Lab

Recommended Tools

In addition to the resources that the course provides, students may find it useful to obtain the tools below:

  • wire cutter
  • wire stripper
  • needle nose pliers
  • screwdrivers
  • hex set (ball ends)
  • electrical tape
  • small scissors
  • a small file

Lab Resources

The Srivastava Senior Design Lab (2070 ECEB) is dedicated to ECE 445 usage. This lab provides you access to a vast array of lab equipment, hardware, and software for your use in developing and implementing your senior design project. In addition, course staff will make themselves available in this lab during their office hours to provide guidance on your project throughout the semester. It is our intention that this laboratory space provides you and your team with all the tools you would need to develop and test your project (within reason!). If there is something that you require in the lab to complete your project that does not exist in the lab, talk to your TA and we will see if we can remedy the situation.

Lab Bench Reservations

If and when the semester gets so busy that finding a lab bench to work at becomes difficult, please make use of the Lab Bench Reservation System in PACE. Reserving a lab bench will guarantee priority access to that bench, even when the lab is busy. To use the tool, after authenticating in PACE, you will see a page with a title "Signup for lab bench" with some text and a large table below that. The table shows the schedule for each bench on a given day (use the orange arrows or "Go To Date" text box to see a different day).  You make your reservation by simply clicking in a grid cell in the table, which will turn the box green. Click on it again to un-reserve the bench (and the box will turn white again).  Benches that are already reserved by another group will be denoted with a yellow box (you can hover your mouse over a yellow box to find out what group has reserved the bench).

A few ground rules:

  1. You may use a lab bench (a) during a time for which you have it reserved or (b) any time during which it is not reserved in the system (on a first-come-first-served basis). However, if you are working at a bench that is unreserved and somebody reserves it using the online system, the group with the reservation gets the lab bench.
  2. There is a limit on the amount of time for which you can reserve benches in 2070 ECEB.  The limit is currently a total of 4 hours of total bench time in the lab per group per day (e.g., 2 hours at Bench A and 2 hours at Bench B would max out your team's reservations for the day).  While this may seem restrictive, keep in mind that the course serves more than 60 groups in a typical semester and the lab has only 16 benches.  Also keep in mind that you can work at a bench if it is unreserved.
  3. Some lab benches have specialized equipment at them, such as digital logic analyzers.  Try to reserve the lab bench that has the equipment that you need.
  4. Cancel reservations that you will not need as soon as possible to give other groups a chance to reserve the lab bench.  You can cancel a reservation up to 1 hour before time and not have it count against your daily allotment.
  5. Conflicts and/or reports of people not following these rules should be sent to your TA with the course faculty in copy.
  6. Above all, be courteous.  Especially near the end of the semester, the lab will be full most of the time and stress will abound.  Clean up the lab bench when you are done with it.  Start and end your sessions on time.  Be patient and friendly to your peers and try to resolve conflicts professionally.  If we notice empty lab benches that have been reserved, we will cancel your reservations and limit your ability to reserve lab benches in the future. Similarly, do not reserve more time than you will need.  If we notice that you are frequently canceling reservations, we will limit your ability to reserve lab benches in the future. Finally, do not try to “game” the system and reserve a bench for 30 minutes every hour for eight hours. We will notice this and revoke your ability to reserve a bench.

Lab Rules

There are two overriding rules of working in the Srivastava Senior Design Lab. First, be safe. Second, be courteous. Lab access will be revoked if you fail to complete the required laboratory safety training by the deadline or if you break any of the lab rules. Specific points and examples of what we expect:

Breaking the rules or exhibiting bad laboratory etiquette will lead to a loss of points and/or revocation of laboratory access.

Lab Equipment Rules

Do not remove any equipment from the lab. Students may not change the connections on equipment without TA approval. Any approved changes that are made should be undone before leaving the lab. If a bench instrument is malfunctioning, a red repair tag should be placed on it and you should notify your TA. This alerts the staff to the problem, and allows the Electronics Services Shop to fix the problem.

When using a piece of laboratory equipment for the first time, please ask a TA for help. If you are inexperienced with a piece of hardware, do not assume that it is broken just because you cannot figure out how to use it. Similarly, if you use a piece of equipment to test your project and the equipment does not perform the way you think it should, do not assume the fault is with the equipment, and do not try again with equipment on another bench. Rather, stop and make absolutely sure the problem is not with your connections or project.

If you break any laboratory equipment, you must tell your TA within 1 business day. Any attempts to conceal breakage will result in an F in the course.

Room Access

The lab room (2070 ECEB) is on the electronic key-card system. The Department automatically adds room access to the building and the lab for all students on the roster. You will need a “prox enanabled” I-Card to swipe into the room. If the door does not open after several attempts, you may need to get a replacement card. Room access is automatically restricted to faculty and TAs during official breaks (i.e., Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break).

Computer Access

The lab computers are EWS computers and are setup like other Windows-based EWS systems you are familiar with. Standard EWS rules apply to these machines. In particular, please store any/all files you generate on a network drive or in the cloud. The C: drive should not be used for any personal material, since it is unprotected and is available only on the particular machine where it was originally stored. A particular computer may be cleared and reconfigured at any time for maintenance reasons.

In addition to the desktop computers, EWS maintains the printer in the lab. You are free to use it to print documents related to your project, but be aware that this printing counts against your standard print quota.

Musical Hand

Ramsey Foote, Thomas MacDonald, Michelle Zhang

Musical Hand

Featured Project

# Musical Hand

Team Members:

- Ramesey Foote (rgfoote2)

- Michelle Zhang (mz32)

- Thomas MacDonald (tcm5)

# Problem

Musical instruments come in all shapes and sizes; however, transporting instruments often involves bulky and heavy cases. Not only can transporting instruments be a hassle, but the initial purchase and maintenance of an instrument can be very expensive. We would like to solve this problem by creating an instrument that is lightweight, compact, and low maintenance.

# Solution

Our project involves a wearable system on the chest and both hands. The left hand will be used to dictate the pitches of three “strings” using relative angles between the palm and fingers. For example, from a flat horizontal hand a small dip in one finger is associated with a low frequency. A greater dip corresponds to a higher frequency pitch. The right hand will modulate the generated sound by adding effects such as vibrato through lateral motion. Finally, the brains of the project will be the central unit, a wearable, chest-mounted subsystem responsible for the audio synthesis and output.

Our solution would provide an instrument that is lightweight and easy to transport. We will be utilizing accelerometers instead of flex sensors to limit wear and tear, which would solve the issue of expensive maintenance typical of more physical synthesis methods.

# Solution Components

The overall solution has three subsystems; a right hand, left hand, and a central unit.

## Subsystem 1 - Left Hand

The left hand subsystem will use four digital accelerometers total: three on the fingers and one on the back of the hand. These sensors will be used to determine the angle between the back of the hand and each of the three fingers (ring, middle, and index) being used for synthesis. Each angle will correspond to an analog signal for pitch with a low frequency corresponding to a completely straight finger and a high frequency corresponding to a completely bent finger. To filter out AC noise, bypass capacitors and possibly resistors will be used when sending the accelerometer signals to the central unit.

## Subsystem 2 - Right Hand

The right subsystem will use one accelerometer to determine the broad movement of the hand. This information will be used to determine how much of a vibrato there is in the output sound. This system will need the accelerometer, bypass capacitors (.1uF), and possibly some resistors if they are needed for the communication scheme used (SPI or I2C).

## Subsystem 3 - Central Unit

The central subsystem utilizes data from the gloves to determine and generate the correct audio. To do this, two microcontrollers from the STM32F3 series will be used. The left and right hand subunits will be connected to the central unit through cabling. One of the microcontrollers will receive information from the sensors on both gloves and use it to calculate the correct frequencies. The other microcontroller uses these frequencies to generate the actual audio. The use of two separate microcontrollers allows for the logic to take longer, accounting for slower human response time, while meeting needs for quicker audio updates. At the output, there will be a second order multiple feedback filter. This will get rid of any switching noise while also allowing us to set a gain. This will be done using an LM358 Op amp along with the necessary resistors and capacitors to generate the filter and gain. This output will then go to an audio jack that will go to a speaker. In addition, bypass capacitors, pull up resistors, pull down resistors, and the necessary programming circuits will be implemented on this board.

# Criterion For Success

The minimum viable product will consist of two wearable gloves and a central unit that will be connected together via cords. The user will be able to adjust three separate notes that will be played simultaneously using the left hand, and will be able to apply a sound effect using the right hand. The output audio should be able to be heard audibly from a speaker.

Project Videos