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SUNY Broome Engineering Students Showcase Microprocessor Projects

(Source: Kate Thornton)

A car that can drive itself and a strobe light making water appear to defy were just some of the microprocessor projects on display Wednesday afternoon at SUNY Broome made by the college's second year engineering science students.

The projects are the result of the perfect combination of creativity and smarts.

"A mircoprocessor is a small computer that will connect input wires from other sources, then program the processor to make decisions so they can control the devices they built," said Associate Professor Robert Lofthouse.

Students built devices like a Morse code flashlight and a LED propeller displaying the message "SUNY BROOME ENGINEERING".

"Each light needed to be  programmed each and every degree.  So when they all together it displays the message," said engineering student Brian Haas.

The projects gave students the chance to use the skills they learned in the classroom, and have fun applying those skills to build something that can be used in the real world.

"You might say it might be a little self explanatory, but we were just having some fun with it," engineering student Sam Martichio describes his group's project.  It's a machine that accurately shoots a ping pong ball into a cup.

"Basically the device knows how far away the object is, and it will send that data to the motors and tell the motors how fast to run," said engineering student Scott Rasmussen.

The group that created their own "whack-a-mole" said hitting their final project with a mallet was a good stress relieve from finals week.

They said half a semester of work was all worth it for a whack of a mole, a stroke of an electronic pen, and making water appear to stand frozen in time.

"Engineering can get pretty tough, and so it's really nice to able to have all your hard work actually pay off," said engineering student Ben Baraun.

"Every year we're amazed at the creativity they have when they come up with these project ideas, and it's really rewarding to see what they can come up with," said Lofhouse.

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