UNLV engineering students presented inventions with commercial potential in a senior design competition on May 5

UNLV student teams showcased their innovative solutions to real-world challenges at the Fred and Harriet Cox Senior Design Competition at the Thomas & Mack Center on May 5, which returned live for the first time since 2019.

Throughout the day-long event, industry experts judged ingenious student projects, including the world’s first fully programmable waste-collecting robot; a foldable rattan seat that allows people with reduced mobility to rest and walk at the same time; and the Aqualibrium, an all-electric, eco-friendly propeller system for water vehicles; among many other inventions on display.

The culmination of every student’s academic career at UNLV’s Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, the Senior Design Competition saw students use all of their knowledge and experience to create practical, real-world solutions to engineering challenges. engineering. Each student chose, planned, designed and prototyped an innovative and commercially viable product.

Select included projects:

Eco-Filling

When contractors order concrete for a job, they regularly acquire 10% more than needed to ensure a sufficient supply on site. But what happens to this excess concrete? In Nevada, an estimated 6,000 cubic feet a year is taken unused from construction sites and deposited at Lone Mountain, where it has been accumulating for 30 years.

The Eco-Fill is a sustainable solution to the environmental impact of discarded concrete and seeks to reuse these materials into low-strength controlled materials, or “fluid fill”. The Eco-Fill aims to reduce landfill use and carbon emissions while reducing material and labor costs.

Video games for students with disabilities

Video games are primarily designed for people without disabilities or impairments, which leaves a large pool of potential customers feeling left out and deprives manufacturers of a potential revenue stream.

The UNLV student-designed game specifically aims to include visually impaired audiences and is playable – and fully enjoyable – by those with or without visual impairments. Through a mix of audio cues and a specific programming engine designed to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, the game can expose a whole new population to video games and video game companies to a whole customer base.

The Hydroponic Kitchen Cart

Downtown residents and those without healthy, affordable food options nearby live in so-called “food deserts,” which exist across the United States, including southern Nevada. .

The Hydroponic Kitchen Cart makes hydroponics accessible to beginning gardeners, fits easily into a standard-sized apartment, and supports up to six plants. Numerous sensors control water levels and monitor temperatures, while the unit itself features an intuitive touchscreen, all of which work together to increase the gardener’s chances of success and help combat “ food deserts.

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