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ESC472 Electrical and Computer Capstone Design Division of Engineering Science University of Toronto

Team Members: Ren Rail-Ip 996027954 Rezwana Shermin 995306020 Catherine Kocia 996000740 Cong Wang 995647448

Submitted to: Jason Foster Friday, January 20, 2012


The teams overall objective in this course is to design a hardware prototype in the area of electromagnetics, controls, and electronics. The four members of the group are specialized in controls, analog and digital circuits, electronics, wireless communication, electromagnetics, and antennas. The skills and interests of the team members center on building and simulating electrical circuits, and creating layouts for printed circuit boards. Everyone in the group has experience working with computational control software (MATLAB, Simulink), circuit simulations (PSPICE), hardware languages (NIOS II Assembly language, Quartus, Verilog), software programming languages (C, C++, Java) and various CAD tools (AutoCAD, Google SketchUP, EagleCAD, Autodesk, Synopsis). All members have basic lab equipment experience (Network Analyzer, Oscilloscope, Spectrum Analyzer, Pulse Generator) which should be very beneficial for building circuit models. There are also individual group members that have experience with Mathematica, MPLab, Microcontrollers, FPGA Development boards, LabWindows/CVI, Libero IDE, Altium, Sentaurus, near field scanners and machining. With our skills and experiences we hope to develop an entrepreneurial innovation and build a prototype that takes advantage of all our hardware interests and experiences.


Refer to Section 6 - Appendix A.


Combining our individual design processes [1], [2], [3], we have created the following synthesized model for our team:

Figure 1: Synthesized Engineering Design Process

STEP 1 - Requirements: Our design process will begin with the identification of the objectives, constraints and criteria. We will need to be aware of all restrictions (budget, time) and expected deliverables. This will be done very early on in the process both individually and as a group. STEP 2 - Research: This step will be quite extensive. We will first need to research possible areas of innovation. Once we decide upon a few areas of interest we will need to research the current state of the problem, current solutions for the problem, market analysis, available technology, target audience and niche. It is important at this stage to not only examine new technologies and areas of new development but to also examine whether our innovation has entrepreneurial potential. We will also gain valuable education from speaking with the Orbis and the teaching stakeholders. In this stage, we will also consult with experts in the industry of interest before proceeding with an idea that may seem good to us, but may not be viable at all.

STEP 3 - Set outline: Once we have settled on an innovation, we will start planning the implementation steps. We will divide up the work by assigning tasks leaving enough time for review and modification if necessary. During this step, we will need to figure out a timeline so that all the members know what their responsibilities are and when they need to complete their tasks. As more design decisions and modifications are made, this outline will evolve throughout the design process. STEP4 - Implementation: This will be where most of the time is spent. Every individual in the group will have their designated tasks and deliverables and the team will work together to complete the prototype. The schedule, tasks, and further research will be developed as the team encounters challenges and continues to progress. This is a reiterative process. At this stage, the team will probably have to re-evaluate the constraints and criteria of the project and perform revisions as necessary. It is only then that the team can near the completion phase. STEP 5 - Revision (Improve + Iteration): During implementation, we can almost be certain that we will need to modify our design. In this stage, the design is re-evaluated and any roadblocks or challenges are addressed. This can be as small as a minor design change or as big as a complete scope or design overhaul. Since this design stage will require research and potential changes to the design, the outline will also need to be modified. STEP 6 - Completion: After much iteration, the project is complete and all requirements are met within time constraints allotted. The product prototype is reviewed and all final modifications are complete and tested to be functional. The presentation is prepared, rehearsed, and delivered to the teaching team and Orbis stakeholders.

A self-adjusting antenna (indoor and/or outdoor) to receive free HD TV channels with a controller to adjust the antenna to achieve best signal quality. This design will eliminate the tedious task of users having to manually adjust their antenna, especially during bad weather conditions. Please refer to Appendix B for more background information and research on the topic.


We would like to create design kits for children and young students that will be intuitive and educational while providing a fun gaming experience. The focus of the design projects would be in electrical engineering, as we would range the kits according to age group, and make design blocks that would help children build transceivers and receivers, character models which are mobile, or robotics. We would target projects with increasing difficulty to older students. With this kit, the student could have fun with gaming sets. Please see Appendix C for more background information and research on the topic.


Performances of wireless communication systems such as wireless local area network (WLAN) are mostly characterized by signal-to-interference-plus-noise-ratio (SINR). In order to improve signal quality, we can either increase the signal power or decrease the interference. However, most households today have WLAN and increasing the transmitting power causes more interference to their neighbors. If their neighbors also want better signal quality, then they would have to increase their transmitting power as well which results in an ineffective competition. The goal of this project would be to identify the position of the receiver, then steering the beam rather than sending it in all directions so that power is only sent to the direction aligned with the user. Refer to Appendix D for more background information and research on the topic.


Product Process Reflection 45% 30% 25%

[1] The Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework. Internet: http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/scitech/2001/standards/strand4.html, May 1, 2001 [Jan 14, 2012]. Teach Engineering. The Engineering Design Process. Internet: http://www.teachengineering.org/engrdesignprocess.php, [Jan. 13, 2012] NASA, NASA Engineering Design Process. Internet: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/plantgrowth/reference/Eng_Design_5-12.html, [Jan. 18, 2012] MAKE Magazine, DIY Project, Inspiration, How-tos, Hacks, Mods & More. Internet: http://www.makezine.com, [Jan. 18, 2012]




6 APPENDIX A Summary of Individual Skills and Experiences

Subject/Field/Tool/Instrument Controls Analog Circuits Electronics Electromagnetism Antenna Theory Wireless Communication MATLAB Simulink PSPICE Google SketchUP NIOS II Assembly Quartus CAD tools Lab equipment (network analyzer, oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, pulse generator, power supply) Mathematica Microcontrollers Catherine Owen Ren Rezwana

LabWindows/CVI Libero IDE Altium Sentaurus Machine Shop Near field scanner


We would like to create a product that can be used by the general public. The product will be geared towards customers who do not watch too many specialty channels (news, ctv, global, etc.) and who do not want to pay for cable TV. We would like to develop an automated HDTV antenna that can be easily installed by the customer. By using a feedback control system, the antenna will automatically position itself in an optimal direction to receive the best possible TV signal by monitoring the quality of the signal.


Currently the following already exists in the market: HDTV antennas, rotors, moveable antennas and HDTV cable. The current problem is that the HDTV antennas are difficult to install and can be tedious to manipulate if the TV signal is lost. The innovation we are trying to create is to make the antenna automated; it will automatically find and align itself it an optimal position, eliminating the need for consumer interaction with the antenna.


There are many existing tools in the market today that could be used to develop our prototype [4]. Dispatchatron: This is a device that uses an Arduino board to monitor the voltages of an audio radio signal to determine when a channel is being used. A similar principle could be used to monitor TV signals. The Arduino platform would provide us with multiple signal management capabilities that we could use to develop our feedback control system. Ham radio antenna: There are many ways to build an antenna. This simple Ham antenna, described in Make Magazine, can b e built to pick up radio signals from satellite dishes. This design can be tweaked to make an antenna for receiving HDTV signals. iRobot Create: The iRobot Create is an open platform that can be programmed to move and swivel in a desired location. This could be a useful tool for providing programmable rotary motion to a HDTV receiver antenna.


The market for these types of engineering design kits and educational tools is a very large one. Integrating fun into the learning experience is a very important field because it is well known that students learn better if they are actively interested in what they are doing and if they are enjoying themselves. The market would be segmented into parents/grandparents who buy gifts for their children and institutions that buy educational tools for schools, hospitals, and camps, and can help in promoting the benefits of the design kits.


There are many such design kits or educational tools already in the market made by companies such as Lego and Mastermind, however we feel that a unique, intuitive, and fun program can still succeed in this market. This program might be more targeted towards facilitating learning in schools throughout the various age groups. One way to accomplish this is to have the entire school working on the same project with different age groups working with kits suited to their abilities and knowledge.


Many users of wireless networks encounter the day-to-day problem of having slow internet speeds or low internet quality. In addition, everyone has neighbors and this often results in 5-10 wireless networks competing over the same range. The target market for this product would be all WIFI users that are frustrated with the signal they are receiving from their router and wish that they could have the same speeds as a local area network with the freedom of wireless mobility.


WIFI already exists however the main problem with it is that often the quality is not what consumers expect. This can be addressed by adding a localization aspect to wireless routers so that they know where their users are in their range and a controllable rotational device that can point the router in the direction of the user rather than sending signal in all directions. Then even if a user is moving around, the wireless network will continue to be directed towards that user.


There are many existing tools in the market today that could be used to develop our prototype [4]. Dispatchatron: This is a device that uses an Arduino board to monitor the voltages of an audio radio signal to determine when a channel is being used. The Arduino platform would provide us with multiple signal management capabilities that we coul d use to develop a feedback control system. iRobot Create: The iRobot Create is an open platform that can be programmed for rotation.