Third in North America for 3D camera team

By Faculty of Engineering, April 28, 2010

    Khaled Chebaro, Lucas Dobrowolski, Yaser Jafar and Charles Wah placed third in the Innovate North America Altera Design Contest for inventing a 3D camera.

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You may soon be watching YouTube videos and Skyping in 3D thanks to an award-winning invention by four McMaster electrical and computer engineering students.

Khaled Chebaro, Lucas Dobrowolski, Yaser Jafar and Charles Wah, all in their final year, placed third in the Innovate North America Altera Design Contest, a multi-discipline engineering design contest open to all graduate and undergraduate engineering students in the North-America, for inventing a 3D camera. The camera takes video and still images that appear in three dimensions when the viewer puts on a traditional pair of 3D glasses.

The project was undertaken by the group for their final year capstone project. It was inspired by Jafar who spent his internship term at Sigma Designs, a home entertainment video chip development company, where he was exposed to the growing popularity of 3D video and the potential for it to be used online. With the help of his colleague Wah, who was also working at Sigma Designs as an intern, they built the right team for the job. Professors Mohamed Bakr and Xun Li were their faculty advisors for the course.

The McMaster team competed against 36 other projects from top Canadian and U.S. universities. They tied for third with an energy-efficient digital camera entered by Purdue University. A team from the University of Saskatchewan won the contest with their real-time sign language recognition system. Second place went to a project from the University of South Carolina titled FPGA Acceleration of Frequent Itemsets.

The winning teams are waiting to find out how the $5,000 in prize money will be divided up but they have all been invited to demonstrate their devices at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, running May 2 to 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the meantime, the McMaster team has cashed in on another prize: they received $300 for being chosen the top final-year design project for computer engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Below: A video, made by the team, outlining the 3D camera project.

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