Monday, October 8, 2018

Fall 2018 Week-by-Week Schedule (Tentative)

Please note that some information may be redundant, but it is important that you read it all in case you are missing anything important, and trust me, there is a lot of important information in this post!

IMPORTANT LINKS: - PDF version of a Solidworks Template so you can see what to use when developing detailed CAD drawings that are outsourced to manufacturing services such as the SJSU's Central Shops, or other local vendors. - SLDDRT Solidworks Detail CAD Drawing Template. EVERY TEAM needs to use to create a professional, uniform layout. - Bill of Materials (BOM) Google Sheets Template. Please use this with your team to organize what your team needs when building your rapid prototypes and scaled prototypes.

NOTE 1: ****************** Before you have ANY manufacturing services completed for your project, please have Dr. Furman confirm your detailed drawings....In the past, student teams have sent their detailed CAD drawings to manufacturing services to only realize that there was a small error which resulted in hundreds of wasted dollars on a part they could not use...DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU*****************

NOTE 2: If you are at a point in your design where you need to start ordering parts, please confirm with Dr. Furman and/or Ron before you make any purchases.

Here is a general layout of the Fall 2018 semester schedule.

As you can see below, you only have 9 weeks left until the end of the semester, and 3 of those weeks are dedicated to presentations and Thanksgiving. PLEASE use the below schedule as a guide for your team's Gantt Charts so you and your team can keep up with this semester's deadlines.

Remember that this semester consist of designing, ordering rapid prototyping material, rapid prototyping, testing your rapid prototype, making design changes if needed, outreach to professional manufacturing services / begin prototyping your team's scaled project (if applicable), along with presentations and a final report!

Please note that you may also begin directly working on your project that may have components already developed for your team (if applicable), so if you begin to make changes, please begin to document those changes (see Important NOTE 3 below).

Important NOTE 3: Please check your Canvas files to find your Final Report Guidelines and Presentation #2 and #3.
The most important thing you and your team need to do is to READ the final report guidelines to know exactly what you need to document. During the Fall 2018 semester, you will be completing a lot sections in your final report, so it is important to read your final report guidelines so what you write is as accurate as possible. Please take pictures of your rapid prototypes, design work (screen shots), manufacturing processes, CAD drawing files, wiring schematics, Arduino coding (please use meaningful comments within Arduino's IDE so future students can know what you were doing), other coding (Python, Java), wiring schematics, etc!

NOTE 4: The below schedule is a general outline of where all sub-teams should be in their work. This is a tentative schedule, yet should be followed as good as possible to be successful for the Fall 2018 semester.

NOTE 5: If your team is ahead of schedule, please begin the process it takes to begin fabricating your team's scaled prototype. You will realize that Spring 2019 semester is not enough time to order parts, wait for lead times on parts or manufacturing services, realize that your parts are the wrong size or manufactured incorrectly, wait for new parts to be made or shipped, fabricate your prototype, realize you have issues with your prototype, complete design revisions, create / order new parts, re-fabricate your prototype, realize finals and final reports are due soon, run out of time which ensures you do not finish your prototype, get an incomplete on your grade, stay for summer to finalize your projects, rinse and repeat......
YOU do not know how many times we have been through this process before in the past. Please do not let this happen to you! A good way to escape this cycle is by getting ahead of the game.

This is your SENIOR PROJECT that requires a lot of hours of work. Please meet with your teams more than once a week to get work done, otherwise you will fall into this cycle.


Week of:

KEEP UP WITH YOUR WEEKLY TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL BLOGS!!!! I am now commenting on all of the team blogs with advice on how to make them better and what to document. These are graded.

August - September - 10/06/2018 - Presentation 1 completed. Orientation / research of past work completed, project specifications (proposals) completed. Each team should have a great understanding of what their project goals are, and a timeline of completion (Gantt Chart), and seminars #1 & #2.

10/07/2018 - 10/13/2018 - Continue design work for your sub-team, run FEA simulations or similar calculations to ensure your designs will be successful. Please consider 'weak points' on your design (e.g., will a drive shaft be too small in diameter to handle the amount of load required to move the bogie? Will your chassis fail due to the lack of gussets? Is your code working properly? See next paragraph for more examples).

*******Ordering / Purchasing parts for rapid prototyping should begin happen here! Rapid Prototyping is absolutely important as it allows your team to dynamically see if a particular component(s) will behave in a manner that you originally thought, or as shown in Solidworks. For instance, if you are using a 4 bar linkage in a part of your design, it would be a great idea to get some popsicle sticks and test it before expensively fabricating your linkage using steel and a water jet. Another example of rapid prototyping is by using the 3D printers in the Spartan Superway Design Center on a component or set of components to ensure they will integrate together successfully. Another example of rapid prototyping is developing your Arduino Code (or other code) on a breadboard prototype using smaller actuators, sensors, and LEDs as indicators that your code has successfully ran an intended loop. These are just a few examples of rapid prototyping, but there are many more out there that will help you inexpensively test key components of your project before you move on to your team's scaled prototype.*********

NOTE: Please use in-shop materials before considering purchasing parts for other companies). If your team needs electrical components, please ask Dr. Furman about going to HSC Electronics Supply in Santa Clara before you purchase them online or locally elsewhere.

NOTE: If your team is ahead of schedule, please consider beginning your actual scaled prototype.

10/14/2018 - 10/20/2018 - Continue design work for your sub-team, run FEA simulations or similar calculations to ensure your designs will be successful. Work on developing your rapid prototype / testing rapid prototype if you are at this point in your work. Work on your scaled prototypes if you are at this point.

10/21/2018 - 10/27/2018 - Presentation #2. Continue design work for your sub-team. Rapid prototypes should be done by now, test rapid prototype. Take detailed notes of successes / failures of rapid prototype and make design changes if needed and rerun FEA simulations or similar calculations. Sub-teams should begin building a Bill of Materials (see IMPORTANT LINKS above) for their actual prototype. Please note: some shipments may take longer than expected when ordering parts for your actual prototype, so plan ahead for this issue! If manufacturing work needs to be completed, reach out to companies in advance as lead times can be long!!! Order parts for actual prototype if ready!! FYI: It is also a possibility to reach out to local companies and ask for sponsorship, it has happened in the past years.

***Please read NOTE 1 above for KEY ADVICE on how to be successful in regards to sending proper detailed CAD drawings to local manufacturing services or SJSU's Central Shops.****

10/28/2018 - 11/03/2018 - Continue design work for your sub-team. Begin ordering parts for actual prototype if you are ready (have Dr. Furman APPROVE your BOM list before you order anything!)

11/04/2018 - 11/10/2018 - All sub-teams should have ordered all parts for prototypes (if applicable). Continue making design changes if needed, otherwise begin building prototypes. Never a bad time to begin developing your Final Report.

11/11/2018 - 11/17/2018 - Continue building prototypes. Make a week-by-week Gantt Chart for Spring 2019. Please include all key deadlines in your Gantt Charts.

11/18/2018 - /11/24/2018 - No Classes (Thanksgiving). If you have time this week, work on your final report and other project related tasks.

11/25/2018 - 12/1/2018 - Presentations #3. Continue building prototypes. Finalize design changes.

12/2/2018 - 12/08/2018 - Continue building prototypes. Finalize design changes.

12/18/2018 - Final Project Report and Individual Performance Evaluation Forms Due @ 12:15 PM

Monday, September 17, 2018

Keeping up with your blogs (individual & team), other valuable tips.

Hello 2018/2019 Spartan Superway Students! PLEASE READ THIS ALL AS IT AFFECTS YOUR GRADE. 

My name is Eric Hagstrom, and I have been working as the Spartan Superway's Academic Programs & R&D Manager since the summer of 2016. During the 2017/2018 academic year, Dr. Furman took sabbatical, and I stepped in as the lead instructor for the Spartan Superway senior design course. I recently moved to San Luis Obispo with my significant other, so that is why you are not seeing me in person anymore (I know some of you from the summer program are in the senior design course now, so don't let me down! ;) ) . Anyways, I would still like to provide suggestions through the Spartan Superway blogspot that can help you and your team better prepare for the end of each semester in a wide variety of topics.

Please check back here for updates!

First piece of advice that also affects your grade. Keeping up with your BLOGS - both individual and team. Keeping up with your blogs means posting ONCE PER WEEK. 

1. Your individual blogs should keep records of what you have done individually for your group each week (i.e., describing a part of the system that you looked into and diagnosed, any notes thereof, preliminary calculations or sketches, debugging, future goals for next week and/or long term, etc).
2. Your team blogs should keep record of what you AND your team have done collectively for this week in terms what team project goals have been completed. Any progress should be noted, and progress should be completed each week in tandem with a team Gantt Chart to keep you and your team on track. It is okay to use some content from your individual blogs as long as you are complete with your blog posts.

These blogs posts should be detailed, including, but not limited to, photos, diagrams, calculations, sketches, and CAD models. You can also include meetings with your mentors, discussions with Dr. Furman and Ron, and other related suggestions. You should also consider looking at your FINAL REPORT GUIDELINES so you know what to expect at the end of the semester. This will help you and your team understand what details need to be filled out in your final report. The more you complete now, in the form of your blogs, means the less you will have to write at the end of your semester when you have to balance final tests and other reports for your classes.
A minimum of 2 paragraphs, along with other details, should be written each week in your blogs as you are likely performing and completing a bunch of work related to your project. Your team blogs should have more than that!

**If you are under an non-disclosure agreement (NDA), please speak with Dr. Furman and/or Ron on what is appropriate to post on your blogs or not.

When you enter, as you should already know, on the left hand side you will see team blogs, while the right hand side has your individual blogs.
If your individual blog or team blog is not listed, please send your URL to, and I will personally add your link to the web page. Please view the instructions below on how to make a blog, both personal and team, if you have not done so.

Looking at the current blogs, both individual and team, are relatively lackluster. Some blogs are better than others in terms of written content, while others have not been updated in weeks! You are LOSING grade points. So please, keep up with this blogspot. You are in your final year of engineering, and technical writing will NEVER disappear if you stay within the engineering industry (depending on what you are doing of course).

Please do not hesitate to send me an email if you need any help.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Assignment #1: Creating your individual and team blog spots

General note: Individual and team blog spots are important for checking accountability to ensure that each student is keeping up with their project work! Blog spots missing information each week tells me that you are not keeping up with your course work. Please be sure to add details to each blog spot post.

To create your individual blogs go here:

  1.  and follow the directions. 
    1. Note that you will use to login to your blog page. 
  2. When your blog spot account has been created, please click on "New Blog" in the top left corner. Enter in a relevant blog spot title, and an address such as "" 
  3. Before you click on "Create Blog!", please copy and paste your blog address to this Google Form as seen below in the image. 
  4. This is very important as I need your addresses to upload your personal blogs to so they are visible for everyone to see.
  5. Congratulations! You have created your individual blog spot! I will get your blog spot hyperlinks uploaded to soon! 

Creating your first individual blog post!

  1. Once you have inputted your information to the Google Form found above, it is time to create a new post in your individual blog. (These will be created by each student on a weekly basis!) 
    1. Please go to and login! Near the top left of (when you are logged in, there should be a feature that says "Post." Click on "Post" and input a relevant title that concisely portrays what you will be posting about each week (dependent on what your Professor would like to see). Below the title is where you will input the bulk of your information! (See image below!)
  2. Your individual posts will include conceptual ideas, drawings, CAD models, calculations, and anything else related to your individual involvement in your project's design, rapid-prototyping, fabrication, assembly, and testing of your project. 
  3. Information to post in first individual blog post: 
    1. Please include your full name, contact information (email address, phone number), a brief description of yourself (major, expected graduation year, interests, why you want to work on automated transit networks), and finally a picture of you!
  4. To successfully post your blog, click "Publish" on the right side of the screen! (See image below) 
  5. Congratulations! You have successfully posted your first blog spot. 

Creating a team blog spot! (If applicable)
  1. Once teams have been formed.... 
  2. Create a team blog post (one per team) with a name that is descriptive for your team (I.E., PLEASE NOTE: A team's blog spot is created in the same exact way your individual blogs were made, with one small difference (See step 3 below to add multiple authors to your team blog spot). 
  3. allows for multiple authors to participate and collaboratively add information into a single blog spot. To do so, the first author will invite all other team members as authors with admin permission (I.E., adding other team member's email addresses). 
    1. Specifically, go to: [Team blog] > Settings > Basics > Permissions  > Blog Authors
  4. Upon completing this, please copy & paste your address to this Google Form as before. 
  5. This is very important as I need your addresses to upload your personal blogs to so they are visible for everyone to see.
  6. Congratulations! You have created your individual blog spot! I will get your blog spot hyperlinks uploaded to soon! 
Creating your first team blog post! 
  1. Using the same method for creating your first individual blog post, please make a collaborative team post with your team members that includes each member's availability (School & Work Schedule), and contact information so your teammates can easily contact you if need be. This will allow you to schedule time to meet with teammates to work on your project. 
  2. In addition to the above information, add a paragraph description that covers the scope of work and goals for your team's project. 
  3. Congratulations! You have successfully posted your first team blog spot. 

Welcome to the ME195A/B 2018/2019 Spartan Superway Program!

Hello Spartan Superway 2018/2019 Student,

This blog spot ( will serve as the informational hub for you to receive information related to this summer's program that will include posts from your professor and other faculty, research articles, assignments, fellow students and more! In addition, you will also create your own blog that will be used to post your class assignments and general updates!

Navigating is simple! The bulk of information, as listed above, can be found in the center of the blog spot (just like this post!) Individual student blogs can be found on the right side of the blog spot. Individual student blogs will appear as hyperlinks that can be clicked to read each student's blog spot. Professors will stay updated with student's blog spots to ensure they are actively posting and keeping up with their assignments. Depending on if there are team's, the left side of the blog spot will contain hyperlinks to team blog spots.

The following post titled "Creating your individual and team blog spots" will describe how to create your own individual blogs.

Creating a team blog spot can also be found in "Creating your individual and team blog spots."

Friday, July 27, 2018

2018 Solar Skyways Design Collaborative

Interns from San José State, local high schools, Tec de Monterrey (Mexico) and Pusan University (South Korea) have just completed the summer 2018 Solar Skyways Design Collaborative at the Spartan Superway Design Center near San José State in downtown San José.

Much progress was achieved on several fronts:
  • Full-scale bogie, motor and controls
  • Full-scale guideway
  • Full-scale wayside electrical pickup
  • Full-scale suspension system
  • Full-scale guideway structural analysis and testing
  • Hybrid battery/ultracapacitor onboard energy storage system
  • Small-scale cabin design
  • Solar canopy system design and analysis software
  • Facial recognition security/farebox software
  • ... and more
Final reports will be completed soon and shared with interested parties.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Maker Faire Bay Area 2018

The Spartan Superway 2017/2018 Team showcased their final work at Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 over the weekend of May 18th - 20th. Four total projects were operated and shown by their respective teams including the Small-Scale Prototype Team, Full-Scale Prototype Team, Wheelchair Restraint System Team, and the Half-Scale Suspension Team (right to left in Figure 1). Each team's project is shown below with a small caption and figure describing which project it is.
          Figure 1: Small-Scale, Full-Scale, Wheelchair Restraint, Half-Scale Suspension (starting at the right side moving left) 
Figure 2: Students from the Small-Scale Team explaining their project to Maker Faire attendees
Figure 3: Full-Scale Team performing some last minute adjustments before the gates opened to the general public. 

Figure 4: Superway student Jinhau explaining how the wheelchair restraint system works

Figure 5: A close up of the Small-Scale prototype with curious Makers testing the collision avoidance system

Figure 6: Superway student Tan showing a young Maker how the wheelchair restraint system works

Figure 7: Superway student Joshua showing off his team's Half-Scale suspension system

Figure 8: Superway student Joshua holding down the Half-Scale suspension system in wait for more Makers to arrive 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Superway | Daily Planet

Exhibiting this weekend at the annual Maker Faire in San Mateo, the Spartan Superway team is already in the news!

Even though big cities have rideshare programs, buses, and trains, we all know it can still be hard to get to your destination. Enter the Spartan Superway from the engineering students at San Jose University! Daily Planet airs weeknights at 7E/4P only on Discovery Canada!