CeDAR InSPIRE

Overview

The aim of Project INSPIRE is to engage students with the expanding opportunities and range of research projects that the CeDAR team are developing.  The project, INnovative Student Projects In Research and Enterprise, will enable students to undertake projects that are directly related to the ongoing work in the centre.  Within the context of the project, the students will be supported by the experienced researchers and will have access to the specialist equipment that the centre has acquired for project work (such as servers and specialised desktop PCs).  Students who are engaged with the project will be considered as CeDAR seedlings; the next generation of researchers who will work in an environment that promotes creativity and blue sky thinking to develop project solutions.  The aim, therefore, is to develop the student research skills and assist the students enter their chosen career path using their research skills, either in industry or academia.

The Department of Computer Science has identified a number of key strategic areas which this initiative will support in its implementation.  Specifically, these include

  • Excellent student experience – the students will have opportunities beyond the scope of taught modules to explore technologies and innovations at the leading edge of Computing
  • Employability – the students will develop enhanced skills relevant to employers in relation to the planning, design, implementation and presentation of their projects
  • Research – students will encounter, and actively participate in, the development of the growing and dynamic research environment within the department.
  • Enhanced community of practice – students and academic staff will work alongside each other to cultivate research ideas

InSPIRE in the News

The following reports give overviews of the student publications that have been achieved at the end of each academic year

Student Projects

Ryan Forrester – SensNode

sensnodelogo.fw

A Smart Home is described as a home, which has been made “smart” or “intelligent” by making use of technology and is created to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the household (Sripan et al., 2012). One of the main technologies behind the creation of a Smart Home is known as Home Automation.  Home Automation  is  the  use  of  one  or  more  computers,  to  control  functions  and features of the home, remotely or automatically. A home automation system can provide security, temperature, audio and lighting control for comfort convenience and safety (Khan, Khoduskar and Koli, 2011). The other feature commonly found within a Smart Home are sensors, these sensors can be utilised to support home automation in order to complete such tasks as keeping a room at a constant temperature, or detecting movement.

The SensNode project combines hardware, software, and engineering aspects of computing; in order to create a prototype implementation of a smart home system. Smart Home is described as a home which has been made “smart”  or “intelligent” by making use  of technology and is created  to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the household (Sripan et al., 2012).


Joseph Bolton – DataScapes

DataScapes Project

The project focussed on the design and implementation of a mobile application to enable a display of a 3D art installation through the technology of Augmented Reality. The project required the extension of the features of existing Augmented Reality technology to enable users to move away from traditional image targets that were required to enable users to view Augmented Reality content, and to move freely around the display.

The application makes use of a combination of GPS, gyroscopic, and compass sensors to manoeuvre the camera around a 3d world in direct relation to the movements of the physical device, enabling users to move their camera away from the image targets used to initialise the Augmented Reality experience.

The project is to be deployed at the 2014 conference of the Canadian Society of Digital Humanities to be held at Brock University in Ontario.  More details can be found here.


Joanne Lynn – An Interactive, Gesture-based Museum Experience using Kinect and Arduino

This  project focused on  the  design  and  implementation  of  an  interactive  game  designed  for National Museums Liverpool which aims to increase engagement of young visitors to one of the galleries in the World Museum.

A particular  emphasis  is  placed  on the  use  of gesture-based controls to create a natural user interface for part of the game, and the use of microcontrollers to create a hands-on interface for the other.

There is a need to develop new ways of encouraging visitors to engage with certain exhibits within  the  museum. One such exhibit is the World Cultures Gallery, which contains very little interactive content. In addition to this, as it is connected to the Weston Discovery Centre, a large number of young visitors  prefer  to  only  visit  the  discovery  centre,  rather than  the  exhibit  itself.  It is for this reason that the target for delivery of project outcomes is to be based in the World Cultures Gallery.

In order to design an interactive that will be useful for the museum but also useable for the visitors, traditional methods of implementing interactivity into museums were analysed. In addition to  this,  examples  of  other  museums  which  have  used  technology  to  create interactivity in their exhibits were investigated, with a particular focus placed on the British Museum  in  London  due  to the  similarity  of  their exhibits and  those  of the  World  Museum Liverpool.


James Cassidy – A Virtual Tour of Creative Edge using Unity3D and Blender

cetour

Technology in today’s world is a vital tool of for gaining access to information, without it the world would not be able to communicate with the ease it does today. Along with communication, technology also manages other tasks to help out their users in everyday life, this is where the opportunity given originated for the project idea.

With the even increasing flexibility of software, virtual tours or guides are a popular form of advertising in the building world. Websites such as www.virtualtoursofhouses.co.uk allow a virtual tour of a building, in this case houses, to be uploaded upon to the web to allow potential buyers to view the house at the click of a button. If a person was looking to purchase a house and all houses had such an advantage, choosing houses that one would wish to visit before purchase could possibly be an a lot easier task due to the practicality of this method.

The goal for this project was to create a 3D world of the Creative Edge building which is located on the Edge Hill Campus. The building that will be created to replicate the layout of the building would be scaled with great accuracy, using features and layouts that are part of the building which stands today. Once created, the software could be used to give tours of the building from a remote location if uploaded to a server available for download.

A web-enabled version of the tour is available here.

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