Spring 2018 Lecture Material:

Pre-Lecture #1:

(before class on Jan 16th, 2018)

Brainstorming and Ideation

  • Brainstorming and Ideation slides (pptx)
  • Videos (watch before coming to class)

Lecture #1:

(Jan 16th, 2018)

Getting Started

  • Welcome and Course Overview (pptx)
  • Pitches
    • Jacob Bryan: Tin Can Telephony (contact)
    • Michael Oelze: Toy Boat Upgrade (contact)
    • Channing Philbrick: Pass the Butter Robot (contact)
  • Brainstorming & Ideation Activity (pptx)
  • May is Coming

Pre-Lecture #2:

(before Jan 23rd, 2018)

Beyond Ideation

Lecture #2:

(Jan 23, 2018)

Moving Forward

  • Agenda (pptx)
  • The RFA Process (pptx)
  • Pitches
    • Eli Fieldsteel: Light-Sensitive Musical Control Surface (contact)
    • Anthony Shvets: RoboThink (pptx, contact)
    • Rakesh Kumar: Project Potpourri (contact)
    • Tony Caton: Beam Splitter (pptx, contact)
    • Ben Eng: Versatile Beverage Coaster (pptx, contact)
    • John Hart: Developing an LED and Spectroscopy System for Detecting Aflatoxins in Corn (docx, contact)
  • Ethics (pptx)
  • Project Management (pptx)
  • Project Resources (pptx)
  • Design Process (pdf)

Pre-Lecture #3:

(before Jan 30th, 2018)

Design and Writing Tips

Lecture #3:

(Jan 30th, 2018)

Last Stop Before RFA

  • Welcome and Video Lecture Q&A (pptx)
  • Lab Rules and Safety (pdf)
  • Intellectual Property (pptx)
  • Writing Tips (pptx)
  • Building a Good R&V Table (pptx)
  • Presentation Tips (pptx)
  • Closing Remarks

Spring 2018 Video Lectures:


Finding a Problem (Video)
Generating Solutions (Video)
Diving Deeper (Video)
Voting (Video)
Reverse Brainstorming (Video)
Homework for Everyone (Video)

Important Information

Using the ECE 445 Website (Video)
Lab Notebook (Video , Slides)
Modular Design (Video, Slides)
Circuit Tips and Debugging (Video , Slides)
Eagle CAD Tutorial (Video)
Spring 2018 IEEE Eagle Workshop (Slides)
Spring 2018 IEEE Soldering Workshop (Slides)

Major Assignments and Milestones

Request for Approval (Video, Slides)
Project Proposal (Video, slides)
Design Document (Video, slides)
Design Review (Video, slides)
Writing Tips (Video, slides)

Assistive Chessboard

Robert Kaufman, Rushi Patel, William Sun

Assistive Chessboard

Featured Project

Problem: It can be difficult for a new player to learn chess, especially if they have no one to play with. They would have to resort to online guides which can be distracting when playing with a real board. If they have no one to play with, they would again have to resort to online games which just don't have the same feel as real boards.

Proposal: We plan to create an assistive chess board. The board will have the following features:

-The board will be able to suggest a move by lighting up the square of the move-to space and square under the piece to move.

-The board will light up valid moves when a piece is picked up and flash the placed square if it is invalid.

-We will include a chess clock for timed play with stop buttons for players to signal the end of their turn.

-The player(s) will be able to select different standard time set-ups and preferences for the help displayed by the board.

Implementation Details: The board lights will be an RGB LED under each square of the board. Each chess piece will have a magnetic base which can be detected by a magnetic field sensor under each square. Each piece will have a different strength magnet inside it to ID which piece is what (ie. 6 different magnet sizes for the 6 different types of pieces). Black and white pieces will be distinguished by the polarity of the magnets. The strength and polarity will be read by the same magnetic field sensor under each square. The lights will have different colors for the different piece that it is representing as well as for different signals (ie. An invalid move will flash red).

The chess clock will consist of a 7-segment display in the form of (h:mm:ss) and there will be 2 stop buttons, one for each side, to signal when a player’s turn is over. A third button will be featured near the clock to act as a reset button. The combination of the two stop switches and reset button will be used to select the time mode for the clock. Each side of the board will also have a two toggle-able buttons or switches to control whether move help or suggested moves should be enabled on that side of the board. The state of the decision will be shown by a lit or unlit LED light near the relevant switch.

Project Videos