My story: How Galileo helped to bring out the star quality in these two students
When multinational tech giant Intel ran a technology competition for third-level students on the island of Ireland earlier this year, four of the eight finalists were from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).
So impressed were the judges, that two first prizes were awarded — both to students from GMIT.
Intel invited students to create and showcase projects based on the Irish-designed Galileo board, an affordable computer chip, and they received a diverse array of entries.
It was the second year of the competition which arose from a previous initiative by Intel to spur innovation across the entire computing spectrum.
In 2014, the company provided 50,000 Galileo boards to universities worldwide, including almost 1,000 boards to 21 different institutions across Ireland. Colleges here have been integrating them into curriculum plans and using the boards for a variety of research projects.
The enthusiasm with which the boards were received at GMIT was borne out in the high standard of entries for the competition from students keen to demonstrate their flair and skill.
Electronic and electrical engineering students, David Walshe of Castlebar, Co Mayo and Colin Gill of Athenry, Co Galway, both submitted their final year degree projects for the competition.
Colin’s winning idea was his G-Tune, an automatic tuner for guitarists, where an app allows a user to select what string and what pitch he/she would like to tune to.
Meanwhile, David was inspired to use Galileo for an entirely different product. His Tech Smart Home automates the control of many aspects of the home, including heating, lighting and security systems, to give an interactive user experience, with Galileo at its heart.
The other GMIT students in the shake-up at the final were Ronan Watkins of Birr, Co Offaly for a system that allows a car be controlled by a website or an Android app and Alan Holland, Claregalway, Co Galway for a system recording data, such as temperature and soil, in farm crops.