Cypress’ Maker of the Month: Alvin Wu and Todd Nguyen
At Cypress®, we are all about solving our customers’ problems with our state-of-the-art solutions. We love problems because we are passionate about solutions. The Maker of the Month series recognizes unique projects created by the maker community and their design problems that were solved using Cypress technology. For more information about Cypress’ maker community involvement, check out the rest of our Maker of the Month series and our efforts to empower up-and-coming engineers via the Cypress University Alliance (CUA).
Read the Q&A with Cypress’ Makers of the Month for March 2017, Alvin Wu and Todd Nguyen
Can you please provide some background about yourself and your work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Todd: My name is Todd Nguyen and I’m an undergraduate senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in computer engineering. My focus is in signal processing and embedded systems. Specifically, I am most interested in image and video processing
Alvin: My name is Alvin Wu and I’m a masters student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My concentration is on robotics, machine learning and AI. Specifically, I am interested in computer vision, deep learning and their applications.
Tell us about your Cypress Robot Kit and what Cypress technology is being used in the project.
The Cypress Robot Kit was designed to be a platform for hobbyists to learn programming using Cypress’ PSoC® solutions, and allow them to explore the capabilities of PSoC.
"The main product we used was the PSoC 4 BLE. At the core of our project, we found that the PSoC BLE was a low-cost, easy-to-use tool with a lot of features."
Patrick Kane and Corey Wilner of Cypress pitched the idea as a project for our capstone senior design class. We brainstormed ideas and worked with them to come up with the features and requirements for the Cypress Robot Kit. We ended up choosing features that would allow others to expand on our product and add additional modules to it if they wanted.
Can you expand on what the Cypress Robot Kit is?
The Cypress Robot Kit can be used as an educational tool to allow students to build something themselves and learn about electronics, PCB design, as well as microcontroller programming. This is because the project is open-source, so all the designs are there for people to use and follow along with what we did.
How did Cypress’ technology help you execute your project, and what are the benefits you’ve seen with using these technologies?
The main advantage of PSoC BLE is the flexibility it offers over other alternatives such as the Arduino. Being able to create hardware blocks in the graphical interfaces provides more options for projects.
How did Patrick Kane and Corey Wilner of Cypress get involved with your project?
We had weekly meetings with them early on in the semester and they helped us a lot with getting started on the project. They gave us a quick tutorial on how to use PSoC Creator and showed us different uses for PSoC’s special features.
What are your plans for when you graduate?
Alvin: I will be going into industry, hopefully doing work with embedded systems or machine learning.
Todd: I will also be going into industry. I would love to work at a camera company.
Thanks again to Alvin Wu and Todd Nguyen for participating in our Maker of the Month program. If you would like to be considered for our next Maker of the Month profile, please email us and share a brief description of what project(s) you have made using Cypress’ technology.