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A competition-motivated capstone design course: the result of a fifteen-year evolution

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2 Author(s)
M. J. Paulik ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Detroit Mercy Univ., Detroit, MI, USA ; M. Krishnan

In this paper, a design course organization is presented, which is the result of 15 years of experience with a two-semester senior design course sequence in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. An organization has been determined, which for the authors, balances team experience, individual assessment, design complexity, realism, writing content, and faculty workload. The current course structure is based on the integration of a capstone program with the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) sponsored by the Association For Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The competition rules require that the students design and build an autonomous land vehicle which can navigate while sensing lane lines, avoiding obstacles, and traveling over ramps and sand traps. There are two main competition events: the vehicle performance competition where the autonomous robotic vehicles compete to finish the course in the shortest time or by traveling the farthest in the allotted time, and the vehicle design competition that evaluates the documentation, design process, and presentation of each team. The authors have found that this type of competition matches both the spirit and the practical needs of their capstone design course

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 1 )