Using the Website

Project Page

The Project Pages were created in an effort to help promote student projects. The Project Pages provide a showcase where employers, other students, and friends can see what UIUC students are capable of. Many employers, in particular, consider a good Senior Design Project to be just as valuable as internship experience. The Project Pages will develop over time into a valuable library of practical engineering knowledge. Some of the best projects will be identified each semester and placed in the Senior Design "Hall of Fame," while the rest will be accessible by semester and search engine.

Updating Project Information

Once your project has been approved on the discussion board by the Instructor, you should promptly update your project information. In order to do so, find your project on the Project page, and click its title. When a frame expands, click on "Edit." Next, enter your UIUC netid and password. The system will lookup your project and prompt you for information such as your project's title. Please fill in the information that you wish to have appear for your project, and then click on the submit button. The required fields are marked so. You can update this information at any time. We strongly urge you to keep a backup of all of the information, and we would like to caution you of one scenario in particular. If multiple people attempt to edit this information at the same time, the second person to submit the changes will overwrite the first person's changes. Also, be sure to logout when you are done by closing the web browser. It is important that you provide a project desciption. It should be a brief overview of your project and explanation of why it is worth doing. Please provide this information as soon as possible and try to limit the length to about 250 words.

Submit Schedule

After updating your project information, you should proceed to the Submit Schedule page. Here each student should submit his/her schedule so that your TA can schedule a weekly meeting time. We know that there are a lot of boxes to check, but we need this detailed information because of how difficult it is to match schedules. The information is displayed in a convenient way for TAs when it is time for them to schedule meeting times. The system is very intuitive so instructions are not needed. NOTE: Please be sure that the schedule you submit is as accurate as possible, since you won't be able to edit it later!

After submitting your schedule, you should familiarize yourself with the "Upload Files" page.

Uploading Files

This area is used to upload files such as the Proposal, the Final Paper, Images, and additional files. When a file is uploaded, it is renamed and limited to a specified size. Special documents such as Proposals and Final Papers should be uploaded into the appropriate slot and will automatically be added to your Project Page. Images and other files can be uploaded into any other slot such as "file1." To upload a file, simply select which slot to place it in, and then select the file from your computer using the "Browse" button.

Control System and User Interface for Hydraulic Bike

Iain Brearton

Featured Project

Parker-Hannifin, a fluid power systems company, hosts an annual competition for the design of a chainless bicycle. A MechSE senior design team of mechanical engineers have created a hydraulic circuit with electromechanical valves, but need a control system, user interface, and electrical power for their system. The user would be able to choose between several operating modes (fluid paths), listed at the end.

My solution to this problem is a custom-designed control system and user interface. Based on sensor feedback and user inputs, the system would change operating modes (fluid paths). Additionally, the system could be improved to suggest the best operating mode by implementing a PI or PID controller. The system would not change modes without user interaction due to safety - previous years' bicycles have gone faster than 20mph.

Previous approaches to this problem have usually not included an electrical engineer. As a result, several teams have historically used commercially-available systems such as Parker's IQAN system (link below) or discrete logic due to a lack of technical knowledge (link below). Apart from these two examples, very little public documentation exists on the electrical control systems used by previous competitors, but I believe that designing a control system and user interface from scratch will be a unique and new approach to controlling the hydraulic system.

I am aiming for a 1-person team as there are 6 MechSE counterparts. I emailed Professor Carney on 10/3/14 and he thought the general concept was acceptable.

Operating modes, simplified:

Direct drive (rider's pedaling power goes directly to hydraulic motor)

Coasting (no power input, motor input and output "shorted")

Charge accumulators (store energy in expanding rubber balloons)

Discharge accumulators (use stored energy to supply power to motor)

Regenerative braking (use motor energy to charge accumulators)

Download Competition Specs:

Team using IQAN system (top right corner):

Team using discrete logic (page 19):