Fall 2019 Lecture Material:

Pre-Lecture #1:

(before class on August 27th, 2019)

Brainstorming and Ideation

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

Lecture #1:

(August 27th, 2019)

Getting Started

  • Welcome and Course Overview (pptx)
  • Pitches
    • Arijit Banerjee: Smart Interface for Solar Panels (contact)(pptx)
    • Irfan Ahmed: Health Make-a-thon Overview(contact)(pptx)
    • Irfan Ahmed: Health Maker Lab (contact)(pptx)
    • Dena Strong: Programmable Pillbox (contact)(pptx)
    • Howard Schein: Pacer for Swimming (contact)
    • Yamuna Phal: Active Feedback Controller for Laser Pointing Stability (contact)(pptx)
    • Brian Cunningham: PathTracker(contact)(pptx)
    • Brian Cunningham: Smartphone Hemocytometer (contact)(pptx)
  • Brainstorming & Ideation Activity (pptx)
  • RFA Process (pptx)
  • Winter is Coming (pptx)

Pre-Lecture #2:

(before September 3rd, 2019)

Beyond Ideation

Lecture #2:

(September 3rd, 2019)

Moving Forward

  • Agenda
  • Lab Rules and Safety (pdf)
  • Pitches
    • Blake Landry: Enabling enhanced understanding of the riverine and marine environments(contact)
    • Widya Ramadhani: ALICE Sensors (contact)(pptx)
    • Shelby Lawson: Bird Box (contact)(pptx)
    • Michael Lembeck: Magnetorquer (contact)(pptx)
  • Project Management (pptx)
  • Design Process (pptx)
  • Block Diagram Activity (pptx)

Pre-Lecture #3:

(before September 10th, 2019)

Design and Writing Tips

Lecture #3:

(September 10th, 2019)

Last Stop Before RFA

  • Welcome and Q&A (pptx)
  • Project Resources (pptx)
  • Intellectual Property (pptx)
  • Lab Notebook (pptx)
  • TA Meetings (pptx)
  • Building a Good R&V Table (pptx)
  • Writing Tips (pptx)
  • Communication Tips (pptx)
  • Ethics and Closing Remarks (pptx)
  • Pitches
    • Wonjoon Lee: Illinois AUV(contact)

Fall 2019 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)

Electronic Automatic Transmission for Bicycle

Tianqi Liu, Ruijie Qi, Xingkai Zhou

Featured Project

Tianqi Liu(tliu51)

Ruijie Qi(rqi2)

Xingkai Zhou(xzhou40)

Sometimes bikers might not which gear is the optimal one to select. Bicycle changes gears by pulling or releasing a steel cable mechanically. We could potentially automate gear changing by hooking up a servo motor to the gear cable. We could calculate the optimal gear under current condition by using several sensors: two hall effect sensors, one sensing cadence from the paddle and the other one sensing the overall speed from the wheel, we could also use pressure sensors on the paddle to determine how hard the biker is paddling. With these sensors, it would be sufficient enough for use detect different terrains since the biker tend to go slower and pedal slower for uphill or go faster and pedal faster for downhill. With all these information from the sensors, we could definitely find out the optimal gear electronically. We plan to take care of the shifting of rear derailleur, if we have more time we may consider modifying the front as well.

Besides shifting automatically, we plan to add a manual mode to our project as well. With manual mode activated, the rider could override the automatic system and select the gear on its own.

We found out another group did electronic bicycle shifting in Spring 2016, but they didn't have a automatic function and didn't have the sensor set-up like ours. Commercially, both SRAM and SHIMANO have electronic shifting products, but these products integrate the servo motor inside the derailleurs, and they have a price tag over $1000. Only professionals or rich enthusiasts can have a hand on them. As our system could potentially serve as an add-on device to all bicycles with gears, it would be much cheaper.

Project Videos