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A Sensor-based App for Video Game Play

April 20, 2016

(left to right) Vice Provost for research inno­va­tion and devel­op­ment David Luzzi, Sarada Symonds, Mark German, Hyuk Jin Chung, Ben Dunbar, Quan Do, Provost & Senior VP of Academic Affairs James Bean

About Me

Quan Do is a second year Electrical Engineering and Physics combined major from Hanoi, Vietnam. He is currently doing computer vision research at SMILE Lab, and he is actively involved with IEEE and Enabling Engineering. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering, hiking, reading, watching movies and going to hackathons.  

A Sensor-based App for Video Game Play

RISE 2016 is over, yet strangely, I can still recall exactly all the feelings, the emotions, the thoughts that I was experiencing on that day. It was a weird mix of confusion, anxiety, disbelief, with joy and thrill. Honestly, at this point, I still can't believe that whatever happened at RISE was all true. I literally am pinching myself to see if this is just a dream. 

Let's back up to seven months ago, when this all got started. It was the beginning of my sophomore year, and I was frantically looking for more clubs to join, and more activities to do, to build a good resume for co-op, obviously. I then volunteered to work for a research lab called Regame VR at Northeastern, and the lab Director, Dr. Danielle Levac was pitching an idea to me that she had about an app that can allow physical therapists to monitor their patients at home, to see if the patients are doing the exercises assigned to them correctly, and are those exercises at all effective. It wasn't long before I realized how involved this project might become, and no way would I be able to do everything myself. 

Thus, I emailed the Enabling Engineering group here at Northeastern, asking for people who might be interested in helping. I didn't expect much, so I was very surprised when two other sophomores showed interest, Mark German (CE'19) and Sarada Symonds (CE/CS'19). 

By the end of the Fall semester, we actually had some sort of an idea of where to go next, but the project was still very much in its infancy. Our end goal then was just to have an iOS App that could connect to an Arduino via Bluetooth at the end of the Spring semester, and that's basically it. We would leave for co-op, and some other group, or someone else would take over. 

We would never be where we are now, had we not received so much help and support from Enabling Engineering and from Dr. Levac. They helped us purchase equipment, solidify our ideas, and kept us on track. They even helped us find two more members, Hyuk Jin Chung (ME'19) and Ben Dunbar (CE'17), who dedicated a huge amount of time to this project, and an extremely capable adviser, Bhumitra Nagar, a Master Student in Computer Science.

At RISE 2016, we had a Wearable that measured heart rate and calculated a score based on how active the patient is, sent the data to the phone, and the phone that could store that data on a database, so that the website we have can display the information to remote therapists. 

None of us expected that we would get anything or even get our demo to work at the Expo. In fact, the night before, we were applying extra layer of super glue in a panic, afraid that the Wearable might just break halfway. Yet, everything worked out, and the judges and audiences actually enjoyed our demo. We ended up winning an award, which I still cannot convince myself of how or why! Frankly, I didn't even realize what award we won until I went home and looked it up. Like I said, it's a lot of confusion and anxiety that I was experiencing. But maybe, miracles do happen sometimes. Or we just have a really really good team!