Yearlong projects come to life

Fresno State students Jose Camacho (left) and Mauricio Cruz (right) gives a demonstration of the project, Object Tracker and Path Projection during the 10th annual Projects Day in the Satellite Student Union on May 9, 2017. The objective of the project is to track an object and indicate its path with the use of a camera, visual studio and OpenCV. For this project, students tracked a ping-pong ball and used LED lights to illuminate its path. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

The 10th annual Projects Day celebrated more than 100 Lyles College of Engineering student projects on Tuesday in the Satellite Student Union.

The free, public showcase exhibited year-long projects related to manufacturing and energy solutions, solar, wastewater treatment, security, irrigation and highway interchanges. The students from the college included computer, electrical, geomatics, mechanical engineering and construction management.

Hernán Maldonado, director of student services for the college and coordinator of the event, said, “These are students that have been working on their projects all academic year.”

For 10 years, Maldonado has been a part of the event and has been able to see it grow into what it is. He said the idea began when the dean of the college, Dr. Ram Nunna, attended other engineering project exhibitions and was inspired to create an annual event at Fresno State.

Nunna said 16 students and 13 projects were showcased in the event 10 years ago. This year, more than 80 students with 100 projects showcased their projects.

“Today is the day you show off all your hard work,” Nunna said.

The engineering students took a two-part class, Senior Design EC 186A and Senior Design 186B over two semesters, to complete the project.

Jose Camacho and his project partner, Mauricio Cruz, who are both electrical engineering majors, created the “Object Tracker and Path Projection.”

The project works by using a pingpong ball. When the ball is moved along the path under an overhead camera, it lights up LEDs upon movement detection.

Data is fed into the computer program that relays it to a controller, to the “shift registers,” then it lights up the LEDs.

Camacho said after watching tennis matches and seeing the current movement detection capabilities, he wanted to make a better version of it.

“We wanted to basically make a better ball tracker just to make sure that the game is always fair,” Camacho said.

Zachary Bailie and his project partner Maria Espinoza, who are both computer engineering majors, created the “Facial Recognition Security System.”

“The way our project works is, it’s going to take a photo of you, then it’s going to use that as a sample to determine whether or not you are an authorized user,” Bailie said.

With the project’s creators being authorized users, Espinoza demonstrated the project by taking a photo of herself, clicking a button to submit her photo and turned the door knob to reveal the project is in working order.

In the future, Bailie said, he would like to make improvements to the project such as integrating infrared cameras “to determine whether or not it’s a person or a photo of that person.”

In the project summary the team provided, their mission was to create a more convenient security system for home owners, where facial recognition will be used as a security measure before allowing entry into a secured home.

Awards were presented from Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, Sen. Andy Vidak and Congressman Jim Costa in honor of the events 10-year milestone.

Hands-on demonstrations took place at the project tables to give attendees a glimpse of what the students have been working on during the past academic year.

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