On 30 October, a qualifying stage for the participants of the UMNIK programme (the area “Digital technologies”) was held at Voronezh State University. The event was supported by VSU's Innovation Business Incubator.
This year, among the participants of the contest were 17 participants from Voronezh State University, Air Force Academy, Voronezh State University of Engineering Technologies, Voronezh State Technical University, Voronezh State Forest Engineering University, Voronezh State Medical University, Voronezh Institute of High Technologies, and Tambov State University. Six students from Voronezh State University had applied for the contest and three of them passed the qualifying stage:
- Tatiana Akindinova and her project “Developing computer vision mathware and software for intelligent systems of visual phenotyping and identifying the pathologies among greenhouse plants”;
- Egor Kolmakov and his project “Developing a mind machine for neurofeedback using elements of virtual and augmented reality”;
- Maria Karpova and her project “Developing an information communication system able to detect the emotional state of a human”.
The finalists from VSU explained the ideas behind their innovative developments.
“My project was aimed at developing a mind machine for neurofeedback using elements of virtual and augmented reality. Neurofeedback systems are currently used, for example, in clinical practice, and in rehabilitation medicine, in particular, in neuro and psychological training, and in professional sport. The state-of-the art technology of augmented reality is not well-suited for such tasks as it does not take into account important aspects of human physiology. My project presents a new technology for augmented reality, IR (Immersive Reality). Real objects to be seen by the user are caught by the camera and are transmitted in real-time to the high-resolution screen in the augmented reality helmet or glasses where they are integrated with virtual objects. The scientific novelty of the project is due to the fact that this technology hasn’t been used in any similar systems to-date. It is also very important as it extends the possibilities of the neurofeedback system, it also considerably decreases the cost of the device,” said Egor Kolmakov, a first year master’s student from the Faculty of Computer Sciences (speciality "Mathematics and Computer Sciences").
Maria Karpova, a first year master’s student from the Faculty of Computer Sciences (speciality "Information Systems Analysis and Synthesis"), told us what might replace emojis and emoticons in the future:
“As a result of developing information technologies, people spend more and more time on social networks and communicate with the help of messengers. This affects their emotional intellect. It is more difficult for them to express their emotions and to read the emotions of others. In this way, they lose the ability to control themselves, to motivate themselves, to interpret the emotions of people they interact with, and so on. Stickers and emojis which are commonly used in chats are a lousy substitute for human emotions as they do not render objective information about the emotional state of a person. The developed product will help extend communicative opportunities for people interacting with the help of messengers as it offers an emotional component. The project is aimed at developing a new system of digital signal processing which enables receiving data on a user’s stress level by analysing short heart rate variabilities.”
Alexander Khvan, Director of VSU Innovation Business Incubator, emphasised that participation in the contest not only allows students to meet new and interesting people and to develop their skills:
“The UMNIK programme is an important part of the innovative ecosystem of our university. It is a good opportunity for young researchers to get funding during the early stage of a start-up's development and to gain experience in creating and promoting an innovative project”.