to the discussion.

Prosthetic Control Board

Caleb Albers, Daniel Lee

Prosthetic Control Board

Featured Project

Psyonic is a local start-up that has been working on a prosthetic arm with an impressive set of features as well as being affordable. The current iteration of the main hand board is functional, but has limitations in computational power as well as scalability. In lieu of this, Psyonic wishes to switch to a production-ready chip that is an improvement on the current micro controller by utilizing a more modern architecture. During this change a few new features would be added that would improve safety, allow for easier debugging, and fix some issues present in the current implementation. The board is also slated to communicate with several other boards found in the hand. Additionally we are looking at the possibility of improving the longevity of the product with methods such as conformal coating and potting.

Core Functionality:

Replace microcontroller, change connectors, and code software to send control signals to the motor drivers

Tier 1 functions:

Add additional communication interfaces (I2C), and add temperature sensor.

Tier 2 functions:

Setup framework for communication between other boards, and improve board longevity.

Overview of proposed changes by affected area:

Microcontroller/Architecture Change:

Teensy -> Production-ready chip (most likely ARM based, i.e. STM32 family of processors)


support new microcontroller, adding additional communication interfaces (I2C), change to more robust connector. (will need to design pcb for both main control as well as finger sensors)


Addition of a temperature sensor to provide temperature feedback to the microcontroller.


change from Arduino IDE to new toolchain. (ARM has various base libraries such as mbed and can be configured for use with eclipse to act as IDE) Lay out framework to allow communication from other boards found in other parts of the arm.