Student Invention Improves Campus

by   |  
The car counter in the parking garage was a student invention

BJU student inventions are not common, but one student recently improved the parking garage with his invention—the car counter. The counter reads “open” or “closed” based on availability in the garage.

While a student, Kyle Weberg (‘19, Engineering) spent about 200 hours over the course of one semester working on the project. “I got the idea to build the car counter from Dr. (Bill) Lovegrove. I had been learning about computer vision the semester before while working on the Bruin 3 autonomous vehicle, and he saw a good use for that skill set in helping to solve a problem on campus,” Weberg said.

See Also: Robotics Team Drives to 1st, 3rd Place with Bruin 3

Like any invention, developing the car counter had its hurdles. “There were several large challenges while developing the car counter, but the biggest was the wide variance of available light in the parking garage,” Weberg said. “I had to be able to count cars in the darkest hours of the night, and still be able to count them when the sun was shining directly into the camera’s field of view.”

Although he has not done much inventing on his own, Weberg has been known to tinker with everyday appliances. “The only thing of interest I have done is ’hack’ my coffee pot to turn on in the morning when the alarm on my phone goes off,” he said.

BJU programs support student inventions. Lovegrove, head of the Department of Engineering, said, “We require (engineering) students to do a solo senior design project. … We are also in discussions with the School of Business about involving our students in their entrepreneurship club.”

Other BJU alumni are also inventors. Brian Nantz (‘96, Electronics Engineering) has a couple of patents in his name, and David Wilson (‘82, Broadcast Engineering)—former BJU electronics faculty now on facilities staff—has a patent for a cashless vending system.