Undergraduate Teams compete at Cornell Intel Cup in Orlando, FL

May 7, 2013

Two teams of undergraduate students from the University of Rochester were among 28 teams selected from applicants all over the country to compete May 3-4, 2013 at the Cornell Intel Embedded Systems Design competition in Orlando, FL.

Team UR Braille, with team members Christina Kayastha (CSC/ECE '14), Samantha Piccone (CSC '14), Douglas Miller (CSC '15) and Ben Ouattara (CSC/ECE '16) had a goal to design a Braille E-reader. The project aimed to create a refreshable braille display that would act as a screen for the blind. The braille display would be able to read in text and pdf files and output the result on the screen through a tactile display. Mimicking the traditional hole-punched paper braille books, the braille ebook would be able to give those who cannot access .pdfs a whole new library of information for the blind and visually impaired.  Though the team met with significant design challenges, the scope of their project was very ambitious, their design progress was well documented,  and the judges awarded them an Honorable Mention for their work.

Team UV Bots, with team members Eric Frank (CSC '13), Andrew Hevey (ECE '14), Alex Kurland (CSC '13/T5) Nate Book (CSC '14), Ben Vespone (BME '14) and Morgan Sinko (ME '16), developed a multi-agent robotic system that used ultraviolet light to sterilize hospital floors, wrestling mats and astro turf.  The system uses catadioptric omnidirectional vision for SLAM and modified four iRobot Create mobile robot templates for robotic agents.  Due to their strong organization and energetic teamwork, they had an impressive working system including a central hub/command center guiding the four robots.  To see more information about the retrofitting process, view their blog.

Both teams were coached by Randal Nelson, Ted Pawlicki and Chris Brown, with specialized help from other disciplines in the Hajim School of Engineering.  Ted Pawlicki accompanied the teams to Walt Disney World in Orlando for the competition.  Students were able to network with sponsor representatives and other teams as well as have a little time to relax and enjoy the high tech entertainment of Walt Disney World .

This was the first time URCS has participated in the Cornell Cup.  Students enjoyed the hands-on learning of the projects and are anxious to continue this effort in the future.