Independent Project Formal Proposal

    Improved data display and collection systems

    Abstract : I want to work on making the Energy Lab an even better place for classes and work, with fun experiments to show and collect data with good-looking, user friendly and accessible ways. By working on data display and collection systems, I will try to make information that was sometimes confusing more understandable and aesthetically pleasing.

    Background : When I walked in the Energy Lab for the first time, I was amazed by how amazing and futuristic everything looked. Three years later, I’m still amazed by all the resources and instruments available everyday for us, students. However, I noticed that most of the students here are working by themselves or in small groups. Everything one makes or needs is within reach, but often collected data is shown on a random monitor displaying a few numbers, a graph, or a diagram that only a few understand. I would like to work on making data accessible for everyone, while keeping the futuristic look of the building.

    Purpose : Displaying data in an efficient way is my main goal. I could, for example, collect and show data about the building with servers and holograms, and use the resources available in the E-Lab to realize fun and accessible experiments. I plan to combine artistic work and utility. For example, showing data such as the temperature, and the humidity in a room with holograms and LCD screens could take less space and make the data shown more accessible and fun to look at.

    What will I make : One of my goal is to make different systems to collect data from various sources and servers, and display it with entertaining and useful ways, such as projection on walls and ceiling, holograms, light illusions, lasers and improved monitors.

    How will I make it : I will first start learning and researching everything I need for my project : Knowledge about holograms, lasers, and any other resources I may work with. I will then design a project, for example a computer screen capable of displaying holograms, by drawing it on paper or using a computer to visualize what it will look like and building a prototype. The data I will visualize will require programming and working on computer software. I will build it, test it, refine it if needed and install my final product somewhere it will be useful.

    Tools/resources needed : I mostly need simple materials such as plastic and glass to build holograms and projectors, and then experiment with advanced technologies like lasers, motors and parts from the robotic class, cameras and computer screens.

    Impact : As my project will mainly focus on working for and in the building, it may probably not impact the world outside of the Energy Lab. However, the systems, technologies and experiments I make may be used or shared on Internet. I want what I will make this year to be accessible to anyone.

    Legacy : As I wrote above, everything will make will be accessible to everybody. Anyone who wishes to improve the Energy Lab or work with the projects I’ll work on this year is welcome to use and modify everything I make, physically or digitally. The data I will collect and the ways I will display it, alongside of anything else I can work on this year can be finished or improved by the next ISR students.