December 13, 2022
Members of the WHS Sham-rock-botic team won the high school division at NextTech’s Computer Science for Good competition by creating their own parking spot detection software and app.
After preparing for a couple of weeks, the team presented their prototype at the Indiana Statehouse on Dec. 8. Each team member will be awarded $200 worth of tech, and the sponsor Mr. Brian Ulkloss will receive $1,000 in tech for his classroom/club.
“The CS for Good Competition is a state-wide competition where teams of 6 identify a problem that affects the students, school, or local community,” Abhijay Salvi (11) said. To solve this problem, teams “develop a prototype or a fully functional project…. After completion of the project, teams film a video showcasing their project and write an essay about the process, brainstorming the implementation of their project.”
Only hearing about this competition a month in advance, the WHS CSforGood Team immediately started planning. They first decided on the problem that they were going to solve.
“We are trying to solve the parking problem in the high school,” Alyssa Doye (12) said. “We noticed that students are sometimes late because they cannot find a parking spot, or they need to get to school really early in order to get a spot. Our solution is an app that will find and direct students to an open parking spot with motion detection cameras and machine learning.”
A Different Way of Parking - The CSforGood Team’s app prototype.
Currently, their app is only a prototype, consisting of a homepage and the different lots around WHS.
The second half of their project, the software, is the component that recognizes cars in parking lots. Using the program OpenCV, they take a camera input or images of parking lots and convert them to grayscale images.
Using grayscale images, the software determines where the parking lot lines are. Once it’s found where each car is supposed to be, it checks where a car is there with corner detection.
In this competition, computer science is used as a tool to help better the community. Team members learn more about what computer science is and how it can be used.
“I have learned more algorithms in OpenCV (a computer vision python library) and how to implement them in a real scenario project,” Salvi (11) said.
Having won the competition, the team is continuing to see if their solution to WHS’s parking lot problem could be implemented in the future.