BE1200 General Learning Objectives:

o          Identify a simple engineering problem

o          Identify the goals and constraints associated with the problem

o          Design a simple engineering system

o          Develop alternative solutions to an engineering problem

o          Evaluate the design of the engineering system in comparison with the developed goals and constraints

o          Develop and implement simple algorithms and programs as part of the system design

o          Discuss the various fields of engineering

o          Identify the ethical issues related to an engineering problem

o          Work in multi-disciplinary teams to solve engineering problems

o          Identify the societal impact of engineering solutions

The following is a list of some specific objectives:

  1. Students will become comfortable in working on a project in small teams where each individual in a team would be responsible for completing specific assigned tasks. Students will employ basic communications and teamwork.
  2. Students will gain an understanding of the iterative, feedback nature of the design process which involves the following steps: Defining a problem (in this course the problem would be to build an autonomous vehicle/robot) and its objectives, identifying constrains, identifying the materials and design aids available for them, generating a plan for tackling the problem, assigning tasks among team members (hardware tasks, software tasks, recording and data gathering tasks, communications tasks, etc.), building a prototype and generating program code for its operation, testing the prototype, refining the prototype and debugging its software (this involves a number of iterations of design modifications and testing), assessing the success of the various design modifications, and last arriving at a final implementation (a machine that meets all design requirements) along with complete operation and software documentation.
  3. Students will learn how to build structurally stable machines made out of frames, wheels, steering mechanisms, gears, shafts, gripping mechanisms, etc. This is accomplished by actual hands-on experimentation with various LEGO building components.
  4. Students will learn a basic version of the C programming language (NQC, which stands for “Not Quite C”). They will demonstrate an understanding of this language by successfully generating NQC code for controlling their autonomous vehicle inventions.
  5. Students will gain an appreciation for the hidden difficulties of sensing physical quantities (such as obstacles, color, light, temperature, etc.) and the intricate issue involved in using such measured values to automatically (under microprocessor control) navigate a robot or control an autonomous machine. This gained appreciation is expected to “open their eyes” and lead them to ask probing questions about the nature of physical signals and the internal working of sensory devices, motors, microprocessors, and LEDs; just the type of questions whose answers await in later engineering courses.
  6. This early freshman design experience has the objective of smoothing the transition to junior and senior-level capstone design courses and  to help integrate the design experience throughout the undergraduate curriculum.
  7. Develop oral and written communications skills (this includes the utilization of presentation, word-processing, and spreadsheet software, and employing elements of technical report writing).
  8. Students will be able to use e-mail and search the web to obtain relevant material.