Dozens of Florida Polytechnic University seniors presented their impressive, high-tech projects at the annual Capstone Design Showcase on Friday, April 23. With more than 40 projects on display, the event was the largest in the University’s history.
Interdisciplinary teams of students worked throughout the academic year to solve real-world challenges faced by industry partners of all sizes. Project sponsors included companies such as Microsoft, Whiting-Turner, the Florida Space Institute, and the nation’s military.
The work of one of the teams may one day help homebound patients easily and cost-effectively transmit their heart rate and heart rhythm to their doctor, who may be miles away. The students worked with AdventHealth to develop teleSteth, an inexpensive, remote digital stethoscope for smartphones and an accompanying app.
“Our goal was to make a prototype so the company could continue it,” said electrical engineering major Sherry Mitchem ’21, who was part of a team of eight students that created the teleSteth device. “Some items like this are on the market for over $200 and ours is $20. It feels wonderful to have completed it.”
Two teams constructed robotic advanced power cleaning systems for JW & Associates, a national provider of commercial and industrial dustless and dry-ice cleaning. One team focused on a robotic system that could allow the company to remotely send unmanned equipment into dangerous or hard-to-reach areas to clean vertically while the other performed the work horizontally.
“This will allow them to have a robotic system in place of personnel to go into acidic or caustic environments,” said Crosby Roberts ’21, a mechanical engineering major. “We put in a lot of time and effort and we really did something that can be applied to the industry.”
While the capstone projects were on display inside the Innovation, Science, and Technology Building, teams also pitched their projects individually to a panel of judges inside the Aula Magna throughout the afternoon.
“It gets better every year,” said Dr. Matt Bohm, director of industry engagement and capstone projects at Florida Poly. “Students who were juniors saw what the seniors did before, and there’s natural competitiveness and they want to outdo what their buddy did a year ago.”
Bohm said in addition to gaining industry-specific skills and experience working in interdisciplinary teams, capstone students are able to network and broaden their world of possibilities.
“Hopefully they were able to make some good connections in their field and potentially there could be some job offers,” he said.
Samantha Lerner ’21, was part of a team that created a nuclear air sampling program for the U.S. Air Force through the Hacking for Defense Program. The project automated the collection of data on flights where air sampling occurs.
“I am very pleased I was able to do this,” said Lerner, a computer science major. “This didn’t just feel like a regular project; it felt like we were really helping them find a solution to a problem they have.”
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