May 12, 2014
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Back in February, I visited the RIT Dubai campus for a board meeting and to have conversations with faculty and staff. I always enjoy visiting our global campuses and am always impressed with the work they are doing.
For this particular visit, I was thrilled to see a number of student project demonstrations. It turns out that RIT Dubai President Yousef Al-Assaf has developed a terrific partnership with Thierry Louesse, the CEO of a company called Fractal Systems (see www.fractal.ae). The company specializes in advanced engineering solutions for businesses in the entertainment and media sectors. This partnership is perfect for RIT because Mr. Louesse needs engineering help and the RIT Dubai students need projects of a real-world setting.
The work of the students is amazing and is exemplary of the RIT way of experiential learning. Below is a collection of projects, a description of each, in some cases a video and the names of the students who worked on them. I hope you'll be as impressed as I was when I saw them.
Project #1: Matrix Ring
The Matrix Ring consists of 30 cameras connected on a 180° ring, and takes 30 pictures at the same time. Students created an application which would produce a video combining all the photos.
RIT Dubai Student Team: Nadhir Mechai (BS, electrical engineering), Sadiya Siddique (BS, electrical engineering), Hazell Gamboa (BS, electrical engineering), Michelle Jayawickrema (BS, mechanical engineering), Young Jae Kim (BS, mechanical engineering) and Abdallah El Hayek (BS, mechanical engineering)
Project #2: Drone
This drone is a remote controlled device that is specialized in sky-based video, which can provide a variety of services including event coverage and security surveillance.
The drone is a hexacopter, a six-rotor helicopter controlled by remote, through which the pilot can control the throttle, pitch, roll, and yaw. The drone has several flight modes, including manual, automatic, stabilized, altitude-rolled, GPS navigation and return-to-launch. Additionally, the drone can follow a pre-programmed flight plan with unlimited checkpoints.
The drone’s on-board camera is able to shoot photo and video from the air, and is able to live broadcast HD pictures and videos. The camera is controlled with FatShark First Person View (FPV) glasses. The glasses display flight data (height, battery level, GPS coordinates) and live video that puts the wearer in the pilot’s seat with a drone’s eye view.
RIT Dubai Student Team: Sadiya Siddique (BS, electrical engineering), Hazell Gamboa (BS, electrical engineering), Nadhir Mechai (BS, electrical engineering), Eimen Hanmouri (BS, mechanical engineering), Young Jae Kim (BS, mechanical engineering), and Emily Larose-Vicedomine (BS, mechanical engineering)
Project #3: Cheoptics 360
Cheoptics 360 is a technology which allows you to display any kind of image or animation through a glass pyramid that projects the image in realistic 3D. The application, movie, or image generated by the four projectors is re-assembled within the polymeric prism through a process of mirroring and reflection, making them appear to float inside the pyramid. Cheoptics 360 projections appear real and touchable. This technology has nearly unlimited content possibilities including sales, entertainment and education. A video demonstration of the technology is available on the Fractal Systems Youtube channel.
RIT Dubai Student Team: Hazell Gamboa (BS, electrical engineering), Nadhir Mechai (BS, electrical engineering), Sadiya Siddique (BS, electrical engineering) and Eimen Hanmouri (BS, mechanical engineering)
Project #4: Virtual Hostess
This 2D hologram of a virtual hostess is a strikingly life-like video image rear-projected on to a human shaped silhouette made of thin, laser-cut Plexiglas. The idea behind the virtual hostess is to provide directions in an easier, more eye-catching way than traditional electronic display terminals used by airline passengers. This 21st century technology is also a way to emphasize the modernity of an airport to travelers.
The virtual hostesses were installed in Orly Airport in Paris and Luton Airport in London as a pilot project last summer. In both cases, the virtual hostess was seen as an enhancement of airport services and provided gate directions, flight boarding times or the latest security rules. This new method of communicating with customers attracts attention of travelers, as seen in this Youtube video.
RIT Dubai Student Team: Hazell Gamboa (BS, electrical engineering), Nadhir Mechai (BS, electrical engineering), Young Jae Kim (BS, mechanical engineering)
Project #5: Zeppelin Camera
The Zeppelin Camera is a system that allows the user to remotely take photos and videos that can then be transmitted live to a giant projection screen through a Wi-Fi network. The system also allows sharing to social networks. View the Zeppelin Camera in action in this video.
RIT Dubai Student Team: Abdallah El Hayek (BS, mechanical engineering), Michelle Jayawickrema (BS, mechanical engineering), and Young Jae Kim (BS, mechanical engineering)