Video games, hydraulic arms, noise reactive speakers and shoe dryers were just a few of the close to 300 projects made by Berry College students that were on display at the HackBerry Lab Prototyping Open House Monday.
Students from six different classes at the college showed family and friends their innovations at the 10th annual showcase put together by Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies. Cochran said students used the tools and resources from their classes to creatively express themselves in their projects.
Students were encouraged to find a problem that was meaningful to them and then find a creative way to solve that problem, Cochran said.
“The open house has grown exponentially every year from just showing the projects from the Introduction to Prototyping course to showing projects from other classes as well,” he said. “The event brings kids from all over the campus.”
Matthew Strock, a freshman at Berry, discussed his prismatic lamp and medieval full helm with visitors at the open house. Strock wanted more nontraditional lighting in his room so created a wireless light source with 25 individual lights that can be programmed to do what the user wants. Strock also welded together a helmet modeled as close to historical accuracy as he could. An actual helmet would not have been welded but he had to do it because of limited timing he said.
“Creators have to improvise sometimes,” he added.
Michael Zhu programmed a robotic arm to randomly swipe a stylus across his phone to like and dislike people on popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. The project idea came to him during one of the labs Hackathon, which gives students four hours to fully develop a project.
Other projects included an app that tracked a patient’s well being in between doctor visits, a red dot sight that tracked how many bullets have been fired from a rifle, an remote controlled car that was rewired to be controlled by a small TV remote, a treadmill for a bearded dragon and the “Hype-Vike”, a piece of locker room art in the shape of a softball that displayed encouraging messages to players.
While there was plenty of technology pieces showcased, some students presented projects based in math and statistics. Two students calculated the cost of traveling to each town in Georgia that contained a Bojangles, which was close to $300 when gas was $2.55 a gallon and the mode of transportation was a truck. Rachel Mohd put the six degrees of separation idea to the test by visually mapping out her social connection with rock band The Strokes.
The event was held at the HackBerry Lab which is where Cochran teaches programming and other classes to Berry students. He plans on taking a group of Berry students to Norway to showcase some of the students educational projects to Norwegian students.