ECE’s SPARK Challenge showcases Fall 2021 projects
The Spark Challenge is a campus-wide, corporate-sponsored design competition, hosted by Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in partnership with the ECE Student Society (ECESS). The event is held twice a year, at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. The Spark Challenge is open to all undergraduate students in any discipline at Purdue University, and can be an individual entry or a team of up to four members. It allows students to present their projects in one of two ways: demonstration only or demonstration and competition in the challenge which is judged by ECE faculty and corporate sponsors.
For the Fall 2021 event, more than two dozen teams showcased the projects they had been working on all semester.
The first-place team was SnowVision, a blind spot detector for snow sports. Built into a helmet, the device uses a radar system to detect approaching skiers/snowboarders and notifies the user, allowing them to react. SnowVision accomplishes this through LEDs that are mounted in the peripheral vision of the user as well as a companion mobile app. A light on the right side of the helmet illuminates when someone is coming up on the user’s right side, a light on the left for those coming up on the left side, and the lights turn on simultaneously when someone is approaching from directly behind the user.
SnowVision team members include: Russell Greene (Team Leader), Asa Cutler, Samantha Gomez, and Dev Ranta.
Coming in second place was RevEx, a non-optical virtual reality tracking solution that also provides a haptic feedback sensation on the elbow joint. The device is capable of detecting the users elbow angle, sense shoulder orientation, and provide haptic feedback on the elbow. RevEx can be used for long periods of time without charging, and communicates via Bluetooth low-energy.
RevEx team members include: Matthew Rumple (Team Leader), Zachary Ghera, Issac Hagedorn, and Swagat Bhattacharyya.
An interactive piano learning system that can be attached to any standard keyboard finished in third place at SPARK. P.I.A.N.O. includes three learning modes – visualizer, play along, and learn to play. It connects to an associated app, which allows the user to upload songs they wish to play along with or learn to play. The device works by connecting to an existing piano and using LEDs to guide the user through playing songs loaded onto to the device. In "learn-to-play" mode, the device waits for the user to press each key before progressing to the next note(s). In "play-along" mode the entire song is played at a specified tempo and expects the user to follow along.
P.I.A.N.O. team members include: Jerry Liu (Team Leader), Jared Botte, Tong Wang, and Kirk Weibel.
The teams won prizes of $1,000, $800, and $600 respectively.
In addition to support from Purdue ECE, ECESS received support from the following corporate sponsors: Caterpillar, Cleveland Cliffs, Eastman Chemical, JLG, John Deere, and Texas Instruments.