CSCI 490: Autonomous Mobile Robotics
Fall 2017

Course Assignments

Final Project Specifications

As per the syllabus, the final project in this course will be a project of your own design. The project itself should utilize the skills that you have learned over the course of the semester. Your project is likely to be similar in nature to the sorts of tasks that we have accomplished this semester, however should reflect a greater degree of thought and effort to accomplish.

The weeks leading up to the final day of class will be used to start working on your final project. Your project will be comprised of the following components, together comprising 20% of your final grade:

  • Project proposal: 50 points
  • Project demo: 50 points
  • Project report: 100 points

Project Proposal

Assigned: 10/30
Due: 11/06
Only one project proposal should be turned in per lab group. Your project proposal should be approximately 3-4 pages, double spaced. Your project proposal should include the following information:

  • Title: Describing the goal of your project.
  • Abstract: A brief (about a paragraph) section that summarizes the purpose and goals of your project.
  • Motivation: A background description that motivates the problem you are trying to solve. What sorts of real-world problems may you encountered in the field of robotics, and how does your project relate to the real world.
  • Goals: Here you should thoroughly document what your robot should accomplish, both in terms of its hardware make-up and desired software functionality. If you can find images or other real-world examples (using Mindstorms or any other robotics plaform) it would be desirable for you to include them here.
  • Hardware: What is the hardware configuration you are looking at designing. What sorts of difficulties do you expect to encounter in either the design or testing of your hardware configuration?
  • Software: What is the software going to be designed to do? What sorts of difficulties do you expect to encounter in either the design or testing of your software configuration?
  • Stretch Goals: The ideal project should be reflect creativity creativity and ambition, however it should also be feasible to accomplish within a few week period. However it is possible that an ambitious-sounding project turns out to be easier than anticipated, leaving time for continued research and development before the end of the semester. In this section you should describe nontrivial possible extensions for your project, so you have something additional to work on in case you accomplish the project's final goals early.
  • References: A works-cited list for anything that you cite in your paper.

Your project should include at least one major non-trivial aspect in either the design of the hardware, the design of the software, or both. For instance, it may be reasonable to design a project with some level of experimentation or unknown at both the hardware or software level. It is also acceptable to have a fairly simple hardware configuration (like those from class this semester), but with a more complicated, intelligent software infrastructure.

The purpose of the project is up to you, but it should reflect creativity and a scope above and beyond the projects that you have worked on this semester. Possible project ideas may include:

  • A robot capable of basic Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM). The LCD can be pixel-indexed. Use the sensors (e.g., distance) to explore and build a model of the world that shows where objects exist, and display the map on the LCD as it is being built.
  • An articulated robotic arm capable of moving/rearranging stationary objects. Possible ideas include the use of touch or light sensors in the hand for detecting objects.
  • A pen-mounted robotic arm capable of some sort of drafting/drawing.
  • Using the gyro for a self-balancing two wheeled vehicle. Stretch goals may include things like line following or obstacle avoidance along with balancing behaviors.
  • An all-terrain robot/stair climbing configuration.
  • A robot capable of reading the boundaries of a maze (either on paper or using physical objects) and finding a way out.
  • A pen/pencil plotter.
  • A conveyor-based brick sorter.

Final Project Demo

The final project presentation will occur in the G1 lab, during the normal final exam block. Each demo will consist of a roughly 10-15 minute demonstration introducing the problem domain to the class and demonstrating the build to the class. The demonstration should be supported by a discussion of the project including:
  • Why the problem is important.
  • The sorts of real-world applications the problem models.
  • Difficulties encountered during the build/programming of the assignment.
  • A discussion of what worked and did not work while constructing the project.
The project rubric for demonstrations will be similar to the rubric used during the semester.

Final Project Report

The final project should be modeled after the the standard report from the semester (please use it as a guideline). The final project report should be around 5-6 pages, double spaced.