ECE684 Project - Fall 2019

5G automation reference articles:

5G is a widely promoted communications technology that represents the next generation of telecommunication features. The main evolution compared with today’s 4G and 4.5G (LTE advanced) is that beyond data speed improvements, new IoT and critical communication use cases will require new types of improved performance. For example “low latency” is what provides real-time interactivity for services using the cloud: this is key for the success of self-driving cars for example. Also, low power consumption is what will allow connected objects to operate for months or years without the need for human assistance.

In this design project, you are to design a 5G based robotic automation project that can be either a robotic surgery suite or a manufacturing robot (select only one application). Either one will be operated remotely through a virtual console (your own design). For each one you must describe the particular use case. For example, what type of surgery is the surgical robot capable of performing or what type of manufacturing will the factory robot perform.

Each student will select a unique microprocessor as the main CPU for use by the robot. Additional support processors can be added if required. The system should be able to perform general computing operations (it should run an operating system). You are to decide exactly what software is necessary and how to implement it into the system (flowchart). All the system components and sensors must be integrated onto the robot. One assumption should be that the 5G network is fully operational to the speed and latencies expected in the specifications.

Some other items you may want to consider:

1)    What supplemental mechanical/electrical systems will your design require?
2)    What safety features should be designed into the robot?
3)    Determine all sensor components and radio components.
4)    Determine power for system including batteries and recharging if necessary.
5)    Write about the pros and cons of system.
6)    Address the estimated lifetime of the system. Include maintenance information.
7)    Provide details about the general use of the system as well as any other special features.
8)    Any future (software/hardware) improvements should also be listed.

Before starting this project, you should read the listed articles and research other, similar designs. Then consider how to incorporate some of the best features into your design to construct a superior product. Do not just copy existing designs from current products since points will be deducted if design infringement is suspected. Innovation of your design is a critical feature and creativity is a major consideration.

Everything else regarding features and operation is your personal choice and should be described in detail in the paper.

General Project Requirements

Each student will select a specific microprocessor to use in the assignment.
The selection must be for a readily available CPU, therefore, datasheets must be available for the main CPU. I will discuss the meaning of datasheets in class.

==> Your microprocessor selection is due electronically,
on or before midnight November 1st <==

Send your selection to me via email. It will be chosen on a first come, first serve basis.
Check the class website processor table to see if someone already selected the processor you are planning to use. All entries are email timestamped. Any entries received after the posted deadline will be penalized.

There are very few additional requirements in this assignment. That means, you should first do some background research about the processor (eg. search & read about processor specs from web sites). Then research the various types of devices that have been used for scientific, commercial and military implementations.

You should take into account the necessary CPU power required for a particular a job as well as what I/O devices, how much memory, and what other microcontrollers/interface chips/DSP's will be required. Consider if there might be "off the shelf" modules available to use instead of custom designing the interfaces from scratch. Other considerations to describe are how will the user interface with the computer?  What kind of power requirements are necessary for this to actually work (main power, battery power and type, solar cells, etc.) and where and how to fit all the components into your form factor?

The submission format for this design project should be in PDF format only and should include these guidelines:

1. [ 4 pages max.] A detailed description of the overall system and its features and operation. Include an explanation of why you selected your particular components and what advantages/disadvantages they introduce in the device.
2.[ 2 pages max.] A tabular listing of all the components (including vendors) in accordance with which processor was selected. Include the CPU selected as well as any other support processors and sensors/modules.
3.[ 2 pages max.] Detailed specifications for the overall device (how much memory: FLASH, DRAM, hard drives, etc.), clock speed, peripheral timing, bus speeds, sensor specs, LCD specs, power consumption, etc.
4.[ 2 pages max.] A system block diagram (not a circuit diagram) to show component interconnect including all sensors, buses and interfaces. Some write-up should accompany this section to explain it unless it is covered in the detailed description.
5.[ 2 pages max.] A physical layout of the system (sketch - draw the external design of the system and then on another layout, indicate where the components are located).
6.[ 1 page max.] Specify the operating system, the programming language used for the device and specify any development tools that might be required. Also include a flowchart of the system software.
7.[ 1 page max.].Suggest a name for your design as well as the some marketing data describing the device features.
8a.] Approximate cost of the device.                         <==| [1 page max. for both of these]
8b.] Time estimate for construction of the device.       <==|
9] Description of power management. How long the batteries are expected to last and why.
10.[ 1 page max.] Discuss any special features the device might implement as well as what may be seen in future versions when more powerful processors may be available.

Examples of previous design projects:          Example1         Example2

As another guideline, the entire write up in general should not exceed more than 20-25, single-sided sheets of paper. All references to diagrams should be indicated by figure numbers. Any external references shall be indicated using footnotes. Sketches, supporting diagrams, schematics, etc. are expected to be included along with the writeup. If you do not have adequate tools to capture schematics and diagrams, draw them out on paper and later scan them into your document. The paper should be saved as a PDF document (any other delivered format will be penalized) please include your name in the filename (e.g. lopes-project.pdf ) and it should be emailed to me at :  as soon as it is complete. Electronic submissions are to be submitted only. No physical paper copies will be accepted.

==> The final design project is due
no later than Friday, December 6 by midnight  (no exceptions).  <==