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)

Prosthetic Control Board

Caleb Albers, Daniel Lee

Prosthetic Control Board

Featured Project

Psyonic is a local start-up that has been working on a prosthetic arm with an impressive set of features as well as being affordable. The current iteration of the main hand board is functional, but has limitations in computational power as well as scalability. In lieu of this, Psyonic wishes to switch to a production-ready chip that is an improvement on the current micro controller by utilizing a more modern architecture. During this change a few new features would be added that would improve safety, allow for easier debugging, and fix some issues present in the current implementation. The board is also slated to communicate with several other boards found in the hand. Additionally we are looking at the possibility of improving the longevity of the product with methods such as conformal coating and potting.

Core Functionality:

Replace microcontroller, change connectors, and code software to send control signals to the motor drivers

Tier 1 functions:

Add additional communication interfaces (I2C), and add temperature sensor.

Tier 2 functions:

Setup framework for communication between other boards, and improve board longevity.

Overview of proposed changes by affected area:

Microcontroller/Architecture Change:

Teensy -> Production-ready chip (most likely ARM based, i.e. STM32 family of processors)


support new microcontroller, adding additional communication interfaces (I2C), change to more robust connector. (will need to design pcb for both main control as well as finger sensors)


Addition of a temperature sensor to provide temperature feedback to the microcontroller.


change from Arduino IDE to new toolchain. (ARM has various base libraries such as mbed and can be configured for use with eclipse to act as IDE) Lay out framework to allow communication from other boards found in other parts of the arm.