LeTourneau students use motion for invention

LeTourneau students use motion for invention
This device senses when you're falling asleep while sitting up. (Source: KLTV)

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Engineers find solutions to problems, and students of engineering need to learn to do just that. KLTV takes us to LeTourneau University where 10 teams of students are competing to see who can best use a machine learning platform to solve real-world engineering issues.

In other words, they’re building cool gadgets.

LeTourneau University A.I. students are there to tinker with some pretty sophisticated electronics, and see if they can go from concept to the real world. Hoo Kim is an assistant professor in the Engineering Department who was able to get a supply of:

“The Arduino Module IV, which is a small micro-processor,” Kim said.

It also features motion-sensing, which students like Caleb Hatler and teammate John Rudy then apply to an idea.

“It detects whether or not you’re falling asleep. So it identifies whether you’re paying attention or not paying attention in a classroom,” Hatler said of their device.

So once “rules” are set up for the software and device, which is in this case placed on worn sunglasses. It can tell if you’re nodding off. Of course, if it was actually manufactured they say it would emit a sound when nodding happens.

“I think a police siren would work,” I said.

“That would definitely work,” Rudy said with a laugh.

Jacob Landreth’s device is worn on the foot while walking.

“So specifically mine is to detect foot drop, which is a symptom of something that happens to people who have neurological issues or spinal cord damage,” Landreth said.

He said he got the idea from his mother, who is a physical therapist.

“It specifically comes when your foot is swinging through the bottom of your gait cycle," Landreth said. "Your foot doesn’t pull up towards your shin, and so, your foot drags against the ground or causes people to trip quite often,” Landreth said.

He said his device could help people exercise an unworked muscle.

Seongdae Kim built a smart brush that helps you make the correct motions for healthy tooth brushing. There were also seven more teams, but as it turned out those three were the teams to talk to.

Third place was Foot Drop, second place was the Nodder, and the winner was the Smartbrush.

So just think; if you used all three, you wouldn’t have to drag your feet to the dentist and fall asleep in the chair.

This is the first year for the challenge and the first time an outside company sponsored a LeTourneau electrical engineering contest, and there were cash prizes.

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