EDL Project Information

ECE 520.448 and 520.738

Project Information: Spring 2016


All project choices must be approved by the instructor.

Most projects will probably involve programming a microcontroller (PIC, Arduino or etc) and constructing circuits using PCB.

Planning is important. This includes scheduling and division of labor.

Pick a project that interests everyone in the group, but one that is also not too ambitious. Even cool projects can turn into horrible time-eating monsters.

You have limited resources. These include:



Parts (don’t design something around a part with a 2 month lead time)

Lab space

Test equipment

I will give tutorials on some important topics. These might include:

Construction techniques (wire-wrap, soldering, etc.)

Printed circuit board (PCB) design

Microcontroller programming

Some projects from previous years :

  • EEG System
  • Vocoder Module
  • Quadrotor
  • Spherical Stepper Motor Control
  • Self driving RC Car
  • Key Finder
  • Automated Robotic Explorer
  • High Quality Sound Headphones
  • Wireless Locator System
  • Energy Scavanging System for Roomsensors in the library
  • Micro Air Vehicle (MAV)
  • Pulse Oximeter for Rural Health Workers
  • Reduce standby power losses of home appliances
  • Practicing Fine Motor Skills of the Wrist
  • Hospital Tracking System
  • Concealable Wireless Mini Microphone-Speaker
  • Diagnostic Methodology for Sleep Bruxism
  • Personal Transport Interface for Quadriplegics
  • Dynamic Magnetic Strip Emulator
  • Laser Piano
  • Guitar Loop Pedal
  • Optical Keyboard
  • A campus tour guide robot
  • Optical Filters for Photosensitive Epilepsy
  • Real-time Wireless Data Transmission from Flying Drone
  • Portable WEP Network Penetration Device
  • Electronic Chess
  • Home Automation
  • Seizure Monitoring System
  • Monitoring Hearth Performance with iPhone Application
  • Image Sampler
  • System to prevent getting locked out of room
  • Embedded Web-based Device Controller for Electrical Outlets
  • Naturally Interfaced Interactive LED Wall
  • A Laser Rangefinder using Phase-Shift Detection
  • Podiatric Insole for Force Distribution Measurement
  • LINE TRACING Robot with Obstacle Detection
  • TMJD Detection and Therapeutic Device
  • Playing with Passion: Incorporating Visual Feedback in Electronic Keyboarding with MIDI
  • WiiCopter: A Low-Budget Helicopter Simulator
  • Control unit for Bipedal Humanoid Walking Robot in One Dimension
  • Real-Time Pitch and Beat Detection Using Matlab and the Arduino Uno
  • Laser Harp
  • Laser Lute
  • Personalized Baby Blanket
  • J-Nav: Electronic Directions for JHU Campus
  • Automated Home Controls
  • Intelligent Pills Dispenser for the Elderly
  • Eye-movement Based Mouse Control for the Disabled

VLSI Design

(1)   Design a Microprocessor for fabrication in 0.5um/0.18um CMOS process. (Primarily intended for students who took 520.491 last semester and wish to finish their projects.)

  • Preparation for submission of chip for fabrication through MOSIS

(2)   Design of an intelligent VLSI sensor. Possible designs include imagers that do the following:

  • Motion computation
  • Fast spatial image convolution
  • Centroid computation
  • Imager/transmitter

The project will involve the following:

  • Preparation for submission of chip for fabrication through MOSIS

Developing a Hardware/Software System

(3)   Design a Stereo Imaging System using linear imagers and a microcontroller.

  • Test Linear Imager Chip
  • Interface custom chips to a microcontroller.
  • Implement stereo algorithm

(4)   Design an intelligent visual tracking system using a microcontroller and one (or more) of the following chips:

  • Foveated imager
  • Stereo imager
  • Optical flow chip
  • Temporal difference imager

This project will probably involve:

  • Assembly programming of a microcontroller.
  • Design of motor driver circuits.
  • Interface the custom chip to the microcontroller.
  • Interface to an RC car or other small vehicle.

(5)   Design an intelligent visual tracking system using Optical Flow Algorithms.

  • Requires programming in C/C++ on PC
  • Develop software motion tracking algorithm based on Optical Flow
  • Explore various approaches on Optical Flow computation

(6)   Design Human Interface Device for a PC (3D mouse, etc.)

  • Requires assembly programming of a microcontroller
  • Use a custom VLSI sensor (see project 4)
  • Interface a custom chip to a PC

(7)   Design a VGA driver for a using a current mode imager chip.

  • Requires assembly programming of a microcontroller.
  • Requires some board level and high speed analog circuit design
  • Interface custom chip to the microcontroller.

(8)   Design 3D imaging system using a microcontroller and compact stereo vision system.

  • Requires assembly programming of a microcontroller
  • Interface custom chip to the microcontroller
  • Requires some programming on PC
  • Interface to a mobile robot

(9)   Design control unit for a walking robot (Snappy).

  • Requires C programming for DIO Card
  • Interface to Snappy
  • Develop various walking algorithms

Digital Telephony

(10) Video Telephone System

  • Requires circuit design for voice and video digitizing
  • Requires assembly programming of microcontroller or microprocessor

Other Projects

(11) Laser Range Finder

  • Design transceiver circuits
  • Implement range computation hardware
  • Display reading

(12) Smart Embedded Web-based Device Controller.

  • Learn the uFlash Web or other server board
  • Develop software for data transmission to/from hardware
  • Control devices using remote access.

(13) Smart Audio Amplifier for Home HiFi System

  • Design a simple stereo 50W amplifier
  • Interface system with audio source
  • Implement control strategies to maintain a constant output level

(14) Smart Wireless Video Surveillance System

  • Develop Software to link IP Cams and Board PC
  • Low web-based access and control of video data

(15) Your own project

  • Must be approved by the professor
  • Be creative.
  • Consider how to divide the work.
  • Plan how to test whatever you make.
  • Some hardware must be involved.
  • Must be approved by the professor!!!

This document is subject to, and probably will, change.