MOD007361 Embedded Computing Assessment
The practical assignment aims to assess the following learning outcomes:
- Knowledge and Understanding
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of what embedded computing is and its technical challenges.
- Intellectual, practical, affective, and transferrable skills
Analyse new and/or adapt existing embedded methods, algorithms and code examples to real-world situations without guidance, using a range of techniques appropriate to the subject.
- Intellectual, practical, affective and transferrable skills
Design, develop and reflect on the implementation of new embedded system examples, competently undertaking reasonably straightforward research tasks with minimum guidance and critically appraise the results.
For the practical part you will design and implement a secure access management solution. To document the design, submit a 5-minute video which shows the system functionality and a discussion of your design approach. In other words, the video should show a demonstration of your solution. The design approach should feature a flow diagram. Furthermore, submit a writeup where you discuss 5 limitations of your secure access management solution. 2 of these limitations shout be already addressed in the solution and 3 limitations should be left for future work. Each limitation should be described with no more than 150 words.
The student should submit:
- One video file. For example, an .mpeg file.
- One text document describing the 5 limitations. For example a .docx file.
In its simplest form, the secure access solution can take the form of controlling one door with the LPC1768. As such, this simple system has many limitations in real-world scenarios. Overall, five limitations should be identified and two of these limitations should be addressed through an improvement in the system setup. A range of appropriate techniques should be used when addressing these limitations. The following sections provide a short overview of the building blocks for the secure access system.
The figure below shows an overview block diagram of the secure access management system. The diagram is centred on the LPC1768. That embedded system communicates via low level protocol with the Access Hardware and via High Level protocols with the GUI. The following sections provide a short description of the individual components.
The secure access solution must incorporate the LPC1768 from NXP. This component should handle low- and high-level communication. Low level communication means using the IO pins to connect access hardware. In its simplest form, the LPC1768 runs a super loop which services both low- and high-level communication.
The access hardware simulates the physical means of grant and refuse access. The access hardware should contain actuators and sensors. For example, the sensor requirement can be fulfilled with a button which represents a doorbell. The actuator requirement can be fulfilled with an Light Emitting Diode (LED), which is located on the board, which simulates a circuit with is capable of closing and opening a door.
Graphical user interface (GUI)
The GUI should allow the user to interact with the secure access solution remotely. For example, the GUI can involve the console program Tera Term. The protocol, implemented in the LPC1768 should allow the user to grant and refuse access.
The examples in the preceding text provide guidance on how to establish a minimal secure access system. Implementing such a system is sufficient to score a passing mark. The secure access component descriptions did not restrict the complexity. That means the student can, and indeed should, explore more complex solutions. This is encouraged by the assessment of the system limitations. For example, the minimal example does not have user authentication. This is a limitation and as such it should be described in the second part of the practical assignment. It is up to the student to address this limitation with a more complex system design. In case this limitation is addressed, the writeup for the second part of the practical assignment should provide information how this was addressed.