April 30, 2019

Visitors touring campus on Friday, April 19, were treated to a little something extra as WPI became a stage for Project Presentation Day, an annual event where seniors present their Major Qualifying Projects to the community.

It’s WPI’s own version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, minus the terrifying rivers and golden tickets. There’s something new and exciting everywhere you look, with the culmination of a year’s worth of work on display throughout campus.

From revolutions in sports equipment and compostable tableware to virtual reality in tabletop games and engineering design, the students brought new meaning to “Wanna change the world? There’s nothing to it.” Check out a few of this year’s projects.

A close-up of an animatronic head.

Heads or tails? Developed by Matthew Dick, Owen France, Richard Hosea, Kevin Le, Rachel Lia, Patrick Meehan, and Kyle Seymour, this animatronic head isn’t just a perfect Halloween decoration. Eventually, the team hopes it will lead to more responsive CPR dummies and more effective human/robot interaction.

A redesign of Park Avenue by Kimberly Guthrie, Colin Clause, and Peter Carosa aimed to improve the safety, efficiency, and appearance of a section of this busy street. Upon mentioning the project in a job interview, Carosa received positive reactions—and the job. “They were so impressed with the project and everything we covered,” he says. “They said it was almost identical to what they do in an actual firm.”

Luis Delatorre and Anh Dao share their work on the latest robot for NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition with professors Mike Gennert and Neil Heffernan.

Hold the door!

Peter Aliogo, Alexander Avakian, Talon Boie, Chisom Okafor, and Daniel Venkitachalam shared their work on sustainable building materials, as well as a sample of said materials.

Sierra Palmer carries part of the latest incarnation of the SailBot project, worked on this year by herself, Sydney Fisher, and Kellen Randall, advised by William Michalson and Ken Stafford.

“As a science writer, I need to be able to communicate complicated scientific concepts to people effectively, especially things that involve the health of others,” says Brianna Burke ’19, whose project on cellular stress response and emergency room visits for disabled patients helped her do just that.

Tessa Garbely, Adam Bettigole, and Tachyun Kim share the work of their team (including Jessie Ying, not pictured), an all-encompassing data aggregator called HerdHealth that will allow WPI community members store their health data—from step counts and calorie totals to hours of sleep—in one place regardless of apps or devices used.

Karina Naras shared her team’s Firefighting Remote Exploration Device, or FRED, an autonomous bot that will give firefighters more information about fires through heat maps, video feeds of the burning environments, and more. “This MQP as a whole was basically everything WPI Robotics teaches you about designing a multifaceted robot,” she says. “It was definitely lots of communication and collaboration.” 

Taking a well-deserved break following their project presentation.