ME 333 end of course schedule

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Thursday, Week 10: Meet in the Mechatronics Lab by 12:30 for final project demos. All projects must be demo'ed in only 80 minutes, so you must be ready to demo promptly at 12:30. You will give grades for each project and vote for the Outstanding Project.

Friday, Week 10: Demo in the Tech lobby. The demo will begin promptly at 11:30 and be finished by 1:00. You should bring your project, ready to demo, to the lobby by 11:30. We will be bringing power supplies and other equipment from the Mechatronics Lab starting at 11:00. Each group is required to demo, though not all team members must be present. You should make a sign (a sheet of paper is fine) with the name of your project, printed large, and a couple of sentences that explains what it does.

Finals week: Return your project equipment and lab keys (see below).

Due by Friday of finals week, 8:00 AM: (1) Your final project wiki page (see below); (2) your project scores for you and your teammates, by email to Prof. Lynch; and (3) your reimbursement forms and receipts (see below). Also, if you plan to continue to work on mechatronics projects and would like to be able to continue to add to the wiki, send email to Prof. Lynch and we will keep your userid and password active.

Regarding self-scoring of your team: You have 10 points to distribute for each member on your team, so if you all contributed equally, give the scores 10/10/10. If one person contributed half as much as the other two, give the scores 12/12/6. Feel free to give an explanation for your scores.

Contents


Final Wiki Page

Following the examples on the ME 333 final projects page, choose a name for your final project. Upload a picture (and include it as a thumbnail) and write a couple of sentence description. Then click on the link to begin editing your wiki page. Make sure that the pages you create have a brief but descriptive title. In fact, all files you upload and pages you create must have unique names. (For uploaded files, you can do this by inserting the initials of your team members in the file name of every file you upload; for example, if your names are Mike Hwang/Andy Long/Clara Smart, use the file name MH_AL_CS-ProjectPhoto.jpg to make sure there are no interfering file names.) Ideally, your entire project should be put on a single wiki page (unless you are documenting a useful new capability; see below), along with links to any pdf files, images, code, movies, text files, or whatever helps explain your project. Be reasonable; don't upload giant files. Generally, you should keep the total amount of uploaded material to less than 10 MB, often much less. You should have at least one good video of your project working. It is fine to include bloopers in the video, but show it working well in at least one video! Videos are best posted on youtube with links pointing to them. We will then link these to the NUmechatronics channel.

NU32 PIC board. If you "burned out" the PIC on your board, you should document what you think caused it, in your "results and reflections" section at the end. There are many ways you can destroy the PIC on your board, and most of these are not preventable in the board design. But if you have a specific idea for a redesign of the board, please indicate.

Links. When you include a link to a page on the mechatronics wiki, please make it an internal link instead of an external link, so if the host server for the wiki ever changes, the link will still work. For example, refer to the accelerometers page like this (using the code [[Accelerometers|like this]]) instead of like this (using the code [http://hades.mech.northwestern.edu/wiki/index.php/Accelerometers like this]).

Page content. Your wiki page should have at least one picture of the entire system, showing clearly what it is, as well as link to a youtube video. Generally, your wiki page should start out with this picture, names of the team members, a picture of the team (you can use the picture taken of your group during lab, if you wish), and a brief overview of what your project is and how it works. Then you should have subsections: mechanical design, electrical design, code, and results and reflections. The overriding goals are for the page to be useful to future students who will look at the page, and to give enough detail to allow someone else to duplicate your project. The mechanical and electrical design sections should have lists of parts used (including part numbers, vendors, and cost, when available). The mechanical design section should have clear drawings, or sufficiently clear pictures. Circuit schematics should be given for all non-obvious circuits. The results and reflections section should give an honest assessment of how well your project turned out, and what you would do differently if you could do it again.

Images. In most cases, the images as viewed in the wiki page should be relatively small -- big enough that the image is useful, but not so big that the page is huge or the flow of the wiki page is disrupted. When the user clicks on the image, they can see the larger image for more detail.

Code. Your code should be modular (each function should be relatively short and perform a clearly defined function) and well commented (so others can understand it). You should provide a link to the full code, and be sure to give it a unique name (e.g., "code.c" and "main.c" are not good names!).

New capabilities for the wiki. If you have mastered a new capability not already present on the wiki that others would also find useful (e.g., you interfaced to a new kind of sensor, or developed novel communication capabilities, etc.), you should write this as a separate compact wiki page that helps a novice use the capability. If a page already exists on the topic but should be improved based on your experience, please do so instead of creating a new page, to avoid a proliferation of similar pages. You can link these pages to your project description, and to the main hierarchy. Also, if you see any mistakes on the wiki or think some pages can be improved, you are welcome to update them. All edits are recorded by the author's name.

Returning Your Equipment and Keys, and Submitting Your Reimbursement Forms

You should return everything you were issued during the course. You will return to Rick Marzec: your lab kits, including (but not necessarily limited to) the 5V wall brick for the PIC boards, USB-RS232 cable, NU32 board + USB cable + LCD display (unless you wish to purchase these; Prof. Lynch will provide more info), multimeter, batteries, battery charger, wall power adapter (+/-12V, 5V), two breadboard power boardlets, large breadboard, small breadboard, wire strippers, LCDs, etc.; all materials lent to you for the purposes of your final project or Lab 5 (e.g., motors, cables, sensors, power supplies, etc.); and all items that you wish to be reimbursed for. Rick will be available in the lab during finals week on Monday from 10-11 AM and Thursday from 10-11 AM, and he will verify that everything has been returned. If anything you are returning is not functioning properly, including your NU32 board, be sure to let Rick know, so that it does not get assigned to another team in the future.

At this time you should also return all lab keys for your group. If you have a reason you'd like continued access to the lab, email Prof. Lynch with cc to Rick Marzec, r-marzec at northwestern.edu. Similarly, if you'd like to be able to continue editing the wiki, send an email to Prof. Lynch with cc to Rick.

You should also submit your reimbursement forms at this time. See below for more details.

Course credit will not be assigned to teams who have not returned their equipment. Your bench (last number of your team number) must also be straightened up by Monday morning.

Reimbursement

You must turn in a completely filled out reimbursement form (see below) and original receipts and proof of payment (such as a credit card statement or returned check). Receipts that are not full 8 1/2" x 11" sheets must be scotch-taped completely around all four edges to one side of a blank (front and back) sheet of white paper. (Not my rule; the University's. Trust me, you won't be reimbursed if you don't adhere to it!) You can put multiple receipts on the same page. You will not be reimbursed for tax, so don't include this on the reimbursement form. (You can get a tax-exempt letter from me, which you can show to a vendor to make sure you are not charged tax.) If your group paid for things by cash, it will be easier if you combine receipts so just one student is being reimbursed, rather than having two or three small reimbursements to different students. Use your judgment, but don't bother with small reimbursements of just a few dollars. Do not staple! Paper clip your pages together.

You can find the reimbursement form here. This must be opened in a relatively recent version of Adobe Acrobat to allow you to use the interactive fields. You must fill out your name (ignore the fact that it calls you a visitor), address, and phone. These should be typed in Acrobat so they are easily readable. Then, if you have three or fewer items you are being reimbursed for, enter them next to "Non-travel Expense #{1,2,3}." If you have more than three items, simply enter "supplies for ME 333 mechatronics project" next to "Non-travel Expense #1" and give the total amount you spent. Then create a separate page of your own of the form

  • item #1 description, cost
  • item #2 description, cost
  • etc.
  • Total cost

where the total cost is what is entered on the reimbursement form. Now print out the reimbursement form (and the separate page, if applicable), sign and date the reimbursement form, and attach all forms and receipt pages by paper clip.

Do not ask for reimbursement for tax! If you do not adhere to the rules above, you will not be reimbursed.

Give the whole package to Prof. Lynch by the end of finals week, so that your reimbursement can be handled in a timely fashion. You can put it in his mailbox in the ME office. If you have any questions, please ask them in advance. I will then review your reimbursement request, and if I approve, I will hand it on to Sinta Kulanda, Financial Assistant in Mechanical Engineering, for processing.

According to Sinta Kulanda: "We need the original receipts and proof of payment. If a student pays cash they just have to provide the cash receipt. Purchases by credit card or check require proof of payment such as the credit card statement (printed out from the credit card web page) or a returned check."

If you have further questions not answered here, please contact Sinta.

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