Lo­cal stu­dent hack­ers win prize for safety sim­u­la­tor cre­ation

The Saline Courier - - BUSINESS - Spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

LIT­TLE ROCK — A team of Ua-lit­tle Rock stu­dents is try­ing to pro­mote a safer work en­vi­ron­ment with the in­tro­duc­tion of “Leap into Safety,” an af­ford­able virtual re­al­ity safety sim­u­la­tor de­signed to make the op­er­a­tors more adept at op­er­at­ing pow­ered equip­ment safely.

For their ef­forts, the stu­dents won first place in the Best Hard­ware Hack cat­e­gory at the Crim­son­hacks com­pe­ti­tion March 23-24 at the Univer­sity of Alabama. Each team mem­ber won an Ele­goo Su­per Starter Kit, which in­cludes Ar­duinos, sensors, mo­tors, and other fun pro­gram­mable hard­ware.

Lo­cal Ua-lit­tle Rock stu­dents who participat­ed in­clude:

•Sunny Singh of Bryant •Den­ver El­lis of Paron Dur­ing Crim­son­hacks, more than 250 stu­dents participat­ed in a 24-hour hackathon to cre­ate tech­nol­ogy to solve real world prob­lems. UA Lit­tle Rock’s team cre­ated “Leap into Safety” by us­ing the Leap Mo­tion Sen­sor to track hand move­ments and in­te­grate them into the Unity game en­gine, which al­lows users to in­ter­act with ob­jects in a virtual en­vi­ron­ment in real time.

The team demon­strated how their tech­nol­ogy could be used in safety sim­u­la­tions for weld­ing and those who work with heavy equip­ment. The pro­gram is af­ford­able, ac­ces­si­ble, and easy to setup and use.

In the fu­ture, the team would like to in­te­grate

“Leap Into Safety” with the Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion to en­sure more work­ers can eas­ily use the pro­gram for safety sim­u­la­tions. The end re­sult will be more highly trained and safer em­ploy­ees who ex­pe­ri­ence less in­juries due to oc­cu­pa­tional ma­chines.

With about 11,000 stu­dents and 100 pro­grams, UA Lit­tle Rock of­fers learn­ing, re­search, ser­vice, so­cial and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties that can only be found at a metropoli­tan univer­sity lo­cated in Ar­kan­sas’ cap­i­tal city.

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