ECE 4006 Marketing & Cost Analysis

 From ECE 4006 Group 2 final report (word .doc document, on-line html file)

We also had volunteer labor from an invited friend and co-worker of group members, Charlie Mote. His volunteer labor included:

  • The creation and moderation of a group bulletin board to facilitate communication: http://groups beta.google.com/group/ECE4006GaTech
  • Contacted vendors
  • Consulted and helped edit the CDR’s, final report and demonstration
  • Researched analog sensors
  • Helped build prototype peizo film vibration and heat sensor
  • Sourced and procured materials


This volunteer labor, using a range of possible real-world compensation from $10/hr. to $40/hr (ave. $25/hr.) at approximately 100 hrs. represented a gain of approximately $2500 to the actual operating expenses of the project.

The chart below shows the actual costs and expenditures for what we completed:

Part

Part Description

Vendor

Cost / Piece

Quantiy

Total


MTS 310

Sensor Board

XBOW

$210

6

$1260 (free)

MTS 101

Sensor Board

XBOW

$100

2

$200


MPR 400

Processing Board

XBOW

$150

6

$900 (free)

MIB 510

Programming Board

XBOW

$150

1

$150


File Cabinets

Donated

$10

4

$40 (free)


Magnetic Switch

Radio Shack

$5

1

$5


L.E.D

Radio Shack

$5

1

$5


Hinges & Cardboard

Home Depot

$10

1

$10


Volunteer Labor (included, creation and moderation of central message board, procurement of supplies, basic research and report editing.)

GA Tech community member Charlie Mote

Assuming range of $10 - $40/hr.

100 hours

$1000 - $4000 (average $2500)

(free)




Total Actual Operating Expenses


$5700




Total Budget Used


$370




Total Budget


$600




Unspent


$230

Table 2. The summary of total cost of the design


Marketing & Cost Analysis:


To meet the project requirements we needed to design, construct, implement, test, and deploy components at several different levels. After conducting research on the physical properties of the containers mentioned in the requirements, we needed to decide what types of sensors and monitoring which might be deployed in the real world could also be used for purposes of a demonstration project. While discussion of our methodology for our final choice is best left to another section of this report, it was clear that the necessary budget and resources to meet the requirements above in a demonstration project would be quite high. Time was also of the essence.

As stated in our methodology, one possible theoretical solution was to have sensor devices mounted inside the container that could constantly provide data from the containers and report to a monitoring center. We decided wireless sensors would be the only practical way to practically meet the project requirements either in the real world or for the purposes of our experiments and demonstration.

After initial inquires at Crossbow Technologies about their products, and specific questions about former Crossbow customers at Georgia Tech, we found that Dr.Hutto, a professor of Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech was working with the Crossbow Technologies “smart-dust motes” ad-hoc wireless network sensors. After meeting with his student assistant and correspondence with Dr. Hutto, he allowed us to borrow his devices for the duration of the project.

By doing research about these devices and comparing them with other devices available in the market, we found that Xbow products offer much more functionality and flexibility to complete our design. Its sensor board has all the light sensor, accelerometer sensor used as vibration detection and temperature sensor already built-in. It also has a processor board called mote that can get the data from the sensor board, digitize these data and broadcast it to other sensors in the network or to a main server. So it appeared that we would merely need our own analog sensors and then specific programming of the Crossbow Technologies (XBOW) motes to fulfill the project requirements. The cost of even a limited, actual-scale demo would have been much higher than our budget.

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