The Capstone Experience provides the educational capstone for all students majoring in computer science at Michigan State University. Teams of students build software projects for corporate clients. For information on becoming a project sponsor, see Project Sponsorship or contact Dr. Wayne Dyksen. The following are the project sponsors and projects for the spring of 2010.
Auto-Owners Insurance: Weather Incident Verification System
These often multi-million dollar decisions must be made very carefully. Proper research on recent weather events in the area o f the claim will aid the associates in determining its validity.
To aid Auto-Owners Insurance in this research, we have developed a Weather Incident Verification System.
This web application allows a claims associate to easily search the weather history for the location in which the claim was made. The results can then be compared to the claim to see if a weather event may have caused the damage.
Searching can be done by first entering a date, or date range. Then, the user may enter either an address, or a specific latitude and longitude. Policyholders can be searched by last name to look up their address as well.
Once the associate submits the information, the results are neatly displayed along with a map of the area. Individual events can be clicked on for more detailed information. Results can also be saved to a file for recordkeeping.
Although this program cannot decide the validity of the claim on its own, it may provide valuable information for the claims associate to consider in their decision.
The Boeing Company: XML Texture Composition
The amount of memory and power needed in graphics processing today is continually growing. Applications need a way to get as much power and memory out of as little resources as possible. Utilizing Sparse Virtual Texturing technology, the XML Texture Composition project allows ways to manipulate multiple image textures and draw them on a 3D model. The texture formats used maximize the amount of memory required to draw high-resolution images. The location and priority of how these textures are drawn will be decided through an XML text document loaded into the application.
Previous applications only allow one sparse virtual texture to wrap around the entire 3D object. This restriction does not allow Sparse Virtual Textures to be used to their maximum potential. The XML Texture Composition project extends this technology’s functionality. Currently, multiple textures can be applied to a model at very precise user specified locations determined by the text document.
The sub feature of this project includes a menu option that allows the user to select an image and a location from a dialog box and place it as top priority on the 3D model at the specified location.
The XML Texture Composition project is implemented as an extension to Open Scene Graph. This project will also be integrated with the Boeing Company’s modeling and simulation software.
Chrysler Group LLC: Manufacturing Dashboard Migration
Currently Chrysler uses a dashboard to track key performance indicators for all of their plants. Managers can review this data to determine if company goals are being met and where improvements need to be made.
However, the current dashboard is a custom-made solution that has grown increasingly difficult to maintain and improve. Our project is to re-design this dashboard using modern methods, particularly Microsoft SharePoint Server, while preserving the functionality of the original. To make the project feasible within a semester, we focused on the Warren Stamping plant.
While the first goal of the dashboard migration is to increase maintainability, the second is improving usability. Currently, the dashboard offers a large variety of reports. Part of our task is to reduce the number of reports while providing the same information via drill down capability. If a particular piece of data presented in a table or chart is interesting to a user, they can click on it and get an expanded view.
On the right you can see an example page from our dashboard. This page displays downtime for parts of the plant and offers the users several filters for which data is displayed. In addition, when a department and line are selected from the tables at the top, the remaining tables reflect only data for that line.
Along with displaying overall performance data, the site will contain a more advanced news section. This section will display the overall news of the plant, as well as more specific news, such as Financial, Corporate, and Human Resources.
GE Aviation: Flight Deck Lateral Map Display
Given the safety critical task of piloting an aircraft, the aviation industry is continuously seeking to improve pilot performance. One such tool aimed at improving situational awareness is the Flight Deck Lateral Map Display (LMD). This software provides multiple views of an aircraft’s situation, giving a pilot valuable flight data that might otherwise not be available.
By utilizing flight simulation software to stream data over a simulated aircraft network, the LMD is capable of displaying a multitude of information in various layers.
Terrain elevation and distance are rendered in multiple ways. A top down (or plan view) rendering is displayed around the plane icon and is shaded depending on the theoretical danger level. Terrain that is significantly above the aircraft is color coded red while terrain significantly below the aircraft is colored green. A second form of display is a side (or profile) view where the danger levels are shaded in the same manner.
Other features include weather, waypoints, other air traffic, airports, state and country lines, wind speed, and ground speed. The weather layer uses a worldwide map to accurately display the current weather at a given location. Location data is derived using the aircraft’s latitude and longitude and updates based upon rotation and zoom.
The Lateral Map Display is particularly useful when visibility is poor. Using this tool, the pilot has the ability to determine their heading, see their flight plan, and avoid hazards such as terrain, air traffic, and weather.
The LMD is written in C and utilizes the OpenGL API.
Medtronic: Mobile Health Management System
In an effort to help patients manage their health we have developed the Mobile Health Management System. The goal of this product is to show the correlation between food and exercisechoicesandthepatients’health. Patientswillbeable to track a wide range of goals that consist of weight, heart rate, blood sugar, and other various related health risks.
This product consists of both a web and iPhone application. Patients will be able to input their daily activities and view data from their implanted Medtronic devices. The correlation of this data reinforces healthy choices and helps patients actively participate in their rehabilitation.
One example could include an overweight patient struggling with a chronic heart disease. The patient could use the application to track weight, heart rate, and sodium levels. The activity data that they entered can be viewed along with data from their implanted Medtronic devices. Over time, the patient can see how their health has been affected by their lifestyle choices.
Medtronic’s mission is to contribute to human welfare by the application of biomedical engineering to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. For over 40 years they have been transforming the way the world treats chronic diseases so patients can live a fuller life.
Meijer: Chief Information Officer Dashboard
For retail giants like Meijer, information technologies provide strategic competitive advantages for everything from point-of-sale systems to inventory control. The Chief Information Officer is responsible for leading and managing information technology for the entire enterprise.
What we have come up with is a dashboard, that is built upon Microsoft SharePoint, which has several “widgets” that all help to portray different information, whether it is financial information or period support call volumes or any other performance metric related to the ITS department.
Each one of these “widgets” portrays information in a way that is best fitting for that information. This ranges from pie charts, to graphs, to color-coded text.
While all of these “widgets” provide a brief glimpse into the performance metrics, some also allow for a “drill down”into the information to see specific parts of that performance metric. “Drill-down” simply means you can click to see a more detailed view of that performance metric.
The hope of our project is that we can provide a highly customizable and interactive dashboard to Meijer’s CIO and ITS Managers. This dashboard allows the user to quickly glance at key department metrics, highlighting areas that are under performing, and allowing for quick “drill-down”to more detailed information. By providing this dashboard, the user can potentially save valuable minutes by only spending time on areas that require their attention.
Motorola: Mobile User Generated Video Services
Video on demand services like TiVo or Comcast On Demand have become very popular over the past decade because of the many benefits they offer to their users. However, these benefits are limited. You can only watch shows and movies you record or watch the programs provided to you by your service provider. Now, think of the ability to take control of this service. The ability to watch your own videos anywhere you or your friends and family watch TV.
We have developed a system that allows users to upload their own content and make this content accessible via a cable box. The user does this by uploading a video from their computer, iPhone, or Android device to a web service. The user gives the video a name and description, and then selects which of their buddies can view the video.
Once the video is uploaded to the sendee and buddies are associated, the sen ice alerts the appropriate cable headend that a new video is available to be viewed. The headend then downloads the video and converts it to a stream-capable format and saves it to be watched at any time.
The user can navigate through their list of movies on their cable box and select which one they want to watch. Upon selecting a video, it is then streamed to their television.
All services are implemented in Java, deployed on a Glassfish application server and use a MySQL database. The Android app is developed in Java and the iPhone app in Objective-C using Xcode. All Java is developed in Eclipse.
Raytheon: Camera Control Appliance
One of Raytheon’s primary functions is to provide security solutions for clients. A current problem is accessing and controlling pan-tilt-zoom security cameras. This is a problem because there are many different types of security cameras, and many different protocols are used to communicate with them. This is why Raytheon wishes to have a camera control appliance that provides a way to easily communicate with many different types of security cameras.
The camera control appliance is a software application that will allow remote sensors, such as security cameras, to communicate with Raytheon’s Command Assurance – Civil situational awareness software. The appliance must be extensible, meaning it must be designed to easily allow the addition of new sensors. It will allow clients to effortlessly integrate various types of security cameras into their local networks and Raytheon’s various situational awareness tools.
The camera control appliance integrates with Raytheon’s Command Assurance software. Sensor Resource Manager and Command, Control and Display Equipment. The end result allows the sensors to be controlled and visually represented through Google Earth.
The camera control appliance uses the standards established in the ICD-101A security document. These standards are used as a guide to create an XML-based standard for universal communication with sensors.
TechSmith: Facebook Study Group Application
Study groups are common for college classes as well as certain K-12 ones. Some challenges students in these classes must often overcome include finding others interested in a study group, distributing content, organizing meetings, and identifying as well as eliminating people harmful to the group.
The Facebook Study Group Application addresses each of these challenges. On its own, social networking provides untapped opportunities for study groups and academic collaboration. This application makes use of that potential to create an environment where students can spread and obtain knowledge. It furthermore enables the quick and easy sharing of various types of class content. The incorporation o f existing TechSmith products such as Camtasia and Jing allow students to get the maximum benefit of the Facebook Study Group Application’s content sharing capabilities.
The application features forum-like discussion capabilities with real time response where content can be posted and accessed. It also uses internal groups with various configuration options similar to Facebook. Calendars are available for tracking deadlines and important dates. Finally, it allows the creation and tracking of individual user rankings based on accomplishments or other user input.
Terex: Enterprise Features for eCommerce
Online shopping has grown to be a common experience in the past decade and will become even more common in the coming years. Terex is an example of a company that sells their products to dealers from their online store. Terex has dealers located all over the globe, often times in places that do not have a permanent internet connection. Terex has the desire to allow customers to access the electronic catalog where internet connection is not available.
One of the features of the software is the ability to browse and search the product database while disconnected from the internet. The customer may also add items to a shopping cart and submit the cart when an internet connection is available.
When a customer selects a product they will be shown more information about it. This information is shown in the document viewing area. This new feature shows all of the documents related to the product they are currently looking at, such as images, PDF’s, and videos.
The customer may also choose to download a PDF manual for the product. This manual is created by the software and includes all related product information.
Due to the requirement to run on any customer’s laptop, the software is compatible with older computers.
Enterprise Features for eCommerce is written in Java. The software looks like a web page even when the customer is not connected to the internet and is just as easy to use.
Urban Science: Automobile Dealer Apps for Mobile Devices
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, automotive dealerships have to make important decisions to remain profitable. But in order to make these decisions, an automobile dealer has to be well informed about how they are performing.
Dealerships use various categories of statistical data to assess themselves in a variety of areas such as sales, repair, and customer satisfaction. Previously, an automobile dealer had to log onto their desktop or laptop computer in the office or home to get these statistics.
Now a dealer can access these statistics on their mobile device, regardless of where they are. By using the Automobile Dealer Apps for Mobile Devices, a dealer has the power to view their performance at their fingertips.
Our application gives users the ability to access dealership performance statistics while “on the run.”Not only does the application allow users to conveniently access statistical data from a cellular device, the application also displays the data in an easy to read fashion via charts, graphs, and maps.
The application’s search functionality, ability to sort dealership performance across numerous key performance indicators, sleek user interface, and slew of other great features make the Automobile Dealer Apps for Mobile Devices the perfect tool for automobile dealers that are constantly on the go.