Motion Simulator Video Game Wins 2013 CS Senior Design Final Four Competition

Drexel Flight Team Members (L-R): Donny Hoang, Andrew Cory, Lou Manco, Mark Welser, and Zach Thacker.

May 27, 2013 — Drexel Flight, an interactive motion simulator video game, took top honors in the Department of Computer Science’s Annual Outstanding Senior Design Competition, May 29, 2013. Harvest Helper, a computerized gardening tool and monitor, received second place, with mobile orthopedic guide iOrtho and business communications tool What Up claiming honorable mentions. Drexel Flight team members, along with eight other groups representing their respective departments, were recognized during the College of Engineering’s Senior Design Reception June 6, 2013.

Computer Science and Software Engineering seniors Mark Welser, Lou Manco, Zach Thacker, Andrew Cory and Donny Hoang, along with their Digital Media team members, created Drexel Flight for a uniquely interactive and entertaining gaming experience. Advised by Dr. Paul Diefenbach, associate professor of digital media, the team worked with a reconditioned 3-DOF motion platform simulator donated by ETC Inc.’s The Ride Works for use in classroom projects and research across Drexel University.

While simulator rides are popular, many have drawbacks that include high cost and the inability to involve many people. One of the main goals of Drexel Flight was to create a networked, multiplayer game to give up to five non-riders, using iPads, a chance to team up against the riders of the simulator and stop them from moving across the playing field while dodging obstacles and lighting beacons. The group also wanted to use this project to derive a framework for future developers to easily create new games for the simulator platform.

Click here for more details about Drexel Flight. Watch the team’s final presentation here

Harvest Helper (Advisor: Jeff Salvage; External Stakeholder: Brad Deneberg, Seed Philly)
Harvest Helper gives gardeners the ability to remotely analyze the progress and statistics of a garden, as well as set maintenance notifications and interact with other users through a discussion forum. Team members Quoc Le, Zachary Tahenakos, Matthew Campbell, Aaron Pagano, Thomas Rottinger, James Schulze and Scott Hooper created an in-ground garden device, which uses a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino and environmental sensors, as well as a server and website for all the data. View the team’s presentation here.

iOrtho (Advisor: Santiago Ontañón; External Stakeholder: Dawn Gulick, Therapeutic Articulations, LLC)
Using the original application designed two years ago by Therapeutic Articulations, LLC, team members Matt Hinkle, Steven Hershey, Dylan Kenny, Stephen Hansen, Austin Blakeslee and Alexy Thomas upgraded and enhanced this mobile software for rehabilitation professionals, educators and clinicians. iOrtho+ is a mobile and comprehensive reference for orthopedic Special Tests and joint Mobilization Techniques developed from advanced, evidence-based knowledge and extensive clinical practice. View the iOrtho presentation here

What Up (Advisor: Jeffrey Popyack; External Stakeholder: Josh Daltry, eMoney Advisor)
Team members Ayush Sobti, Anthony Hurst, John Brodie, Lakshit Dhanda, Noah Black and Damali Martin created What Up as a communications tool for cross-functional, autonomous development teams. It allows for the sharing of ideas, decisions, articles and more using a tagging system and publisher-subscriber model. View the team’s presentation here.

This year’s awards were made possible through donations from eMoney Advisor, Bentley Systems, Jacquette ConsultingUnisys and Vanguard. Serving as judges were:

  • Frank Jacquette - President and CEO, Jacquette Consulting, Drexel Class of ‘91
  • Phil Kaiser – IT Manager, Vanguard Group
  • Earlin Lutz – Advisory Software Engineer, Bentley Systems
  • Chris Mount – Engineering Vice President, Unisys

View more information and full judge bios on the event flyer. Pictures from the CS presentations are available here. To learn about all College of Engineering Senior Design projects, click here.

Additional 2012-13 senior design teams:

  • Excavist employs a simple interface for young users to play a game while simultaneously learning skills that are a major part of the Common Core Curriculum. Focusing on combining learning with simple interactions, the player will be able to learn valuable math and critical thinking skills in a time-based environment and against different levels of difficulty. Team: Kent Pasquino, Joleen Petroski and Leo Levitt. Advisor: Dr. Frank Lee. Watch their presentation.
  • The goal of POS Connect is to aid local businesses in obtaining an online presence. POS Connect enables inexperienced users to setup, use and modify an online web-store, giving small business owners a simple interface to integrate a web-store with Point-Of-Sale at an affordable price. Team: Ryan Christen, Martin Barbella, Taite Hughes, Pradit Mod, Sidhant Garg and Mahamadou Kone. Advisor: Jeff Salvage. External Stakeholder: Brad Deneberg, Seed Philly. Watch their presentation.
  • Docket is a decision support system that allows Drexel University administrators to effectively manage departmental resources, resolve scheduling conflicts and reduce cost associated with scheduling academic courses. Docket’s primary goal is to identify scheduling conflicts and notify users in order to facilitate conflict resolution. Team: Joe Nelson, Mike Kovalchik, Nate Fonseka, Ray Selfridge, Basil Nyachogo, Robert Brown and Max Haley. Advisor and stakeholder: Dr. Dario Salvucci. Watch their presentation (loses sound at 18 minutes).
  • Sparc is specifically designed to address current power grid issues. It will also provide dynamic or ‘Smart’ bi-directional communication between the producers and consumers. Team: Anthony Dagostino, Matthew Grossman, Wei-Tin Chang, Stephen Siu and Aradhya Malhotra. Advisor: Yuanfang Cai. Watch their presentation.
  • Social Sieve is a software platform built from the ground up to give customers powerful tools for collection and analysis of social media data. Through a web interface, users can enter the criteria they’d like to examine and review data by heat maps, graphs and tables where all of the information about individual social media actions can be viewed and filtered. Team: Erik Groch, Ben Jann, Ben Carmichael and Tim Higgens. External Stakeholders: Paul Celani, Lockheed Martin. Advisor: Dr. Bruce Char. Watch their presentation.
  • Flight Sense is an application that utilizes simulated environments and a situational awareness model to educate pilots on how to recover from various degrees of control surface failure. Team: Robert Shields, Boris Valerstein, Joshua DiCristo. Advisors: Dr. B.C. Chang, Dr. Harry Kwatny, Dr. Mishah Salman and Dr. Bruce Char. Watch their presentation.

As a capstone to their years as undergraduates at Drexel, all CS and SE seniors are required to complete a three-term software engineering project, and in doing so, each need to specify, design, implement and test the final product. Many of the teams have external stakeholders invested in the projects and the final four winners are selected by a panel of judges representing local industry. To view past projects, click here.