Lectures :: ECE 445 - Senior Design Laboratory


Fall 2022 Lecture Material:


Pre-Lecture #1:

(before the first lecture)



Brainstorming and Ideation

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



Lecture #1:

(August 22th)



Getting Started

  • Welcome and Course Overview (pptx)
  • Writing Center (pptx)
  • Pitches
    • Photo-irradiation of Glioblastoma (emilyjs@illinois.edu) (link)
    • STRE&M: Automated Urinanalysis (rom2@illinois.edu) (link)
    • DoubleVision Teaching Fundoscope (ahojati@illoinois.edu) (link)
    • Lens Controller for Biomedical Cameras by Viktor Gruev (vgruev@illinois.edu)
  • Request for Approval (link)



Pre-Lecture #2:

(before the second lecture)



Beyond Ideation



Lecture #2:

( August 29th)



Moving Forward

  • Introduction (link)
  • Communication Tips (link)
  • Intellectual property (link)
  • Pitches
    • Computer Vision for Collecting Crop Phenotyping Data by John Hart (jmhart3@illinois.edu) (link)
    • Bioprinting Conversion Platform by Nathan Chung (nychung2@illinois.edu) (link)
    • SCUBA Nitrox Labeler by Stasiu Chyszewski (Stasiuc2@illoinois.edu) (link)
    • Autonomous Sailboat by Arne Fliflet (afliflet@illinois.edu) (link)
  • Senior Design and Lab Safety (link)
  • PCB Soldering Assignment
  • Deadlines (link)


Pre-Lecture #3:

(before the third lecture)



Design and Writing Tips



Lecture #3:

( Sept 6th)



Last Stop Before RFA

  • Introduction (link)
  • Machine Shop – Gregg Bennett (gbenntt@illinois.edu)
  • Lab Noteboopk (link)
  • Modular Design (link)
  • R&V Table (link)
  • Proposal (link)
  • Design Review (link)
  • Ethics (link)

Spring 2020 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)

Autonomous Sailboat

Riley Baker, Arthur Liang, Lorenzo Rodriguez Perez

Autonomous Sailboat

Featured Project

# Autonomous Sailboat

Team Members:

- Riley Baker (rileymb3)

- Lorenzo Pérez (lr12)

- Arthur Liang (chianl2)

# Problem

WRSC (World Robotic Sailing Championship) is an autonomous sailing competition that aims at stimulating the development of autonomous marine robotics. In order to make autonomous sailing more accessible, some scholars have created a generic educational design. However, these models utilize expensive and scarce autopilot systems such as the Pixhawk Flight controller.

# Solution

The goal of this project is to make an affordable, user- friendly RC sailboat that can be used as a means of learning autonomous sailing on a smaller scale. The Autonomous Sailboat will have dual mode capability, allowing the operator to switch from manual to autonomous mode where the boat will maintain its current compass heading. The boat will transmit its sensor data back to base where the operator can use it to better the autonomous mode capability and keep track of the boat’s position in the water. Amateur sailors will benefit from the “return to base” functionality provided by the autonomous system.

# Solution Components

## On-board

### Sensors

Pixhawk - Connect GPS and compass sensors to microcontroller that allows for a stable state system within the autonomous mode. A shaft decoder that serves as a wind vane sensor that we plan to attach to the head of the mast to detect wind direction and speed. A compass/accelerometer sensor and GPS to detect the position of the boat and direction of travel.

### Actuators

2 servos - one winch servo that controls the orientation of the mainsail and one that controls that orientation of the rudder

### Communication devices

5 channel 2.4 GHz receiver - A receiver that will be used to select autonomous or manual mode and will trigger orders when in manual mode.

5 channel 2.4 GHz transmitter - A transmitter that will have the ability to switch between autonomous and manual mode. It will also transfer servos movements when in manual mode.

### Power

LiPo battery

## Ground control

Microcontroller - A microcontroller that records sensor output and servo settings for radio control and autonomous modes. Software on microcontroller processes the sensor input and determines the optimum rudder and sail winch servo settings needed to maintain a prescribed course for the given wind direction.

# Criterion For Success

1. Implement dual mode capability

2. Boat can maintain a given compass heading after being switched to autonomous mode and incorporates a “return to base” feature that returns the sailboat back to its starting position

3. Boat can record and transmit servo, sensor, and position data back to base

Project Videos