Student Design Projects to Support Safety of Highly Autonomous Machinery

Grants and Contracts Details


The goal of this project is to enable engineering students in BAE 305 (DC Circuits and Microelectronics) to develop safety systems for highly automated mobile machinery as their semester design project. ISO 18497 provides direction on the safety of highly automated agricultural machine operations. One part of the standard lays out the required sensing/perception systems for safe operation of these highly automated machines. The standard also lays out a test to verify that the sensor appropriately detects humans with a 99.9966% success rate using a test obstacle. The standard also includes requirements for how the vehicle/machine responds to a positive detection. As their semester design project, students will work in groups of 3 to 4 to create the perception system for a highly automated vehicle. This perception system will combine the sensor and the data processing necessary to make a detection signal that the system would use to start a safety response. One outcome will be the development of several different options for safety systems. However, students will also be encouraged to test the appropriateness of the standard itself. This can be demonstrated by creating a system that works on the test obstacle but not on an actual human or vice-versa. This project will require monetary support to enable the students to use appropriate types of sensors for this work. Some of these sensors that are most appropriate are not low-cost consumer grade sensors so students will not be able to purchase them outright. This project will enable them to test the types of automotive and industrial grade equipment that would be actually used in this application. Additional funds will be used in the fabrication of a test obstacle and other supplies used to set up the test. Student will begin working on their projects on January 31st, 2020 when they will have selected their groups and decided on a basic type of sensor system. In the next week, they will further define the system and how they expect it to operate. Construction and testing will soon. The projects will be organized using SCRUM into 2-week sprints. The goal of each sprint will be defined by the groups, but at the end of each sprint a separate part of the system should be complete or updated. Because of the sprint requirements, fabrication of the systems and ordering of the sensors will occur shortly after projects are defined. During the final week of classes, students will demonstrate the operation of the system during their lab period.
Effective start/end date9/30/169/29/20


  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health


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