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.
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Davide's Hunt for Cicadas in Slovenia20th June 2012
The New Forest Cicada is an insect native to the UK in great danger of becoming extinct. Several entomologists have searched for it in the past few years, but no sighting has been confirmed for over a decade. However, the area where the cicada could be found is vast, extending to the entire New Forest. This cicada makes a high-pitched call that is difficult for humans to hear.
Davide's research is investigating whether pervasive sensing technology can leverage the smartphones of visitors to t... [more]
Keynote Speaker at Sensors & their Applications XVII19th July 2012
I have been invited to speak at the Institute of Physics' biennial conference on Sensors and their Applications. The seventeenth in the series of conferences on Sensors & their Applications (S&A XVII) will be hosted outside of the UK and Ireland for the first time in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2013.
This will be the 17th occurance of the conference, having began in Manchester in 1983 and included the first of the highly successful Eurosensors conference at Cambridge in 1987 and a... [more]