Request for Approval

Description

The request for approval (RFA) is the very first step in successfully completing a senior design project. Before submitting your RFA, you must post your project idea to the Web Board using the "Idea" post type. Once your idea has been fleshed out through the Web Board, you can move on request for approval through PACE under the My Project page. Once submitted, your project will be cloned to the Web Board as "Project Request" post. You can edit the project on the My Project page, add your teammates and see comments from the instructors. The course staff may provide feedback on your idea (which will appear at the bottom of your project's page), or suggest changes in the scope of the project and ask you to re-submit an RFA. Based on your incorporation of feedback your project will be approved or rejected. If it is rejected, the My Project page will revert back to it's original format and your project will disappear.

Once the course staff has approved the project idea, you will receive instructions on how to submit your project through PACE, at which time you will be assigned a project number in the Projects list, a TA, and a locker in the lab. Once your project is approved, please go to the Projects page, log into the PACE system, and make sure all of the information is correct.

Video Lecture

Video, Slides

Requirements and Grading

The RFA is graded credit/no credit based on whether your project is approved before the deadline. Note that submitting an RFA before the deadline does not guarantee approval before the deadline. The RFA is submitted through PACE under the My Project page, and should be Markdown-formatted with the following information:

# Title

Team Members:
- Student 1 (netid)
- Student 2 (netid)
- Student 3 (netid)

# Problem

Describe the problem you want to solve and motivate the need.

# Solution

Describe your design at a high-level, how it solves the problem, and introduce the subsystems of your project.

# Solution Components

## Subsystem 1

Explain what the subsystem does.  Explicitly list what sensors/components you will use in this subsystem.  Include part numbers.

## Subsystem 2

## ...

# Criterion For Success

Describe high-level goals that your project needs to achieve to be effective.  These goals need to be clearly testable and not subjective.

Projects must be legal and ethical. They must have significant scope and complexity commensurate with the size of the team. This is, of course, a subjective assessment of the course staff. To gain some insight into this judgment, please browse projects from previous semesters. The project must involve the design of a significant hardware component at the circuit level. In exceptional cases, projects not meeting this criteria may be acceptable when augmented by a Special Circuit assignment (however this is typically a last resort).

Beyond these basic requirements, you have total discretion in proposing a project. This is a great opportunity for you to pursue your own interests. Since you choose your own projects, we expect a high level of enthusiasm from you and your team.

Submission and Deadlines

The RFA submission deadline may be found on the Course Calendar. Typically, approval of the RFA is due during the afternoon of the third Thursday of the semester.

Quick Tips and Helpful Hints

Posting: Choosing a project: Choosing partners: Some general project ideas that are fraught with pitfalls:

Dynamic Legged Robot

Joseph Byrnes, Kanyon Edvall, Ahsan Qureshi

Featured Project

We plan to create a dynamic robot with one to two legs stabilized in one or two dimensions in order to demonstrate jumping and forward/backward walking. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of inexpensive walking robots and provide the starting point for a novel quadrupedal robot. We will write a hybrid position-force task space controller for each leg. We will use a modified version of the ODrive open source motor controller to control the torque of the joints. The joints will be driven with high torque off-the-shelf brushless DC motors. We will use high precision magnetic encoders such as the AS5048A to read the angles of each joint. The inverse dynamics calculations and system controller will run on a TI F28335 processor.

We feel that this project appropriately brings together knowledge from our previous coursework as well as our extracurricular, research, and professional experiences. It allows each one of us to apply our strengths to an exciting and novel project. We plan to use the legs, software, and simulation that we develop in this class to create a fully functional quadruped in the future and release our work so that others can build off of our project. This project will be very time intensive but we are very passionate about this project and confident that we are up for the challenge.

While dynamically stable quadrupeds exist— Boston Dynamics’ Spot mini, Unitree’s Laikago, Ghost Robotics’ Vision, etc— all of these robots use custom motors and/or proprietary control algorithms which are not conducive to the increase of legged robotics development. With a well documented affordable quadruped platform we believe more engineers will be motivated and able to contribute to development of legged robotics.

More specifics detailed here:

https://courses.engr.illinois.edu/ece445/pace/view-topic.asp?id=30338

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