Saturday, December 26, 2020

Spartan Superway in the Year of Covid-19 (2020-2021)

Beginning in the spring of 2020, Spartan Superway migrated from a hands-on program at the Spartan Superway Design Center to an online presence. Progress accomplished by the class of 2020 and the class of 2021 can be seen at the online library of our sponsor INIST:

(Please note the chronological order of publications. Final reports from ME 195 undergrads and ME 295 graduate students are typically found in May and December. 

Additional information on progress by the Spartan Superway mentor team can be seen here:

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Spring 2019 Schedule +

Spring 2019 week-by-week schedule (Monday - Sunday):

Of course, complete tasks ahead of time to leave your team some wiggle room at the end of the semester in case you need extra time for some task (you likely will!).

01/28/2019 - 02/03/2019: First day of Spring 2019 semester (Jan 30th, 2019) - General session
1. Meet with teams. Determine what, if any, design goals still need to be achieved. Do you have a final, prime design that is ready to go? Have you tested your design (FEA, bench models, rapid prototyping)?
2. Look at your Fall 2018 grades, feedback, etc. What did you lack on? What did you excel at? Please use this data to better yourself during the Spring 2019 semester.
3. Create / update your Gantt charts for the Spring 2019 semester.
Consider goals such as finalizing design and testing, ordering parts (GET APPROVED by management team first), in-house fabrication (lay out a time table for getting custom parts built, if applicable), out-sourced fabrication (lay out a time table for getting custom parts made for your project, if applicable), determine if other sub-teams on your project need help so you can all create a successful prototype together, assembly of sub-prototypes (i.e., sub-team specific), testing of sub-prototypes (i.e., sub-team specific), fabrication of master assembly (i.e., full scale team, half scale team, small scale team), testing of master assembly (i.e., full scale team, half scale team, small scale team), time for iterations / additional fabrication time / sourcing new parts in case something goes wrong (it likely will...), retesting your sub-assemblies / master assemblies, detailed documentation of ALL STEPS when fabricating / assembling / testing, final testing prior to Maker Faire, determine who is doing what and when at Maker Faire, final reports, presentations, and documentation storage.

02/04/2019 - 02/10/2019: Individual Session
1. Finalize designs! Finalize your CAD assemblies, analysis, plans for ordering parts (i.e., consider lead-times!), plans for fabrication (i.e., who will make what and when? Are you out-sourcing this work? Are you making it yourself in-house? What's the expected lead time?), plans for assembly (i.e., when do you plan on assembling your prototype), plans for testing, etc.
Essentially, PREPARE ahead of time so you can make small iterations later if need be, as opposed to scattering and stumbling around to figure it out last minute.
2. ORDER parts if you haven't already. Be sure to GET APPROVED before ordering any parts. Check existing shop parts to cut down on expenses.
3. Schedule your semester out. So minimal surprises arise. See above week on making your Gantt Charts!

02/11/2019 - 02/17/2019: Individual Session - Individual Writing Assignment #1 due Sunday 2/17 - See Canvas
1. 13 weeks left to get your prototypes up and running for Makers Faire!
2. Finalize designs
3. Create fabrication-ready shop drawings in Solidworks. Be sure you input all of the correct part views and dimensions. Please review your drawings with Dr. Furman before you send them to a shop to get fabricated.
4. Begin fabricating your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!
5. Carefully and with much detail, document all processes (design, fabrication (both in-house and out-sourced), assembly, testing, any new iterations, ...etc).

02/18/2019 - 02/24/2019: General Session (meet with other ME195B classes)
1. Fabricate your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!

02/25/2019 - 03/03/2019: Individual Session - PRESENTATION #1
1. Fabricate your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!
2. Begin assembling your sub-assemblies (if ready).

03/04/2019 - 03/10/2019: Individual Session
1. Fabricate your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!
2. Continue assembling your sub-assemblies.
4. Test sub-assemblies and prototype functionality if ready!

03/11/2019 - 03/17/2019: General Session (Meet with other ME195B classes Student Union Room 4A/4B)
1. Fabricate your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!
2. Continue assembling your sub-assemblies.
3. Assemble your master assemblies if ready.
4. Test sub-assemblies / master assemblies (if ready) and prototype functionality!

03/18/2019 - 03/24/2019: Individual Session. Individual Writing Assignment #2 due Sunday 3/24 - See Canvas.
1. Fabricate your parts (in-house, or out-sourced)!
2. Continue assembling your sub-assemblies.
3. Continue assembling your master assemblies.
4. Test sub-assemblies / master assemblies and prototype functionality!

03/25/2019 - 03/31/2019: Individual Session
1. Continue testing your sub-assemblies and master assemblies.
2. If any issues during testing, be sure to solve it quickly! Time is running short.
3. Test sub-assemblies / master assemblies and prototype functionality!

04/01/2019 - 04/07/2019: Spring Break  - No classes 
1. Test sub-assemblies / master assemblies and prototype functionality!
2. Consider time for new design iterations / additional fabrication time / sourcing new parts in case something goes wrong (it likely will...)

04/08/2019 - 04/14/2019: Presentation #2
1. Retest your sub-assemblies / master assemblies if a new iteration was needed.

04/15/2019 - 04/21/2019:  General Session (meet with other ME195B classes Student Union Room 3A/3B, 2nd floor)
1. Complete final testing to ensure ready for Makers Faire.

04/22/2019 - 04/28/2019: Individual Session. Individual Writing Assignment #3 is due Sunday 4/28 - see Canvas.
1. Complete final testing to ensure ready for Makers Faire.

04/29/2019 - 05/05/2019: Preparation for Student Conference Day and Prototype Evaluation Day.
1. Complete final testing to ensure ready for Makers Faire.

05/06/2019 - 05/12/2019: Last day of ME195B class May 8th. 5/8/2019 = Prototype Evaluation Day!
05/10/2019 - Conference Day - Final Presentations - Rooms E331, E341, Afternoon (room E343)
1. LAST WEEK to finalize prototypes! Ensure they work, ensure they can be easily assembled / disassembled.
2. Organize your parts for Makers Faire! Be sure you bring any power tools, power strips, extension cords, hardware, etc!

05/13/2019 - 05/19/2019: Makers Faire May 17th, 18th, and 19th.  
1. Final reports due 5/13/2019 by 5:00 pm

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Label, Organizing, & Storing your Documentation!

Hello Spartan Superway Students,

As we approach the end of the first semester ME195A, it is time to start organizing ALL of the relevant documentation that you have created since August 2018. 

1. LABEL all of your documentation with the proper naming convention. Please include the date as this makes it easier for future referencing. Make the name of your file very obvious and easy to know what will open when someone clicks on it at a future date. 
e.g., 2018-12-04 Full Scale Bogie Final Report ME195A 
e.g., 2018-11-12 Small Scale Track Support Bracket ver3.0 

2. ORGANIZE all of your documentation! This means putting certain file types with similar file types such as keeping all of your CAD files together in a separate sub-folder, keeping your final reports and presentations in a separate sub-folder, keeping your code and wiring schematics in a separate sub-folder, etc. This will make going through your folders at a later date much easier.

3. Where to store? Here is the link to the Spartan Superway Archive where you will be storing all of your documentation. Please look inside the folder and find the appropriate folder for your sub-team. If you need to make a new folder within your sub-folder, make sure your LABEL it correctly so it is obvious what it holds. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Research Questions for Solar-Powered Automated Transportation

Research Questions
Solar Powered Automated Rapid Transit Ascendant Networks

Burford Furman 

The following sections list research questions to be answered with regard to solar powered automated rapid transit ascendant networks (“SPARTAN”). The questions are by no means exhaustive and have not been prioritized. The list is intended to spark discussion, thinking, and ultimately work that will hasten development of this new form of urban transportation. Comments, edits, and inputs are welcomed.
* Denotes research questions that are of high priority

Urban/Transportation Planning (UTP)
UTP 1.     What factors (positive and negative) would make a compelling case for people to travel relatively short distances (less than 30 min travel time) using a mode other than by automobile? E.g., gas prices go beyond $X/gal; if it were less expensive (overall) to not own a car; 'better' quality of travel (more relaxing, able to use the travel time to do something beside concentrate on driving, etc.), etc.
UTP 2.     In which types of cities (or areas within cities) does an ATN make sense (general characteristics, in order to compile a "short list" of cities and areas)?
UTP 3.     How can ATN be integrated into the urban fabric (stations, guideways, etc.)?
UTP 4.     How can ATN be integrated into the existing transit infrastructure?
UTP 5.     What is the impact on ATN usage to societal well-being?
UTP 6.     What modeling and planning tools are available to design solar powered ATN systems that can accurately predict ridership, how to manage vehicles, etc?
UTP 7.     What policies need to be crafted or modified to accommodate ATN as a new mode of transportation?
UTP 8.     What standards apply, need modification, or need to be crafted to the design, maintenance, safety, and operation of ATN systems?
UTP 9.     How would introduction of ATN affect transit mode split and car ownership?
UTP 10.  How could one utilize SUMO, Podaris, and Encitra modeling tools to develop a guideway network in their locale?
UTP 11.   What is the legal framework for acquiring ‘air rights’, sidewalk rights, station location rights, and in-building station rights? Address the financial, property ownership, and legal aspects.
UTP 12.   What incentives are there for property owners to think about station location rights?

Engineering (ENG: (A)acoustics, (Con)controls, (Dy)dynamics, (E)electrical/electronics), (H)Hardware, (Hum)human factors/ergonomics, (M)Metrics, (Mfg)manufacturing, (S)safety, (SW)software, (Sys)systems
ENG_A 1.    What are the acoustics of suspended ATN vehicles in an urban environment, and how do they compare to existing modes of transportation? What are the major causes of noise, and how can they be mitigated?
*ENG_A 2.   What will the acoustics be like for suspended ATN vehicles, especially when traversing discontinuities in the guideway (switches, joints, etc.)?
ENG_Con 1. What vehicle control strategies are optimal for maximizing throughput?
ENG_Con 2. What sensors are needed to control and accurately track the position of vehicles?
ENG_Dy 1.    What are the dynamics associated with a suspended vehicle’s travel over elevated guideways, and particularly when traversing curves?
ENG_Dy 2.    What are the limits of stiffness/deflection, etc. that lead to acceptable ride quality?
ENG_Dy 3.    How will ATN guideways and structures respond to earthquakes?
ENG_Dy 4.    What forces will act on riders, and how can they be handled in curves?
ENG_Dy 5.    What amount of deflection of a guideway is allowable between support columns,
             so that passengers will not experience motion-sickness?
ENG_Dy 6.    How must suspended ATN vehicles be designed, so that ride quality is acceptable 
 for riders?
*ENG_Dy 7.  How can wind loads be handled?
ENG_Dy 8. What forces will arise on bogie components and guideway structures as an ATN vehicle traverses a diverge, merge, or turn?
ENG_Dy 9. What is the maximum speed that a vehicle can take a turn?
ENG_Dy 10. How should turns/curves be designed to withstand dynamic forces and minimize passenger discomfort?
*ENG_E 1.  What is the optimal approach or combination of methods for powering bogies (e.g., wayside power, on-board batteries, ultra-capacitors, AC/DC, linear motors in track, etc.)?
*ENG_E 2.  What is the best approach to powering ATN with solar (e.g., solar PV on top of guideway direct to DC buss, CSP (concentrating solar power to steam), solar to compressed air for storage, solar PV + AC grid tie, mix of batteries and/or supercapacitors)?
ENG_E 3.   What is the optimal approach for storage of collected PV energy?
ENG_E 4.   What is the average number of vehicle-km/day/km of guideway that can be fully powered with a solar array 1m (2m, 3m, 4m) in width? (Determine by analysis and confirm by testing)
ENG_H 1.    How can right angle (90°) guideway curves be designed and supported within a typical city center (without pillars obstructing streets)?
ENG_H 2.    How should sections of guideways be connected (design of joints)?
ENG_H 3.    How should guideways be connected to support columns?
ENG_H 4.    What is the optimal design for guideway support columns, taking into consideration, strength, cost, ease of fabrication, and ease of maintenance?
ENG_H 5.    How should guideway supports be designed, so they can handle the loads of vehicles, wind, snow, seismic events, and potential crashes by vehicles. Is there a general footing design that could be mostly manufactured off-site and rapidly deployed? How much space would be required to install a footing?
ENG_H 6.    How should a suspension system between the bogie and suspended vehicle be designed to compensate for disturbance motions of a vehicle and allow for adjustments of position in stations?
ENG_H 7.    What are the dimensions and configuration of the guideway for a switching or merge section? What is the minimum length of off-ramps and on-ramps for adequate rider acceleration-deceleration comfort?
ENG_H 8.    What is the temperature profile within the guideway and how does it change over a 24 hr cycle (modeling+simulation AND experimental investigations)?
ENG_H 9.    What kind of thermal expansion must be accommodated, and how will it be accomplished?
ENG_H 10. Which elements of the guideway and bogie will have the most rapid wear, and how will these elements be maintained or replaced?
ENG_Mfg 1. How can guideway elements be mass produced to minimize cost?
*ENG_Hum 1.   How can an ATN station be designed, so that it is obvious to potential riders who are non-technical, visitors who are unfamiliar with ATN, the visually impaired, etc., how one schedules, pays for, and uses a fully automated vehicle?
ENG_Hum 2.   What are the best approaches for riders to know which vehicle is 'theirs' if multiple people are waiting at a station?
ENG_Hum 3.   How might rider aggregation be handled to encourage more than single occupants?
ENG_Hum 4.   What personnel, procedures and physical security measures and are needed to provide safety for riders and prevent vandalism or other destructive activities?
ENG_M 1.    What ATN metrics should be accounted for? Such as XX Watt/Kilometer, XX Track Weight / Kilometer, etc.
ENG_M 2.    What metrics should be used to compare solar-powered ATN to other modes of transportation?
ENG_S 1.        Should the brick wall stop criteria apply to ATN? What is the alternative?
ENG_S 2.         What minimum vehicle headways are 'safe'?
ENG_S 3.     How can suspended vehicles on elevated guideways be designed and proven to be 'safe'?
ENG_S 4.     How can suspended ATN vehicles or an ATN network be designed, so that medical and other emergencies can be addressed?
ENG_S 5.     What are potential failure modes and how can they be mitigated?
ENG_S 6.     How can a fully automated transportation system be made 'secure' in terms of hacking, disruption from cyber-attack, or other nefarious/malicious/vandalism actions?
ENG_S 7.   How can passengers safely egress from a vehicle in the event of an emergency, and especially if the vehicle is not at a station and stops?
ENG_SW 1.    What kind of mobile app is needed for users to interact/schedule/pay for transit on ATN?
ENG_SW 2.   What kind of in-station kiosk software is needed in stations?
ENG_SW 3.   What interface software is needed between mobile or station UIs and vehicle control?
ENG_SW 4.   What kind of system-wide software is needed to control vehicles with passengers and empty?
ENG_SW 4.   What software security systems are needed to authenticate riders, provide safety, privacy, and operating security? 
ENG_Sys 1.      How can ATN scale from modest to city-wide coverage?
ENG_Sys 2.      How can ATN systems be designed to handle rush hour or large pulse demand?
ENG_Sys 3.      What is the optimal size for an ATN vehicle?
ENG_Sys 4.      How can models of ATN performance be verified and calibrated?
ENG_Sys 5.      How should empty vehicles be handled in a full ATN system?
ENG_Sys 6.      How can ATN networks interface between cities or different guideway designs?
ENG_Sys 7.      How can vehicles be allocated optimally in a full ATN system?
ENG_Sys 8.      What is the formula given the number of vehicles that a station could have waiting or service at any time?
ENG_Sys 9.      How should maintenance depots be designed? Where should they be placed?
ENG_Sys 10.   How would a disabled vehicle impact network operation?
ENG_Sys 11.   What is the process for handling vehicles which become disabled somewhere along a section of guideway?

Environmental (ENV)
ENV 1.   What are the environmental impacts of solar powered ATN (“cradle-to-cradle” -- in the supply chain, during construction, while in operation, and upon decommissioning)? How can these impacts be mitigated?
ENV 2.   How can the visual impact of elevated solar powered ATN be minimized and sensitively integrated into the urban fabric? [See IDA 1.]
ENV 3.  How does solar powered ATN compare to other modes of public transit (e.g., capital cost, operating cost, safety, ride quality, convenience, accessibility, congestion, noise, air pollution, energy usage, rolling resistance, aerodynamic drag, weight, space utilization, consumption of materials for construction, fleet size, utilization factor, equipment maintenance, etc.)? Provide evidence and calculations that quantify these performance metrics.

Industrial Design/Architecture (IDA)
IDA 1.        What can be done to minimize 'visual intrusion' and maximize visual appeal for elevated ATN infrastructure? [See ENV 2.]
IDA 2.        How could a ubiquitous elevated infrastructure such as proposed by solar powered ATN enthusiasts be designed, so as not to be rejected out of hand or even be considered 'attractive' by the public?
IDA 3.       How should an ATN vehicle be designed to balance needs for safety, rider comfort, minimizing weight, minimizing drag, minimizing cost?
IDA 4.       What are the dimensions of the 'foot print' for an ATN station, especially one that comes down to ground level? Consider stairs, elevators, and ramp-down to grade.
IDA 5.       How can stations be designed to be visually appealing, functional, and safe?
IDA 6.       How can ATN be integrated into the urban fabric?
IDA 7.       What new opportunities does ATN enable for urban design and architecture? For example, if an ATN station can be integrated right into a building or residential complex, how might this free land that would otherwise be devoted to streets or parking or lead to more human-friendly living areas?

Construction/Manufacturing (CON)
CON 1.   Is there a compelling business case to be made for solar powered ATN in an urban environment? If so, what factors must be in place to make the case?
CON 2.   What should the workflow be to install an ATN system in an existing urban area, so as to minimize disruption to existing transportation and maximize speed of installation?

Bus 1.     Is there a compelling business case to be made for solar powered ATN in an urban environment? If so, what factors must be in place to make the case?
Bus 2.     What existing design, build, own, operate, maintain, transfer (“DBOOMT”) models can be mimicked to make ATN successful?
Bus 3.      What new industries would be required or how might ATN affect existing industries to supply materials and technology to build out and operate ATN networks?
Bus 4.      What conditions are ideal and 'non-ideal' conditions for ATN? How does ATN perform under these conditions?
Bus 5.      How should fare pricing be structured?
Bus 6.      How could ATN vehicles or spare capacity be used to transport other than people in an urban area (such as at night)?
Bus 7.      What are realistic costs of ATN per unit length (e.g., $/km)?
Bus 8.      How can ATN be successfully financed?
Bus 9.   How can a marketing plan to reach mayors of major cities around the world be developed?
Bus 10. What would it cost to replicate the service provided by the Oakland Airport (OAK) Shuttle Train (, but instead with an ATN system?

OTH 1.      What are potential 'unintended consequences' of ATN?
OTH 2.       How can the public be educated about ATN?
OTH 3.       How might ATN infrastructure be useful for other purposes, such as wiring and piping?
OTH 4.       How could a 'reference' design for ATN be made? What elements could become part of a reference standard?
OTH 5.       What research and development has been done from the UMTA AGT programs of the 1970s?
OTH 6.       What research has been done on ATN by Swedish researchers since the 1970s?
OTH 7.     What lessons have been learned from the existing ATN installations (e.g., Morgantown, Rivium, Masdar City, Heathrow, Suncheon Bay)

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.

Please sign up with Blogger using only your GMAIL Account. 
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 (one per team) with a name that is descriptive for your team (I.E., ISE Podcar Cost Analysis Team 2019). 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 address(es) to upload your team 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.