Course Project

Projects can be done individually but preferably in group of maximum 4 students. To register, please fill in the registration form before October 15, 2016 and submit it to your course instructor's email address. Students will be requested to select one of the following project types:

Type A: Autonomous Vehicle Design and Implementation
  • Students identify a problem in a pertinent area of academic, industrial or commercial importance for which there are no available autonomous vehicle with reasonable cost and capabilities. This system must contain a combination of mechanical, electronic, computer and control components integrated together in order to solve the problem at hand.
  • Design and develop a new autonomous vehicle to solve this problem.
  • Students have to use Robot Operating System (ROS) to develop all the software modules of the vehicle. They can develop the algorithms from scratch or use available open-source modules.
  • Analyze experimentally the performance of the developed vehicle.
Type B: Empirical Evaluation
  • In this type of projects, student will pick an autonomous vehicle problem that interests him/her such as autonomous navigation, simultaneous localization and mapping, adaptive planning, etc.
  • Student is supposed to search the literature for approaches to tackle this problem, identifies strong and weak points of each approach and selects the most appropriate approach.
  • He/she must implement and experiment with the selected technique to quantitatively evaluate its performance in tackling the problem.
  • All the implementation must be ROS-compatible.
Type C: Algorithm Design
  • Student identifies an autonomous vehicle problem for which there are no satisfying approaches such as cooperative SLAM, cooperative motion planning of autonomous vehicles, UAVs communication relaying, group formation of unmanned vehicles, etc.
  • Develop a new technique to tackle this problem.
  • Analyze theoretically and/or empirically the performance of his/her technique.
  • All the implementation must be ROS-compatible.

Midterm Report:

The midterm report should be submitted no ater than November 12, 2015. This report consists of the following two components:

I: Critical Literature Survey Paper
  •  The students are asked to put themselves in the shoes of authors of a conference or a journal survey paper.
  •  They are supposed to search the literature for approaches to tackle the selected project problem/system.
  •  They survey and discuss the relative strengths of each approach.
  •  Then they suggest a taxonomic classification of these approaches showing how they are related or how they can be classified based on different well-defined criteria.
  •  The paper will be 4 pages. Student must comply strictly with the formatting instructions using IEEE Manuscript Templates.
II: Action Plan
Students provide an action plan using a Gantt chart with well-defined milestones for all the stages of the project.

Final Project Paper:

The result of the course project will be a scientific paper (6 pages) along with part of the source code developed to solve a given problem. IEEE Manuscript Template must be used. This paper MUST contain the following sections: 

Abstract: The Summary should be a brief version of the project. It should give the reader an accurate overview. Be brief, but be specific. 

I. Introduction: Summarize the importance of the problem you are trying to solve and the reason that motivated you to select this project. Explain what was the problem or challenge that you were given? state the purpose of the project and how did you solve it? Enumerate the objectives of the project and describe in brief the structure of the paper.

II. Related Work: Conduct a critical survey on similar solutions and explain how your solution extends or differs from these solutions. 

III. Problem Formulation and Modeling: Include the problem statement and describe its model.

IV. Proposed Approach: describe your proposed approach to solve the selected problem (DON'T include source code in the paper). Only pseudocode can be used.

V. Performance Evaluation: Establish a set of evaluation metrics and run some experiments with different settings and/or values of algorithm parameters to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the performance of the developed solution. Students must identify the pros and cons of the experimented techniques and assess the quality of work as well as its fit with project objectives

VI. Conclusion: Summarize the conclusion and future improvement. Explain how did you solve the problem, what problems were met? what did the results show? And how to refine the proposed solution?You may organize ideas using lists or numbered points, if appropriate, but avoid making your paper into a check-list or a series of encrypted notes.

References: Every paper needs references; in fact, your failure to consult references for guidance may be considered negligence. On the other hand, when you include sentences, photos, drawings or figures from other sources in your paper, the complete reference must be cited. Failure to do so is plagiarism, an academic infraction with serious consequences.

Important Note: A professional anti-plagiarism software will be used by the course instructor to check similarity and detect plagiarism. Your paper may be rejected on the grounds of plagiarism (Plagiarised ideas/results greater than 0% and/or similarity score is greater than 20%).

Project Delivery: January 8, 2016

Before the presentation and in order to complete evaluating the project, each team has to prepare a CD/Memory stick for the course instructor containing all materials related to the project (project paper according to the course policy mentioned above + a well documented source code and executable code with UserGuide that shows how to install and use the developed software + all the software packages used during the project development if any).

Project Presentation and Demo: January 11, 2016

The project team presents the developed project in 10 minutes plus 5 minutes for a question period. The classmates view the presentation, review the presented material, and ask questions.
Each presentation is attended by the course instructor as chair, course TA, critiquers (classmates), and the project team.
All project reports must be submitted to the course instructor before the proposal presentation.
During the presentation, one or two members can do all of the speaking, or three or four members can share the speaking equally.
All team members must be on the stage. Absent members need to provide documentation excusing their participation, e.g., a doctor's note.
The course instructors will provide the critiquers with hardcopies of the Projects evaluation sheet.
The critiquers mark these sheets up and hand the completed sheets to the presenting team at the end of the presentation.
The critiquers should provide clear, relevant and professional comments.
The critquers comments do not need to agree with the instructors' comments, but must be well justified. Marks are assigned solely by the course instructors based on the presentation.
The instructors use the same evaluation sheet as the other reviewers. The classmates' critique questions and results do not affect the presentation marks directly, but may help the instructors to clarify their own rationale, especially in evaluating the team's responses to questions.