Monthly Archives: May 2015

RIT/NTID Engineering Students Create 3D Printed Parts for a Drone

A collaboration between Steven Forney, an alumnus working as a research associate at University of Alabama at Huntsville and Gary Behm, one of his former professors at RIT resulted in Behm’s Manufacturing Processes class of RIT/NTID engineering students experiencing an exciting real-world work experience.

Steven Forney, began a 3D CAD venture with the students to benefit an on-going project he has developed—taking a drone with him to demonstrate the engineering technology at schools and other colleges. Forney needed to assemble and disassemble the drone each time he traveled with it—a tedious process. Behm saw an opportunity for his class to work with Forney as an actual customer, on an engineering project. The expected outcome was that the drone could be changed from a ready-to-fly mode to a travel-accessible mode in a significantly less amount of time than currently was required.

Behm and Forney set up the project so that Forney and the students could meet via Skype. There, Forney outlined his real-world work requirements—writing a technical document, understanding the customer’s requirements, and understanding the scope of the project. Each team sketched three different designs relating to a travel-friendly retractable and/or quick disconnect system for the drone. After Forney’s approval on one design for each team, the students began sketching with the 3D computer aided drafting technology and created actual plastic parts using the 3D printer in the Department of Engineering Studies for the drone that would make it more easily transportable for Forney. Wendy Dannels, who teaches the 3D CAD course, supported the students with their 3D drawings.

“Each team will deliver their prototype adaptor, engineering documents and poster at the semester’s end,” says Behm. 

Forney is pleased with the work on a solution to his travel woes. “Also, I was happy that the student teams were excited about the project and excited that they got to keep their 3D printed parts,” says Forney. He will use the students’ prototype solutions to assist him in building a final adapter for his drone.

RIT/NTID Ethnic Fest

RIT/NTID will host their annual Ethnic Fest from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 8 in the CSD Student Development Center. Pick up your free ticket in the Student Life Team office. Tickets are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. 

RIT/NTID Visual Communication Studies Student Honors Exhibition

The Visual Communication Studies is hosting their annual student honors show today at the Dyer Arts Center. The exhibit will run from Thursday, May 7—Saturday, May 23, with an opening reception from 4-6 p.m. on May 7. 

The exhibition highlights the best works produced by NTID Visual Communications Studies students and NTID-supported cross-registered students who are preparing for careers in art and design, digital imaging, and publishing technology.  At the opening reception, the Charles R. McDougal memorial Award will be presented to a student in the arts field to recognize overall achievement.  

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth Encouraged to Experience RIT/NTID Technology Camps

 Deaf and hard-of-hearing girls and boys who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math and entering 7th, 8th or 9th grades in September can attend “TechGirlz” or “TechBoyz” summer camps at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, July 25‑30.

TechBoyz and TechGirlz camps are designed to help students learn about and consider careers in science and technology. Through hands-on activities, campers will explore chemistry, computers, engineering and science, learn to build their own computer, and command a simulated mission to Mars. They also will meet other students with similar interests and participate in social activities.

Camp classes—held in English and in sign language—are certified by the New York State Department of Health and incorporate National Science Education standards.

The cost for the weeklong camp is $700 and includes tuition, housing in a campus residence hall, and meals and snacks. Limited scholarships are available based on financial need. Parents are invited to opening and closing activities.

For more information or an application, go to www.rit.edu/NTID/TechGirlzNR or http://www.rit.edu/NTID/TechBoyzNR, or call 585-475-7695 (voice), 585-286-4555 (videophone) or email TechGirls@ntid.rit.edu or TechBoyz@ntid.rit.edu

Hz Innovations Takes Top Prize in RIT/NTID’s ‘The Next Big Idea’ Competition

Greyson Watkins knew that he and his team had the makings of a revolutionary idea that would enhance life for deaf and hard-of-hearing homeowners. To prove it, the all-student team entered their project—Hz Innovations—in “The Next Big Idea” competition at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf—and walked away with the $5,000 grand prize.

The team devised a cutting-edge wireless sound recognition system for deaf and hard-of-hearing homeowners. Sound-capturing units plugged into outlets throughout the home are tied into a single central processing unit, also in the home. When a doorbell rings, smoke alarm chimes or water faucet drips, for example, the unit notifies the homeowner via smart phone, smart watch, tablet or laptop. Virtually any sound deemed important to the homeowner can be recorded and “memorized” by the system during installation.

“I moved into a house and I started noticing all of the important things I was missing,” said Watkins, a fourth-year computer security student from Durham, N.C. “I missed the sounds of my friends knocking on my front door; my washer and dryer are in the basement and I wouldn’t be able to hear the buzzing of the dryer; my food would burn because I would leave the oven on. There are a lot of people out there, including senior citizens, who have similar issues. I just came up with the idea and it took off.”

The one-of-a-kind product—which the team has decided will retail for about $150—will soon be marketed to the deaf community throughout the United States.

Joining Watkins on the team are Keith Delk, third-year new media design student from Benchmark, Ill.; Jason Lee, fifth-year electrical/mechanical engineering technology student from Brunswick, N.J.; Nick Lamb, third-year electrical engineering student from Watertown, N.Y.; Zack Baltzer, third-year electrical engineering student from Rochester, N.Y.; and Chrystal Schlenker, second-year ASL/English interpreting student from Rochester, N.Y.

“Deaf people tend to have to just keep buying items to accommodate their needs—a device for the baby monitor, another one for the doorbell, and so on. This one system is the only thing they need.”

Hz Innovations has been accepted into RIT’s Saunders Summer Start-up Program, which is aimed at assisting entrepreneurs and innovators in developing their business concepts to a point where they are ready to begin to seek angel investment. The team hopes the finalized product will be ready at the end of the summer.

Other winners of The Next Big Idea were:

  • Second place: Team Imhotep II created a website and DVD that allows people who are interested in developing American Sign Language skills to learn style characteristics including body shifts and facial expressions. The team, which won $3,000, includes students Eric Epstein (software engineering, Tucson, Ariz.), Haley Leet (business, Jeffersonville, Ind.), Sarah Margolis-Greenbaum (management information systems, Indianapolis, Ind.) and Perseus McDaniel (graphic design, Renton, Wash.).
  • Third place: 3015 plans to develop software that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing people with cochlear implants to map, or program to the specifications and needs of the user, remotely without having to see an audiologist. The team, which won $2,000, includes students Christopher Fenn (industrial and systems engineering from Pittsburgh, Pa.), Melissa Keomoungkhoun (advertising/public relations from Plano, Texas) and Jonathan Pons (biomedical engineering from Ballwin, Mo.).

The Next Big Idea is an annual competition, sponsored by ZVRS, in which cross-disciplinary teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students work together to create products, technology or businesses that will be useful to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.