Senior Design Journey 2022: Saving Lives with an App, Part 2
By: Eli Freund, Director of Communications, UConn School of Engineering
This article is part of a multi-part series on engineering students and their journey through senior design. Click here to read Part 1 of this series of articles.
Security is paramount on every college campus nationwide, and with smartphones becoming the most important tool for students, five University of Connecticut computer science and engineering students worked with security firm ADT to enforce their current technology to the higher education market.
The five seniors involved in the project are Tristen Lawrence, Brendan Henriques, Alex Le, Zhongqi Luo and Anas Rajeh. Although students don’t set up the entire system, they work on the front-end interface that students, faculty, and staff would see when submitting an incident.
The end product is a front-end solution for any university that allows a student to indicate an incident in progress, enabling a dispatcher to send the necessary details to first responders. The proposed technology integrates with ADT’s emergency button application called “SoSecure by ADT”, which is a discreet application allowing someone to report a crime occurring via chat, slider or video chat. .
According to the SoSecure by ADT site, the application is a solution for people who need to contact the authorities, but in situations that require discretion. The app uses tracking technology and contacts family and close contacts in an emergency or lets you send hands-free alerts using a passphrase or voice command.
At the start of the school year, the team also planned to incorporate drone functionality that would be programmed to fly to geolocation, but that had to be cut as their deadline was getting closer.
“Some drone stuff was cut out for this project because there was a fair amount of stuff we had to figure out to get a drone on campus,” Henriques said. “A significant hurdle we had to overcome was simply getting ADT’s systems to work on our machines. We needed to make it work on both Windows and Mac. This easily took away about three months of productivity time.
The other biggest part of their project that they ran into hurdles with was the full development, both front-end and back-end, which is not part of the traditional program.
“Once we understood the languages we would need to program this, everything became much easier,” Rajeh said. “The backend was not intuitive at first. I had to learn everything. As I progressed, I slowly started to understand Java and Spring Boot.
Now that they’ve almost finished the project, the team has thought back to the beginning of the year and thought about what this project could have been like if everything had gone smoothly.
“The biggest takeaway is that everything we showcase on Senior Design Day is a product that we completed despite adversity,” Henriques said. “About two months ago we hit a low point and we didn’t know how it was going to go. The fact that we have something to show is a huge thing for us.