In addition to lectures, exams and university work, Computer Science staff and students also regularly engage in a wide variety of projects.
These particular projects exist for general amusement and as part of the department’s ongoing attempt to connect with the wider community of Aberystwyth.
At recent Christmas lectures at the Royal Institution, Computer Science’s Dave Price was invited to collaborate in creating a robotic orchestra which performed live on BBC 4, on New Year’s Eve, as seen in this video. Many universities contributed to the project, among Aberystwyth’s contributions were parts taken from a printer, a vacuum cleaner and church organ pipes.
In June 2014, Computer Science’s Dr Mark Neal organized a space mission for the pupils of Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth.
Using a helium-filled weather balloon, the pupils launched a polystyrene space capsule fitted with two cameras, two GPS trackers and a small homemade computer that measures altitude, temperature and the motion of the balloon and transmits the information back to earth via a wireless link.
The project can be found in greater detail on the official Aberystwyth University news bulletin, While more of Mark’s amazing pictures from the project can be seen via the BBC coverage or on Mark's personal blog.
The iCub Music Video
As part of the Dan and Phil show on BBC Radio 1, listeners were invited to send in videos of themselves dancing along to the latest top hits. Not to be beaten, the iCub team wanted to get involved in the action, so put together this video of the iCub showing off some of his moves along to a track by The Artic Monkeys, "I bet that you look good on the dance floor". Watch closely to see the actions follow the lyrics. The video was featured on their youtube channel and Dr James Law was interviewed as part of the programme.
While the actions in this video were scripted, it set us thinking about how we could teach the robot to dance, and it paved the way for more fun projects in the future.
Aber Sailbot Team
Since October 2012, the Aber Sailbot team have been working hard to create an autonomous boat that requires no absolutely human contact to function. The team has since entered numerous competitions and now maintains three different sailbots which they use to compete, all over the world.
They originally formed to compete in the Sailbot 2013 competition in Gloucester, MA. After coming third place in Sailbot 2013 with their first entry and after winning an award at WRSC2013 in Brest, France, they've now taken up a bigger challenge in building a much larger and faster boat for entry into Sailbot 2014 in San Francisco.
Student-Made Web Games
This link Student Showcase Web Games will provide samples of some of the impressive student-made web games, a brief description is provided below.
Healthy Jogger 2000: Collect the fruit, avoid the bombs, jog to your heart’s content. Designed by Alex Jollands.
Catzeau revolves around an interesting premise – to eat something you must press both mouse buttons consecutively, but to avoid eating bombs and other harmful things you’ll have to press the same button twice in a row. A game much more challenging than it initially sounds. Designed by James Eusden.
PolarityBox is a platformer with a twist. You must match the colour of your box to similarly coloured objects, while also avoiding numerous enemies and obstacles. Designed by Sion Griffiths.
Riot is a surgery simulator. Perform the task at hand, follow each step, before you and your patient run out of time. Designed by Tom Wise.
Schlurp! Throws you into a fish-eat-fish world, avoid the predators while munching on the prey. Designed by Ryan Goldsmith.
Zombie Pandemic is a top-down shooter with one goal - Survive. Designed by Charles Newey.