Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering George Mason University Volgenau School of Engineering


An important part of this course is the semester project. This semester the project will focus on the MSP430 microcontroller. Each project will be completed in groups of up to four students. Each group will propose a project that uses the TI MSP430 LaunchPad and additional peripherals such as sensors, keypads, displays, etc. Towards the end of the semester, you will be required to perform a final presentation of your project.

Project Presentations

Friday, December 5th, 2014
4:30 pm - 9:10 pm
Room Robinson Hall B201
Presentation Schedule

Project Groups

This table also contains the outcome of the Best Project contest. All votes were cast by the audience. The awards in each category: Results (best working project) and Presentation (best presentation) are as follows:

  1. Award - 5 Points
  2. Award - 3 Points
  3. Award - 2 Points

Congratulations to the Winners! There were many great projects this semester and is was not easy to propose, design, and build a winning project.

NrGroup MembersProject Title (Proposal)1st Progress Report2nd Progress ReportFinal PresentationFinal Report
1 Lakshmi Meyyappan,
William Diehl,
James Kaye,
Cong Chen
Crazy Alarm Clock
2nd Place Results, 1st Place Presentation
2 Devaraj Dhakshinamurthy,
Ankita Pandey,
Gagandeep Singh Bamrah,
Krishna Nikhila Kalinga
Autonomous Ultrasonic Robot for Area Screening (AURAS)
3rd Place Results, 2nd Place Presentation
3 Aaron Joe Parrish,
Ahmed Ferozpuri,
Larry Jason Allen
Tracking Solar Panel Array PDF PDF PDF PDF
4 Cody Jenkins,
Abubakr Ahme Abdulgadir,
Farnoud Farahmand
Motion Detector Sensor Alarm (M.D.S.A.) PDF PDF PDF PDF
5 Yasaswi Garimella,
Pravalika Reddy Podduturi,
Sirisha Kurakula
Obstacle Detection and Avoidance Robot PDF PDF PDF PDF
6 Scott Holt,
Steven Blount,
Jeffrey Keurian,
Manzir Zaman
Electronic Pong
1st Place Results, 3rd Place Presentation
7 Sanjay Deshpande,
Harshad Patil,
Arun Bhargav Palaparthy,
Saranya Mathialagan
Motion Detection Camera PDF PDF PDF PDF
8 Amit Singh,
Tejas Sontakke,
Gaurav Shenoy,
Raj Shah
9 Preetham Reddy Bogadi,
Koushik Reddy Rokkam,
Venkat Raman Sriperumbudur,
Dibyojyoti Mukherjee
Robotic Claw using MSP430 PDF PDF PDF PDF
10 Akriti Agarwal,
Deepak Rajendra Karnik,
Hrushikesh Kulkarni
11 Brandon Beall,
Divid Chawla,
Jonathan Mitchell
Anti-Stupid Car PDF PDF PDF PDF
12 Viswanath Anudeep Belaganti,
Dheeraj Naga Prasad Kothapalli,
Naveen Chandra Vallurupalli
Bluetooth Controlled Toy Car with Android App PDF PDF PDF PDF

Project Proposal

The Project Proposal should be an outline of your project. They need to clearly specify what the goal of your project is and how you are planning to accomplish it. Furthermore, they need to detail what hardware components you are planning on using and how they are going to interface with the MSP 430. All features of the MSP 430 that you are planning on using (timer, ADC, etc.) need to be listed including for what purpose they will be used.

Progress Report 1

Your 10 minute presentation should contain:
  • Title Slide: Title, Group Members, etc.
  • Overview Slide: Big picture, what are you trying to build and why.
  • Block Diagram Slide: Show how all components attach to the MSP430
  • Component Slides: (one per component)
    • Name and type of component
    • Hardware interface of component
    • How to address it from software
    • Progress with component (i.e. ordered, acquired, tested, done)
    • Challenges
  • Project Status Slide:
    • Task division amongst team members.
    • Overall progress
    • Plan B, i.e. what problems do you foresee, what alternative do you have.

Progress Report 2

Your 5 minute presentation should contain:

  • Title Slide: Title, Group Members, etc.
  • Overall Status
  • Component Slides: (one per component)
    • Name and type of component
    • Hardware interface of component used
    • How you interfaced it with software
    • Progress with component (i.e. ordered, acquired, tested, done)
    • Challenges
  • Project Status Slide:
    • Task division amongst team members.
    • Overall progress (e.g. parts are working, still need to integrate .... PCB built and tested
    • Plan B, i.e. what problems did you encounter, what alternative do you have.

Project Presentation

An important part of the project is the presentation. Here you will explain to the class and the general audience what the goal of your project is and how you have solved it. Explain it from the top level first and then drill down into the components. Keep in mind that the most impressive part to the audience is, how much you have accomplished with such few components and in such a little time of only 1 semester. Below is a rough outline that you can follow.

The presentations will be held in conference style sessions with refreshment breaks in a yet to be announced seminar room. You are required to present your paper and attend at least two session. The presentations will be open to the general public and ECE students can get seminar credit for attending a session (though you can't get seminar credit for the session in which you are presenting).

The time is limited to 15 minutes including demonstration / video plus 5 for questions and answers. Please re-hearse your presentation at least twice to make sure that you can present within these time constraints. The time limit will be strictly enforced. In order to assure a speedy change-over from group to group and to facilitate demonstrations of your project, please upload the presentations to the presentation laptop at the latest in the break before your session and also setup your demonstration at that time.

  • Title Slide
  • Motivation
  • Overview
  • Block Diagram
  • Hardware Description
  • Software Description
  • Results
  • Demonstration

Project Report

Always remember that a good project must go along with a good report. The final report should be single spaced, 10 pt font, 1 inch margins, letter sized paper. Please limit the text part of your report to a maximum of 8 pages (not including the appendix), fewer pages are fine.

Here are some hints for the project report:

  • The project has to have a title and names of all team members.
  • A short abstract should summarize the motivation, goal, and achievement.
  • A brief table of contents. (This means you have to have page numbers!)
  • The contents should include:
    • Motivation: what is the purpose of your project.
    • Your solution to the problem stated in the motivation including a top-level block diagram (not a schematic!). All diagrams, figures and tables need captions!
    • Description of all parts shown in the block diagram including how they are interfaced, what MSP430 feature was used, how does your software interact with each part, etc.
    • Results and Conclusions including lessons learned. Describe precisely how far you got in the project i.e., what does work, and which parts are not fully functioning.
    • Bibliography: Name all the resources that you used including but not limited to books, research articles, conference papers, webpages, open-source code, open-source hardware, etc. Using freely available code, schematics, hardware, etc. and not giving credit is plagiarism. Using proprietary code, schematics, hardware, etc. even with permission and not giving credit is plagiarism. Using proprietary code, schematic, hardware without permission of the rights holder is plagiarism.
  • The Appendix should contain:
    • List of team members and their tasks
    • Complete parts list
    • Full schematic
    • PCB layout (if done)
  • A suggestion: For reports using LaTeX is a good idea. It is installed on all lab machines and freely available for your PC and any operating system. (Using LaTeX is not a requirement.)

Project Package

The project package is the final submission and has to be submitted via MyMason as a single zip file and include:

  • Project Report (source file)
  • Schematic
  • PCB layout (if done)
  • All sourcecode written for this project

A single submission for a group is sufficient. If you want to re-submit before the deadline, please resubmit as the same user as the first submission. It is otherwise difficult to figure out which version you want graded. The completeness of this Package is also graded.

Project Grading

  • Specifications/Proposal: 5%
  • Presentation: 30%
  • Report: 30%
  • Implementation 30%
  • Package: 5%