Students at HWeekend

A diverse group of students from 10 different majors traded sleep for creating a marketable product at Oregon State University’s HWeekend on January 16-17. In just 30 hours, 11 teams built devices ranging from fun to serious — including a spider robot, a wearable musical instrument, and a “smart” mask air filter — and pitched their product to a panel of judges.

The fifth HWeekend, hosted by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, expanded this time to include business majors, with the collaboration of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program (AEP). At the beginning of the event students pitched their ideas to each other and formed groups based on interest. Mentors were on hand to help the teams develop their idea into a prototype.

“It was fantastic work by all the teams and it was really hard to decide on the winner,” said Dale McCauley, program manager of the AEP. In fact, the judges could not decide on the top two and instead awarded three prizes.

Zack McClure, a student in chemical engineering, participated for the first time. He admits he did not know what to expect coming into the event and was pleasantly surprised at how well the team formation worked.

“We have all different majors on our team — chemical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, renewable materials and mechanical engineering — we have no duplicates, but a perfect overlap and ability to mesh with each other,” McClure said.

Savannah Loberger, a computer science student, was also a first time attendee and was part of a multi-disciplinary team that included electrical engineering and business students.

“This has a different feel than working on a team for a class assignment because we got to pick a project that we all really like,” Loberger said. “So, it’s been cool to work with people who really care about what we are making.”

Loberger‘s team, Illumin8, won the top prize for an LED device that could be controlled wirelessly for events like football games. Second place winners were Comfort Coozi, a temperature-controlled, heated sleeve for disposable coffee cups; and Spider Minions, an eight-legged spider robot. Participants also voted for the best executed project which was awarded to My Baton, a musical instrument that can be controlled by hand movements. The Helping Hands award was given to the Bio-Shock team for being the most helpful to other teams.

HWeekend was sponsored by Rockwell Collins, the College of Engineering and the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

Grand prize

Illumin8: Joshua Castillo, Elliott Highfill, Austin Hodgin, Savannah Loberger, Paige Patterson

Second place

Comfort Coozi: Alec Delude, James Flatt, Dylan Gould, Samuel Lee, Joseph Unfred, Brendon Yong (Onn Lim

Spider Minions: Svetlana Goloviznina, Joshua Griffin, Charlie Manion, Annul Nygmet

The Executors (voted by participants)

MyBaton: Lauren Smith and Terence Tai

Helping Hands (voted by participants)

BioShock Printable Circuits: Drew Ehlers, Chris McBee, Zack McClure, Deric Ntirandekura, Parker Snook

Story by Rachel Robertson

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