Final Projects

by Kevin Godby

I just finished compiling our final report for Project Icarus and submitted it to Alex. So one final project has been completed. The only one I have left now is my linguistics project.

Here’s the introduction that Jesse wrote about Project Icarus:

Since the beginning of time humans have watched birds soar through the air and have dreamed of doing the same. However, the laws of physics have conspired to make that dream difficult, if not impossible, for a single human under his or her own power. Fortunately, we are not constrained by physical law in virtual worlds so we can come close to fulfilling this dream for many. Our primary objective for this project is to allow a person to navigate a virtual world as if they are flying by flapping their arms like wings. A secondary objective for this project is to minimize the equipment the user must interacts with in order to experience self-powered flight. Ideally the user will enter a virtual reality CAVE, start the program and fly.

We demonstrated the program to our classmates and won first place in the class competition. The prize was $50 which almost covered the cost of the hardware we had purchased for the project (excluding the camera equipment that I purchased). I posted an excerpt of the video of the poster competition on the Icarus website along with some other videos. Ethan gave a good interview while I stood idly by in the background.

The remaining final project is for my linguistics class. I’m working on a natural language search program that interfaces with the IMDB database. So far it only understands sentences such as “Who starred in Harry Potter?” I’ll be adding more grammar and sentences to it this weekend since I have to demonstrate it for the instructor on Monday.

And if finishing that project wasn’t enough, I need to write a bunch of code to improve the wheat combine simulator because some John Deere people are coming by on Tuesday to see what we’ve got so far. That’s right—Tuesday of finals week! Can they have worse timing?

To bed now… I’m going to have a work-filled day tomorrow—er, later this morning.