18-549: Embedded System Design


Welcome to 18-549 Spring 2016. The complete course syllabus is available here (PDF).

Course documents available on blackboard and discussion on piazza.

Course Description

This course comprises a semester-long project experience geared towards the development of skills to design realistic and practical embedded systems and applications. Students will work in teams on an innovative project that will involve the hands-on design, configuration, engineering, implementation and testing of a prototype of an embedded system of their choice. Students will be expected to leverage proficiency and background gained from other courses, particularly with regard to embedded real-time principles and embedded programming. The project will utilize a synergistic mixture of skills in system architecture, modular system design, software engineering, subsystem integration, debugging and testing. From inception to demonstration of the prototype, the course will follow industrial project practices, such as version control, design requirements, design reviews and quality assurance plans. The initial lecture content will cover background material intended to complement the project work. The remainder of the course will consist of regular team presentations of key project milestones, current project status, a final project presentation and functional demonstrations of various subsystems, even as the entire prototype is being developed.

A primary objective of this course is to provide the engineering student with a cooperative working experience as an active member of an interdisciplinary team. Students obtain practical experience with the design process and both learn and reinforce their knowledge of specific technical topics covered in lecture and applied in the project. A structured framework is provided to aid in the success of the team. In the second half of the semester, the teams meet weekly with the instructors to discuss progress, challenges, issues and plans.

18-549 in its current form was originally developed over many years by Professor Priya Narasimhan. Previous instances of the course can be found here. Note that project links on that site may not work properly.


Anthony Rowe

Office: 2217 Collaborative Innovation Center
Phone: (412) 268-4856
Fax: (412) 268-5531
Email: agr@ece.cmu.edu

Course Staff

TA Email Office Hours in HH1303
Ian Hartwig ihartwig@andrew.cmu.edu Wednesday 4:30pm-6pm
Aaron Reyes areyes@andrew.cmu.edu Thursday 4:30pm-6pm
HingOn Miu hmiu@andrew.cmu.edu Friday 4pm-5:30pm
Nat Jeffries njeffrie@andrew.cmu.edu Monday 1pm-3pm
Craig Hesling jhesling@andrew.cmu.edu Tuesday 5pm-6:30pm
Course Management Assistant Email Office Phone
Lyz Prelich-Knight lyz@ece.cmu.edu HH 1112 412-268-5087
Technical Course Management Assistant Email Office
Jeffrey Zayas jazayas@andrew.cmu.edu HH 1112


Week Day Date Topic Assignment / Comments
1 Th 14-Jan Lecture 1: Course Introduction
2 M 18-Jan No Class: Martin Luther King Day
W 20-Jan Lecture 2: PCB design Lab 1 Release
3 M 25-Jan Lecture 3: Project Overview Team Formation Due
W 27-Jan Lecture 4: Sensors and Actuators
4 M 1-Feb Lecture 5: Communications Lab 1 Due, Lab 2 Release
W 3-Feb Lecture 6: Low-Power Embedded
F 5-Feb Proposal Document Proposal Document Due
5 M 8-Feb Proposal Presentation #1 Team Proposal Presentation
W 10-Feb Proposal Presentation #2 Team Proposal Presentation
6 M 15-Feb Lecture 7: Validation and Testing Lab 2 Due
W 17-Feb Lecture 8: Safety Critical Systems and Ethics
F 19-Feb Website check 1 Website check 1
7 M 22-Feb Team meetings
W 24-Feb Lab: System demo #1 System demo #1
8 M 29-Feb Team meetings
W 2-Mar Lab: System demo #2  
Th 3-Mar Peer evaluation 1 Peer evaluation 1
9 M 7-Mar Spring break: no classes
W 9-Mar Spring break: no classes  
10 M 14-Mar Team meetings
W 16-Mar Lab: System demo #2 System demo #2
11 M 21-Mar Team meetings
W 23-Mar Lab: System demo #3 System demo #3
12 M 28-Mar Team meetings
W 30-Mar Lab: System demo #4 System demo #4
F 1-Apr Website check 2 Website check 2
13 M 4-Apr Team meetings
W 6-Apr Lab: System demo #5 System demo #5
14 M 11-Apr Team meetings
W 13-Apr Lab: System demo #6 System demo #6
15 M 18-Apr Team meetings
W 20-Apr Lab: System demo #7 System demo #7
16 M 25-Apr Course feedback session
W 27-Apr Lab: Final system demo encore Final system demo encore
17 W 4-May Public Demo (redemption demo) Public demo
F 6-May Final report Final report
S 7-May Final Peer evaluation  Final Peer evaluation
18 M 9-May Final Website Check Final Website check

Last Year's Projects (2015)

Team # Project Name Team Members
1 (De)BuggyBoard Aaron Reyes, Vivek Nair, Erik Pintar, Justin Frye
2 RideThru Aayush Agarwal, Misha Kutsovsky, Josh Antonson, Omar Syed
3 Diesel Coffee Table Adhish Ramkumar, Anuj Patel, Shivam Naik, Shilpa Murthy
4 BackTrack Aditya Kodkany, Jonathan Miedel, Rahul Ramesh, Sarah Spock
5 Tether Ahmed Shalaby, Tomer Borenstein, Arthur Lee
6 CineJacket Albert Cho, Arushi Chawla, Naman Seth, Jaime Kang
7 'Life' Jacket Andy Choi, Minn Tun, Elliot Tan, Cindy Lam
8 Placeholder Arman Bolat, Nathaniel Jansen, Bryan Tan, Michael Chen
9 Swivel Ben Siegel, Francisco Delgado, Nate Appelson, Kedar Amladi
10 Enlighten Craig Hesling, Darrin Willis, Stephen Greco, Brad Plaxen
11 Distributed Tabletop Robots Daniel Bucci, Dale Best, Ibukun Adeleye, Sriharsha Vasadi
12 Pianissimo Diana Zhu, Maung Aung, Kevin Dou, Peter Wei
13 EZPZE Elena Feldman, Lucy Qian, Mirai Akagawa, Mihir Pandya
14 Dude HingOn Miu, An Wu, Jing Huang, Jingtao Xu
15 Dryplt Jackie Harris, Matthew Sebek, Shane Smith, Tom Chittenden
16 BRAKE Joanne Tse, Josh Yu, Karen Zeng, Ji Hye Lee
17 Klev Christian Hansen, DJ Begos, Peter Pacent, Matthew Kellogg
18 Child Tracker Sid Sethi, Lawrence Jackson, Varun Vijayraghavan, Stephen Chong
19 Scanner Dude Alex Franchuk, Madhav Iyengar, Miguel Sotolongo, Nat Jeffries