design team | David Lu / Deepak Talwar / Hannah Hagen / Baljot Singh
Scott Moura (pictured at left) had a breakthrough while watching kids ride scooters in the streets of Paris a few years ago. He had recently been invited to join the Berkeley civil and environmental engineering faculty, and was asked by fellow professors Steven Glaser and Raja Sengupta to help design a cyber-physical course and relate it to the smart energy grid, one of Moura’s research areas.
“We wanted students to have some kind of hands-on activity,” says Moura, “but when we talk about electric vehicles, it’s not feasible to give students their own electric vehicle. At the time, I was studying in France and watching kids ride these Razor-like scooters and thought: why not design the course around these scooters? That was the genesis of the hands-on portion of the class.”
CE 186: Design of Cyber-Physical Systems was taught for the first time last spring. In addition to riding the scooters to collect data, students modified open-source hardware platforms to measure voltage, state-of-charge and current. Their final step was to write software that controlled the charging infrastructure via a cloud-based web app.