D4 2012 (SAILORS): Football theme in an Olympic year11th June 2012
Second-year Electronics students in ECS had a fittingly Olympic theme for this year's D4 design exercise, traditionally a very competitive culmination to practical work in the first two years. Student teams were set the challenge of building an intelligent robot capable of playing football without human input to take part in the fictional 'Robot Olympics'. The students had only three weeks to design, build, test, and demonstrate a complete electronic system. Pressure on the students was intense as they worked round the clock to design their intelligent robots. Against a set of tough specifications, the students worked in groups, partitioning a large task amongst the individual team members. The students were expected to show initiative, creativity and innovation, to deploy good time management and trouble-shooting skills, and to undertake technical and market research, costing and budget analysis.
One of the football-playing robots
"Teams were named after countries, with my team being Team France," said Arinze Ekwosimba, studying MEng Electronic Engineering with Wireless Communications. "We had effectively two weeks to design and implement our prototype - it was undoubtedly the most stressful, challenging, draining and demanding part of my degree thus far!"
"The D4 design exercise is the culmination of two years of hands-on lab experience, requiring students to apply all of the skills and knowledge that they have learnt to solve a complex design problem," said Dr Geoff Merrett, lecturer and coordinator of first-year labs.
During the final judging session, Dr Matt Sacker of BAE Systems Detica congratulated the students on the quality of what they had achieved. "The D4 design exercise provides students with a real-world experience of electronic system design. The exercise matches a product's development from requirements capture through to prototype development", he said. "This provides Electronics students with valuable practical experience that gives them a head-start when applying for jobs and working in industry".
The winning team members were: Bryony Howard, Zachary Jelley, Henry Lovett, Thomas Smith, James Cooke, and Lewis Russell. Each received £100 from BAE Systems Detica as their prize. The exercise was run by Dr Geoff Merrett, Professor Steve Gunn and Dr Rob Maunder, with support from Dave Oakley, Jeff Hooker and David Kemmish.
For more information, click here.
Tactile Device Research on BBC Arabic's 4Tech show25th February 2012
Dr Sara Demain and I were interviewed by Nassim Ramadan of BBC Arabic's 4Tech show. 4Tech is considered to be the main Technology show in the Middle East and North Africa, watched by around 20 million people. During the interview, we explained our research into the use of tactile devices to help people regain movement and sensation when they are recovering from a stroke.
The interview was a somewhat strange experience, with all questions first being asked in Arabic (for which we had no idea w... [more]
Energy Harvesting Network Launched1st March 2010
The Energy Harvesting Network, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, was launched on Monday 01 March. The Network is managed by Steve Beeby and Geoff Merrett in the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), and will bring together UK academic and industrial researchers and end-users of energy harvesting (EH) technology.
The Network will define new research challenges and stimulate collaborative research proposals. It will also en... [more]