Putting their Master's skills to the test

​The Design Project is an appreciated course among many Master’s students. The problem-solving skills of the soon-to-be engineers are put to the test, while they get a chance to apply their acquired knowledge from previous courses. The projects are based on real problems within ongoing research at Chalmers, often with a connection to industry and society.

​"What has been fun with our design project has been to test our algorithms on a practical platform, even though it was a very simplified version of reality," says Ellinor Claesson.

She is one of the students who accepted the engineering challenge with automated intersections. With the rapid development of self-driving vehicles, the automotive industry is facing the challenge of developing a system for a safe and efficient coordination of self-driving vehicles through an intersection.

Every year, the Master's programme Systems, Control and Mechatronics offers a large selection of project proposals for the students to choose from. The projects are supervised by researchers from various areas within the Department of Electrical Engineering, which provides a great variety of engineering problems.

Another of this year's approximately 30 projects was the "Chalmers Postman Robot", where the task was to get the robot to pick up mail from the janitor's office and to autonomously take the lift up to the fifth floor, to deliver the letter to the supervisor's office. Equipped with a pre-recorded map and a LIDAR - a laser scanner that can measure distance, the robot can sense where it is on the map. It also has a camera that can detect so-called AprilTags, a kind of markers that are set up along with the planned route, that the robot reads to determine its position.

“We had six weeks to complete the project. With ten people in the project group, it was a challenge to divide the work into smaller groups to collaborate effectively”, says Hannes Jubro Kool, one of the students behind the robotic postman.

Petter Falkman is responsible for the design project course in systems, control and mechatronics. He thinks of the course as a good preparation for the upcoming Master’s thesis, as the students are get to practice on taking a project through all its phases, from specification to test and verification. He also plans to further develop the already popular course.

“My hope is that in the future we will be able to tie even closer links with parties from industry and society. By inviting our partners outside Chalmers to come up with project proposals, and to supervise the students in collaboration with our researchers, we hope to get more reality-based challenges for our future engineers to work with. It is also a good way to show the industry what our students can do when they enter the labor market”, says Petter Falkman.


Learn more about the Master's programme in Systems, Control and Mechatronics

Learn more about Master's studies at Chalmers


Published: Tue 12 Feb 2019. Modified: Tue 09 Apr 2019