Tech fest has whiz kids on ‘cloud’ 9

At the 9th Unisys 20/20 Cloud Competition, students displayed their unique innovations. CE caught up with few of them

Published: 16th April 2018 10:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2018 11:40 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU : Too lazy to go to the gym? Virtual trainer to the rescue

One of the most common complaints of someone who goes to the gym is that they do not get personal attention from a trainer. It’s also common for people who enthusiastically enroll for classes, to end up leaving half way. Engineering students of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) have built a virtual trainer called the ‘Kinect based AI Gym Trainer’, which can solve such problems. For their innovation, these students recently worn the runners-up prize at the 9th Unisys 20/20 Annual Cloud Competition that was held recently in the cityAnvesh Garg, one of the members of the team, says, “We used the Kinect (a hands free motion control device) that is usually used in the X-Box gaming device. The Kinect makes a sort of a 3D skeleton of your body and maps your movement.” 

One can access the Kinect-based virtual trainer through a mobile app or a website designed by the team. Sanjay M, another team member, says the trainer also uses a special machine learning algorithm that is able to differentiate between different kinds of movements and postures. “For example, if a person is doing squats or hunches, the virtual trainer will immediately tell you if you are doing these exercise routines well or not,” he adds. 

While the team has built a working prototype of their virtual trainer they want to make it extremely convenient for their eventual customer by integrating the entire trainer in a phone. “We want to replace the Kinect with the phone. A few phones available already have the infra red sensors and dual camera that can integrated with our trainer,” says Saurabh S Chalke, another team member. 

Prior to building the device, the team visited a number of gym trainers across the city to get the movements right for the trainer, and even carried out a survey in their college about people’s resolution to exercise. “Trainers can use our device to give personal attention, and people who are just plain lazy can just switch this device from their mobiles and start exercising,” adds Sanjay M. The students got a cash prize of `1.25 lakh for their innovation. 

Colour coding for pin safety

A project that uses colour codes instead of numbers for passwords at ATMs and other online transactions to prevent pin thefts, has won two students from Puducherry the top prize at the 9th Annual Cloud 20/20 contest held in the city a few days back.Unisys, an IT company that organised the contest, has offered to further guide the two students in commercialising the product. Many banks have also shown an interest in their product, says D Santhiya, one of the two students in the team.

“Shoulder surfing is a common way, whereby, thieves steal data such as pin numbers or account numbers. This might be the main modus operandi while using an ATM or even while transacting cash through your phone or laptops. So the idea is to prevent this through our coloured codes.  Each number in a keypad will have two colour combinations. At the bottom of the number keypad there will be the coloured keypad to punch in the codes,” says Santhiya.One can press either of the two colours given in each number to key in the right number. 

“Not just ATM pins, this tech we have developed can also be used in bank lockers, and even security systems like home security, that requires punching in codes,” says G Alice Monique, the other team member. It took the two just around six months to design and complete the entire project. They were guided by their professor, Suresh Ramanujan. The two, who are in their third year, have also also won ` 2 lakh as cash prize, and also bagged a pre-placement offer with the company. “They have offered a package of around `5 lakh per annum and we are more than happy to accept. We are the first ones in the college to get the offer and we will surely join after we finish our studies,” says Santhiya.

Reducing risks of heavy school bags

One of the most pressing problems among school children, something that has even the HRD Ministry worried, is the issue of heavy school bags.  Computer science engineering students of  Christ University want to help through their device, the Holotouch, a kind of notepad that uses ultra sonic sensors. “So we have a bar where these ultrasonic sensors are placed. These sensors, once activated, can record your hand motions. We also have a setup where whatever you scribble or write using your hand motions can be recorded and then saved on the cloud,” says Neil Johnson Barlow, a member of the team. 

Sai Raghava, another member of the team, says that any surface can be made into a writing board or a pad with their device. “The more sensors one puts in this device, the more will be the area of the device.”When asked how such a device is different from mobiles or tabs, Sai says, “On mobile devices, usually children plays games and are distracted. This, however, is only for writing and saving your notes. There is no chance of distraction.” 

Also, instead of several notebooks, children can only carry this device and greatly decrease the load in their bags, he adds. The team was one of the six finalists at the Unisys 9th Annual Cloud 20/20 contest.
“We got a lot of mentorship, however, this device is still in the prototype stage. We were asked to further refine our product and its presentation. We are presently concentrating on doing that,” says Niel. 
He further highlights that children in kindergarten can take the most advantage of the device. “Little kids scribble on walls and whatever surface they can find. There is no fear of damage as with mobile phones, so kids can scribble away,” adds Neil. 

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