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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: System Design Project (INFR09032)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe System Design Project is intended to give students practical experience of (a) building a large scale system (b) working as members of a team. The project involves applying and combining material from several courses to complete a complex design and implementation task. At the end of course each group demonstrates its implemented system and gives a formal presentation to an audience of the students, supervisors, and visitors from industry.
Course description During this project students work in groups of about ten on the design and implementation of a complete system to solve some practical and useful problem. Each group can choose the specific task within the broad theme of 'assistive robotics', i.e., the system should be envisioned as able to perform an autonomous task in the real world, and will develop a demonstrator (which may exist in simulation or hardware). Recent examples of projects include: a robot shopping trolley for the visually impaired; smart switches to convert any household switch to be remote controlled with an app; a robot chess opponent; robot rubbish collection and sorting; etc.

The aim is to produce a system that provides a convincing demonstration of a potential product, suitable for presentation to a client/investor. It should thus include significant development of supporting software, user interfaces, and either real or physical simulation mock-ups. These should be integrated into a complete working system, showing that core problems have been solved. There will be support for hardware construction as required, through a dedicated lab space with a wide range of equipment available, and/or through commissioning the technical support team, with a budget for equipment and support time available to each group.

Online workshops and dedicated office hours from domain experts will be available to advise and guide all aspects of the task, such as time and task management, hardware design, software libraries, interfaces, etc. Each group is assigned a mentor. The mentor's task is to advise and provide feedback on the progress of the group during the project but not to provide technical support. Groups meet with their mentors at least once a week. They also meet amongst themselves more frequently to plan and coordinate their activities. Specific demonstration points are timetabled regularly during the semester when progress will be assessed and feedback provided.

Towards the end of the semester, a day is set aside for groups to demonstrate their implemented system and to give a formal presentation of it to an audience of the students, mentors, and visitors from industry.

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Computer Based Systems, Systems Analysis and Design
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Informatics Project Proposal (INFR11147)
Other requirements Successful completion of Year 2 of an Informatics Single or Combined Honours Degree, or equivalent by permission of the School.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 40, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Summative Assessment Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 127 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment is based on the achievements of the project work described above and its documentation, typically a process report, a user guide, and technical report. Each group member also submits an individual document reflecting on his/her contribution to the project. For each student the mark will be based on the group mark, moderated by the individual contribution. Students who make no contribution to the work of the group will receive a mark of 0%.

You should expect to spend approximately 167 hours on the coursework for this course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Working as members of a team in designing and implementing a complex and multi-faceted system
  2. Planning and monitoring the effort of a project to meet milestones and deadlines, within a limited time scale
  3. Drawing together knowledge and understanding of wide areas of software and hardware systems
  4. Demonstrating and presenting the outcome from a practical project
  5. Documenting the feasibility, design and development of a potential product
Reading List
The Elements of Style, W.Strunk Jr & E.B.White
Lend me Your Ears, Max Atkinson
The Visual Display of Quentitative Information, Edward Tufte
Additional Information
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Course organiserDr Steve Tonneau
Course secretaryMrs Michelle Bain
Tel: (0131 6)51 7607
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