Posts Tagged ‘ESAL’

Cogswell College Partners with NeuroSky

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

NeuroSkyHeadsetPhoto

Digital Arts Engineering student, Christian Lucas, spent the summer working in the Engineering, Simulation and Animation Lab (ESAL) at Cogswell and successfully connected the NeuroSky headset to the Torque 3D game engine. Christian is set to complete his studies and earn his Bachelor of Science degree this summer.

Lucas happened to join a group of students who were touring Cogswell College as Albert Chen, Director of Cogswell’s Game Program and Associate Director of ESAL, demonstrated the headset to them. This was a few days before he began working on the project and when he saw how intrigued the students were as they experimented with the headset he was even more excited to be involved in the work for NeuroSky.

“Alternative video game controls really grab people’s attention especially if it stems from a novel concept,” said Lucas. “The headset creates an interesting new experience and adds a surreal new complexity to software interactivity. The way it works by taking how you are thinking as input. It has the side effect of inducing you to learn to control your own thought patterns, namely how to focus and relax. Simply put, the wearer of the device learns to start using their mind as a virtual replacement to manually pressing buttons. Controls become as passive as thinking.”

Chen was originally approached by NeuroSky in the company’s university relations outreach. He told them about the work ESAL is doing and thought the brain control interface (BCI) technology would be an exciting avenue for our continuing research into serious application development using game engines.

“Cogswell College, and particularly the ESAL program, were a perfect fit for exploring the boundaries of new technology applications,” said Tansy Brook Head of Communications for NeuroSky. “Their focus on both the artistic and technical aspects of game development gave them a unique perspective. We look forward to seeing the direction that Albert Chen and his students take in the evolution of game development.”

NeuroSky is a worldwide leader in mass-market biosensor technology. Their ThinkGear technology allows the recording and processing of brainwaves that can power user-interface operations in games and medical devices. Industry partner Mattel used NeuroSky’s technology to create Mindflex and Uncle Milton’s Force Trainer. NeuroSky is based in San Jose.

Torque is the most licensed engine middleware in the games industry. The Torque community is now home to 150,000+ game developers and artists with additional licensees of more than 200 universities and schools for computer science and game design curricula.

For more information about ESAL, check out the new promotional video. 

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory at Cogswell

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

ESALimageCogswell, through its Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL) under the direction of Dr. Hadi Aggoune, is involved in two types of projects with the Boeing Company. One is to develop animation scenarios that visualize the employment of new technologies in several areas of aircraft operations and the other is to develop virtual environments using game engines for real time simulation of unmanned vehicles.

Check out the new videos in the project section.

In 2004 the College created the ESAL to work on projects for Boeing and has plans to provide similar services for other companies in the future. Students submit a formal application and go through an interview process in order to be hired on at ESAL and to work on the projects. The goal is to provide real-world experience by requiring that the product be delivered on-time, within budget and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Participants in the program use skills and concepts acquired in the classroom while engaging in problem solving to tackle issues that arise during the project. Students who are selected, work under the supervision of faculty and attend regularly scheduled meetings with Boeing Project Managers. Team members are expected to discuss issues and find solutions to problems encountered during the task, meet the deadlines and project specifications set by Boeing and provide routine status reports on their work.

To date projects have focused on demonstrating applications of Boeing’s swarm technology. ESAL’s team from its Kirkland Washington and Sunnyvale California facilities have generated scenarios that include swarms examining transmission lines and dams, inspecting the interior and exterior of aircraft and in utilizing fire fighting applications.

Work done through ESAL is held to the same high standards that other contractors for Boeing must meet. Cogswell is pleased to have been recognized by Boeing as one of its 2008 Silver Performance Excellence Award recipients.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

The New ESAL Boeing Contract

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL) at Cogswell was founded in 2004 by Dr. el-Hadi M. Aggoune for the visualization of complicated engineering systems. The Lab with locations in Sunnyvale, CA and Kirkland, WA does contract work for the Boeing Company. In addition to the lab employees, Cogswell students are hired to work on the projects as well. Dr. Aggoune is the Director of Cogswell’s Engineering programs.

This year’s contract calls for the team to continue its tradition of developing Real-Time Virtual Environments and Concept of Operation Scenarios. The current scenario focuses on illustrating forest fire detection and monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles. This proprietary work will use the recent wildfires in Australia as a model for the simulation.

Following is a Q & A about the project.

Q: What skill sets will lab employees use to complete this project?
A: The artists should have a comprehensive background in modeling, texturing, rigging and animation for a game engine.

Q: What tools will employees use to complete the simulation?
A: ESAL has tremendous resources in terms of personnel, software, hardware and facility. Artists and programmers will be using Torque 3D, Maya and a proprietary simulation engine. They will also use Perforce for version control, Mentis for bug tracking and Twiki to post their work and progress reports. The programmer for this project will be required to write tools.

Q: Do you see any particular challenges in delivering this scenario?
A: The project has already been approved and delivery is set. The team is very aware of the deadlines, tries to anticipate any challenges and give themselves enough time to find solutions. As in the case of any project the ESAL undertakes, delivery of a product that satisfies the customer needs, on time and on budget are guaranteed. The project has many phases including research, event list development, pre-visulaization and implementation. The research phase is already done, the event list is being done and implementation starts on January.

Q: Outline the basic steps you take to ensure that the project is completed on time and to Boeing’s specifications.
A: The work is controlled internally by the lab and externally by the customer. Work is submitted to the customer on a biweekly basis; the customer tests and evaluates the work and produces a ticket list for all changes, modifications and extensions; the lab then takes the ticket list and resolves all issues raised. The work is not complete until all the issues in the ticket list are resolved by the lab to the satisfaction of the customer. Meetings with the customer through WebEx also occur on a biweekly bases.

Q: What is the timeframe for completing this project?
A: Our contract is from January to June during which the artists and programmer will be paid a stipend.

Q: How many people will work on the project?
A: Two artists and a programmer will work between 15 and 20 hours per week.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

Undergrad Students Work on Projects for Boeing

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Copyright 2008 Boeing

Copyright 2008 Boeing

Cogswell Polytechnical College is the place to be if you want to begin building a professional resume while still in college. One of the options available to students is to apply to work on the Boeing Project Team and gain valuable real-world experience while being paid.

Students who are selected, work under the supervision of faculty and attend regularly scheduled meetings with Boeing Project Managers. Team members are expected to discuss issues and find solutions to problems encountered during the task, meet the deadlines and project specifications set by Boeing and provide routine status reports on their work.

Cogswell is involved in two types of projects with the Boeing Company – developing animation scenarios that visualize the employment of new technologies in several areas of aircraft operations and developing virtual environments using game engines for real time simulation of unmanned vehicles. The College has created the Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL) to work on projects for Boeing and other companies. The Lab employs both artists and engineers.

Work done through ESAL is held to the same high standards that other contractors for Boeing must meet. Cogswell is pleased to have been recognized by Boeing as one of its 2008 Silver Performance Excellence Award recipients.

Learn more about working in the ESAL.

A video of one of the finished projects is available on Cogswell’s Facebook page. To get updates on our latest videos, become a Fan of Cogswell!

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement