After a long and arduous process the winners of the Intel Cup Embedded System Design Contest were announced on Saturday afternoon, at Shanghai’s Jaio Tong University. The intriguingly named “The Art of Shadow Puppet, The Stage of Atom” was the winner of the cup.
This novel project combined the traditional art of shadow puppets with robot’s that controlled the puppet’s movements. In addition to controlling the robots, the same Atom based system would play back the synchronized music and dialogue, and even project an animated background with birds flying above the characters. For someone coming to the Peoples Republic of China for my first visit, this blending of the old and new, the art with technology, was very appealing. I’m glad to say that the other judges thought so as well.
In addition to running a play, the team also had a full GUI based development system for creating and editing the plays. The robots would duplicate the movements in real time, as the developer moved an arm or adjusted the posture. Each action was stored, and could even be edited further by hand to tweak the position or synchronize a movement with a dramatic piece of music or phrasing.
They even showed how the system can be used to improvise and react to audience feedback. The traditional puppet was replaced with Hai Bo the character from the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and he would dance in time with a drumbeat, or shuffle sideways, as the processor system had different actions assigned to the different sounds a player would make.
Thank you to the organizers...
I never saw the Subsiduary Three-Dimensional Hairstyle System, or even the Portable Multilingual Translation System that I alluded to in Part 1 of this article, as they never made it in to round 2 of the judging.
For round two, the top scorers, from each group of five judges, was resubmitted and we all recast our votes for the best designs. As an aside, this competition has been going in now for over six years, so the organizing comittee runs like a well oiled machine. I would like to thank that team for a job well done. It can't have been easy, but they did a superb job, organising accomodation and meals and daily transportation for 176 projects in addition to the 21 judges.
For the awards ceremony, Pranav Mehta, CTO of Intel's Embedded and Communications Group, who had just been a guest at the ‘Intel India Embedded Challenge 2010’, flew in to get a tour of the finallists and to give a keynote speech. A common element between the two competitions was the enthusiasm and innovation displayed by the students, and the ongoing support from Industry, Educators and the Government in both countries.
Again congratulations to Xidian University and students, WANG Haoran, LIU Xin and ZHU Meng
Picture courtesy of Xidian University