Maker Club plans to build augmented reality sandbox

An+augmented+reality+sandbox+is+shown+at+the+Maker+Club+monthly+meeting.+3-D+topographical+maps+can+be+made+in+the+sandbox+by+using+a+Kinect+sensor+and+a+projector.
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Maker Club plans to build augmented reality sandbox

An augmented reality sandbox is shown at the Maker Club monthly meeting. 3-D topographical maps can be made in the sandbox by using a Kinect sensor and a projector.

An augmented reality sandbox is shown at the Maker Club monthly meeting. 3-D topographical maps can be made in the sandbox by using a Kinect sensor and a projector.

Tony Pacheco

An augmented reality sandbox is shown at the Maker Club monthly meeting. 3-D topographical maps can be made in the sandbox by using a Kinect sensor and a projector.

Tony Pacheco

Tony Pacheco

An augmented reality sandbox is shown at the Maker Club monthly meeting. 3-D topographical maps can be made in the sandbox by using a Kinect sensor and a projector.

Tony Pacheco, Staff Reporter

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The Maker Club may soon bring a sandbox that would act as a topographical mapping tool to IU Southeast.

The Maker Club met Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. for its monthly meeting in the IUS Library, room 216, to discuss current and future projects. The members discussed various topics during the meeting, included setting up a date to build an augmented reality sandbox and repainting the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building, room 111-A.

Creating an augmented reality sandbox

The augmented reality sandbox concept was developed at the University of California, Davis, according to the university’s augmented reality sandbox webpage.

One major use of the sandbox is that it could be used to create 3-D topographical maps out of sand by using a projector and a Kinect sensor, Lukas DiBeneditto, informatics senior, said.

“By digging your hand in the sand you can change how the projection changes what the depth that is shown on it,” DiBeneditto said. “Essentially it was designed at universities to learn about geological processes.”

DiBeneditto said getting the software to work is the Maker Club’s goal before adding on to it later.

“We would like to get the geology department involved eventually,” DiBeneditto said.

DiBeneditto said the club will meet Saturday, Feb. 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the IUS Library, room 216 to work on the sandbox.

Matthew Wayne, computer science junior, said the Maker Club hopes to paint the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building.

Matthew Wayne, computer science junior, said the Maker Club hopes to paint the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building.

Repainting the arcade cabinet

The Maker Club members hope to repaint the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building, room 111-A, Matthew Wayne, computer science junior, said.

Wayne said the arcade cabinet was a collaboration between the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computer Security Group and the Maker Club.

“Basically it can run pretty much any game on it,” Wayne said. “It is a fully working arcade cabinet.”

Wayne also said the Maker Club members plan to paint the sides and, if given the opportunity, paint the front as well.

Changing and embracing technology

Originally called Hackerspace, the Maker Club focuses on robotics, electronics and 3-D printing, DiBeneditto said.

Joe Dukes, computer science major, said the name was changed because of the negative connotation of the word hacker.

“Hacking is really just disassembling things and reassembling them in different ways,” Dukes said.

DiBeneditto said the Maker Club is a hands-on club that focuses on the physical aspects of computer and information technology.

“It basically gives experience to the students at IUS to focus on the interests that they have,” DiBeneditto said.

Lukas DiBeneditto, informatics senior, plays one of the “Street Fighter” games run through the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building.

Lukas DiBeneditto, informatics senior, plays one of the “Street Fighter” games run through the arcade cabinet in the Life Sciences building.

Also, DiBeneditto said that although there were already computer science-focused clubs on campus, he wanted something similar for the informatics department.

“Informatics is a new field and it is being defined as we go,”  DiBeneditto said.

DiBeneditto said informatics is an interdisciplinary science that takes a lot of different fields and puts them together by acting as the intermediary between technology, computer science professionals, and the user and seamlessly blends it together.

“I like that aspect,” DiBeneditto said. “Plus it’s fun, you get to build stuff.”

The Maker Club meets the second Saturday of every month at 2 p.m. in the IUS Library, room 216. However, the club members plan to increase the meeting times in order to meet the needs of the club’s projects. Students can join Maker Club by contacting DiBeneditto at lwdibene@ius.edu or by attending a meeting.