Purdue students showcase projects during Fall 2023 Spark Challenge
Dozens of Purdue University students showcased projects they worked on for the last several months at the Fall 2023 Spark Challenge. The event 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).
Smart Air Hockey Table
First place went to the team that made a Smart Air Hockey Table (SAHT), a modern version of the classic arcade game. Central to its advanced gameplay is a vibrant grid of RGB LEDs, dynamically illustrating the puck’s position and game events. This real-time interactivity is made possible by a carefully arrayed set of hall effect sensors, which pinpoint the puck’s every move. Additionally, the SAHT incorporates photoresistor and LED pairs at each goal slot, ensuring precise goal detection and accurate score registration. An integrated OLED display then showcases the game score.
Team members were Alan Chung Ma (team lead), William Dobert (software engineer), Trevor Moorman (systems engineer), and Ben Owen (hardware engineer).
Project Stringless Harp
Project Stringless Harp finished in second place. This was designed using lasers and photosensor in order to detect what string is being played and play the corresponding note. The eight string(less) harp has freeplay and gameplay modes, an LCD display showing the note name, status messages, and game notes. Other components include a call-and-response game, where the device will state what note to play and prompt the user to play that note, and the capability to record and playback the input given.
Team members include Lakshetha Premanand (team lead), Emily Godley (hardware engineer), Izabelle Hilderbrand (systems engineer), and Priyanka Pereira (software engineer).
BoardLock was the third place project, which provides a wireless interface between the user and their skateboard to allow the user to keep their board secure. BoardLock utilizes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to send the status of the user's skateboard directly to the BoardLock mobile application for Android devices. If the BoardLock device is unable to connect via Bluetooth, it will automatically switch to Wi-Fi in order to keep the user connected.
Students on the BoardLock team were Nicholas Williams (team lead), Zecong Liang (hardware engineer), Jamie Lam (software engineer), and David Reed (systems engineer).
The winning team took home $2,000, second place won $1,600, and third place teams earned $1,200. Photos and videos of the event are available here.
The Spark Challenge is held twice a year, at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. It 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 partners.