Tag Archives: Paul VanWingerden

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HackBerry Lab Open HouseIngenuity was the name of the game for approximately 90 students participating in this spring’s prototyping open house hosted by HackBerry Lab. More than 300 different innovations – each taking a half-semester to create – were displayed, incorporating everything from dance to video games to 3D printing.

Among the students showcasing new inventions were sophomores Joey Pratt and Paul VanWingerden, both majors in Berry’s innovative and fast-growing creative technologies program.

Intrigued by the concept of home automation, Pratt developed a device for residence hall doors that identifies the person entering and turns on the corresponding light. Now that he has a working proof of concept, he hopes to enhance his invention so that it not only controls the lighting but also sets the temperature to each individual’s preference.

VanWingerden, meanwhile, created “DJ Roomba,” a robotic vacuum cleaner (pictured) that is connected to a speaker so that it can flash in time to music as it rolls about the house. Inspiration was drawn from the television show Parks and Rec, but realization of the idea presented its share of challenges. Even on the day of his “reveal,” VanWingerden had to scramble to get his invention in working order after inadvertently destroying his lights while connecting them to a power source.

Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies, was inspired by the collective creativity of the students participating in this year’s exhibition.

“It was, by far, our largest open house at HackBerry Lab,” Cochran said. “It has been great to see the creative technologies program grow at a record pace.”

Established in 2014, the program now includes 68 majors, ranking it 11th among all Berry majors. In the last year alone, the program grew 42 percent, and the average growth rate is 22 percent per semester. Learn more.

“I am delighted with the growth of the creative technologies major and pleased that we can provide a program that interests so many students,” said Dr. John Grout, Garrett professor of management and creative technologies. “We appreciate the support we have received from the college administration and the Campbell School of Business. The help of all the departments that offer courses in this interdisciplinary major has also been instrumental in meeting the growing demands of the program.”

Story and “D.J. Roomba” photo by student writer Kendall Aronson

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