System Design Project Home Page


The System Design Project is a Semester 2 module and is a group project involving construction of an item of significant complexity under conditions designed to give insights into industrial teamwork.

It is a 20 credit course with design, construction and assessment through the semester, ending in a demonstration day with industry visitors.

More detail about the course and how it will run this year are in these slides from the introductory lecture held in semester 1 Professional Issues.

The Project

This year's task is to use Lego and an Arduino to design an assistive robotic device, with an appropriate software interface.

You will have some flexibility to set your own goals for this task, but here is an example of what you could attempt: a person indicates an object on the floor with a laser pointer, and the robot picks it up and returns it to the person.

On the final day, your systems will be demonstrated to external judges, who will be asked to assess whether they would consider investing in your group and the technology you have developed.


The class is assigned to groups of 7 or 8, each responsible for the development of a single robot. Assessment involves group marks for product (performance and documentation of the robot systems). Individual marks will then be adjusted for process (how each team member contributed), see details below.

Each group will have an assigned mentor, with whom they meet around once a week, and who offers advice and monitors progress, but - importantly - does not lead or manage the group. Advice on how the group should organise themselves for good project management will be provided. Problems within the group should first be brought to the attention of your mentor; if you have an issue with your mentor, you should bring this to the attention of the SDP TA (see below).

Assessment (to be confirmed)

Assessment of the group will be based on the following elements (follow links for further details):

Individual scaling of the group mark will be applied to reflect above or below average contributions.

Timetable 2018 TBC

Unless otherwise indicated, events will take place in the dedicated SDP labs in Appleton Tower.

Key information


The System Design Project team

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