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ECE, CS M.Eng. Students win in Big Red Hacks

A team of three ECE and one CS M.Eng. students won the "Best Hack to the Future" prize at Big Red Hacks.

The event is Cornell University’s collegiate hackathon. Across three days, from October 19-21, 2018 students from across the country gathered in Cornell’s Physical Science Building to build innovative projects, meet amazing people, and win prizes from sponsors. 

The team won The Johnny B. Goode Hack To The Future Prize, awardedfor the hack that best embodies the theme of this year's hackathon, #HackToTheFuture.

Anirudh Raghavendra (ECE, M.Eng.), Karthik Dasaraju (ECE, M.Eng.), Gururaj Bhupal (ECE, M.Eng.) and Vivek R. Chettiar (CS, M.Eng.) created the project, “Cerebro”, a device a user wears on his or her head to assist with moving about the environment. The team’s wanted to create a device to make the world more accessible for differently abled-people and empower them easily move about and interact with the environment, while also developing a more novel way to interface with technology. 

As the user wears Cerebro, it continuously picks up signals such as EMG, Muscle moments, and alpha waves. It also picks up an approximate location of the user in an environment and presents options when the user goes near an IOT-enabled device. For example, if the user approaches an IOT-enabled door, Cerebro gives the user options to open or close the door, or if the user approaches a retracting ramp, it allows him to open or close the ramp. The user can also seamlessly transition between using different IOT-based devices. 

“We believe Cerebro has a real opportunity to help people who are differently-abled and cannot interact with the environment as it is currently designed,” the team said on their project webpage. “The quick adoption of IOT, which makes elements of the environment “smart” also helps Cerebro be immediately useful....Cerebro allows multiplexing multiple types of inputs based on context, allowing for greater freedom. It’s possible to use machine learning to make Cerebro adapt to variations among different people and continuously learn.”

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