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PoE Fall 2013 - Project Preproposals
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ENGR2210        7 October 2013

Project Introduction - Chris’s Section

Pre-proposal Due: TONIGHT, MONDAY @ 11:59PM


   The three labs are done, you will now be working for the remainder of the semester in a small team (probably 4 people) to design a mechatronic system.  Your project must include both non-trivial mechanical system design and fabrication, and a non-trivial electronic system involving hardware and firmware aspects.  Your team will have a fixed budget of $250 for project materials.

Important Dates

  Pre-proposal due: 11:59pm, Monday, 7 October

  Vote on your favorites by: Noon, Wednesday, 9 October (survey will be sent 10/8)

  Teams and Projects announced: in-class, 10 October

  Proposal due: Monday, 14 October

  Preliminary Design Review: in-class, Monday, 28 October

  Critical Design Review: in-class, Monday, 18 November

      Thanksgiving Break: November 25-29

  Demo Day and Final Website/writeup due: Thursday, 12 December

      Last Class: Thursday, 12 December

Assignment: Pre-Proposal

   On the course website, there are many links to PoE projects from previous semesters.  Not as many as if Olin archived their websites, but that’s another story.  There are also links to similar project courses at other schools.  We will spend some time in the section looking at projects, browsing websites and brainstorming ideas.  Other websites that might be helpful include:

  By the date and time indicated above, each individual must submit electronically to the course instructors and ninjas a brief (no more than two paragraphs) pre-proposal sketching out two project ideas, including a description of the system and its functionality.  We will read these, evaluating each for proper scope, and compile them into a list on the website.

Assignment: Voting

  By the date and time indicated above, each individual must rank (using a google form that will be sent out to the list) their top three projects.  These priorities will be used by the instructor and NINJA of your section to derive project teams.  Project teams will be announced the following class period.

Assignment: Proposal

  Each group will spend the following week developing a full project proposal.  This proposal should convince the instructors that your idea is well thought out, and you have a plan for executing it.  It must include at least the following aspects:

Succinct - the elevator pitch for your project, and how you’re going to pull it off.

In detail, what’s the plan for your project? What are the major components?  How are you going to execute the plan?  How is it cooler/different than what other people have done before?

How will your team divide the work?  How does that align with the goals of each team member, as stated at the beginning of the semester?

Detailed, with internal deadlines for the major components of your project.

Include major projected expenses, along with a rough idea of sources where known.  Where unknown, identify how you are going to locate materials.

What are you going to do with this project at the end of PoE?  Would it make a good display for a hallway case?  How about a museum or art exhibit at a local gallery?  Who should you talk to in order to ensure these things are possible?

Design Reviews

  Preliminary Design Review (PDR): Students should present block CAD, electrical diagrams, and pseudocode in front of the class and instructor. The goal is to catch system-level errors and offer overarching feedback. Students hand in a rough bill of materials with links to product pages/datasheets.

  Critical design review (CDR). Students present final CAD, electrical diagrams, and code architecture (not actual code) to a group of instructors. The goal at this point is to catch specific errors in design and call out corrections.  Students hand in what should be an essentially complete bill of materials.

Final Presentation

  At the end of the class, each group will provide a demo and a brief, informal oral presentation on the status of their project.  In lieu of a report, each group will need to produce and maintain a web page, documenting the entire project.