On Monday, April 18, the Texas Space Grants Consortium (the NASA-funded organization that supports capstone projects in Texas) held its end-of-year showcase near the Johnson Space Center. This year Rice ECE had two TSGC-funded capstone projects: the Electric Owl project (unmanned aerial vehicle avionics system) and CardiOwls (wireless 12-lead ECG system). Other universities represented were Texas A&M, University of Texas, Texas Tech, and Lamar University. The results are in, and Rice ECE won all the top awards, with Electric Owl and CardiOwls actually tied for grand prize, the Top Design Team award. Each team brought home 8 awards in total.
For the first time at a TSGC event, there was a direct competition between teams from two universities, with CardiOwls working on the same project as TAMU's Embedic team. The winner was determined by points based on achievement of specs. CardiOwls met or exceeded nearly every spec in the project and gave an absolutely killer presentation, with Stephen Jong talking and walking around while wearing the 12-lead wireless ECG system that was being displayed in real time on on the projector.
Electric Owl garnered Best Poster or Model Demonstration for their amazing hardware demo -- they have built a UAV from scratch, with their PC boards, real-time OS, autopilot, and ground software all being full-custom. They demonstrated their UAV's avionics system as it actuated the control surfaces in response to attendees moving the airframe around. The attendees at the TSGC Design Showcase were suitably impressed.
Congratulations to both teams!
Electric Owl is: Anthony Austin, Robert Brockman II, Jeff Bridge and Peter Hokanson
CardiOwls is: Brian Viel, Tara Hong, Stephen Jong, and Steven Kruzick
Top Design Team (tie!)
Electric Owls and CardiOwls
Best Oral Presentation
1st place – CardiOwls
2nd place – Electric Owl
Best Poster or Model Demonstration
1st place -- Electric Owl
2nd place – CardiOwls
Electric Owl also garnered the following awards
Best Video Documentation
Best Next Generation NASA project
Best Internet Presence for a Project
Best Statement of Work
CardiOwls also brought home the following awards
Showcase Attendees’ Favorite
Best Mid-Semester Meeting Presentation
Best Higher-Education Extra-Project Outreach
Best Achievement of Secondary Objectives
We wish to thank the Texas Space Grants Consortium for their support of these projects; the faculty and outside mentors of the projects; the OEDK and its staff; and Dr. Tracy Volz for their many invaluable contributions to these projects.