Every great innovation began first as a simple idea. Our team engineers professional tools that are first created as ambitious projects.
Internal ITRSS Projects
In addition to providing support to specific research efforts at S&T, IT Research Support Services facilitates internal projects utilizing S&T student talent for purposes of creating new campus instrumentation and student development. The projects are all multi-discipline, and are developed by student teams which vary as students arrive and depart the team. These projects increase our campus research instrumentation with well developed, tested, and supportable systems. The projects have a focus on research support as service to the university, however, the overriding value comes from the student worker involvement and individual growth within the students.
MinerBytes is a robust and secure digital signage solution. RSS students selected the Raspberry Pi, a $35 credit card-sized computer, and a spare computer monitor as the entry level for hardware requirements, and designed the system so it could scale up to powerful workstations with 4K displays and beyond. The MinerBytes client is capable of delivering smooth 1080P video, YouTube content, images, web content, and more. The user friendly web-based user interface allows content to be displayed on a schedule to provide time and location sensitive information. It also allows for several signs to be grouped together in order to change all of the content at once, as well as display administrative information so that signs requiring maintenance can be found easily.
MinerBytes is cross-platform, meaning that it can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux providing not only the flexibility to run nearly everywhere but also the ability to act as a drop-in replacement for more expensive digital signage solutions. The server is housed in Missouri S&T's secure datacenter and all communications with the signs are encrypted ensuring data integrity.
MinerBytes provides a Broadcast Mode feature which allows all the signs (or a defined subset) to display the same content playlist in the event of an urgent message from campus authorities such as a schedule change at an event or emergency information.
Contact Research Support Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, to schedule a demo, or to find out how MinerBytes can help grow your organization!
Originating in 2014, the MinerFly project provides researchers access to a safe and field tested autonomous aerial vehicle service. This service includes an experienced human pilot, a payload operator, an option to select from an array of optical instruments, and general mission support, thus significantly reducing the amount of time, expertise, and money which researchers would have to invest in order to collect their desired data. Originally, MinerFly was conceived with the idea of taking high resolution LiDAR scans of foliage in order to detect pollutants near mining sites while still having the capability to perform a wide variety of other operations; since then it has progressed into a variety of different research purposes.
The Minerfly program is fully supported by the RSS team, removing the need for researchers to develop their own out-of-discipline flight-operations expertise when they have a need for aerial data collection.
The MinerFly project is on track to expand aircraft types available to support a wider variety of research data collection missions, and to develop a pilot-training program for students who wish to develop skills in this rapidly expanding area.
For more information about MinerFly, visit our MinerFly page.
MinerBytes Touch is the newest development in our digital signage services. Built by students, MinerBytes Touch features a free-standing, touch-based kiosk. Designed with the idea of being used for hands-on building directories, MinerBytes Touch has an intuitive user interface to help students and campus visitors find their way around departmental buildings quickly and easily.
Built by S&T students in 2014, the NonaVitra visualization wall is a collection of high-definition displays merged into one unified visualization resource. Made for high-definition display of collaborative projects, NonaVitra is available for the entire campus community to use. NonaVitra features nine screens, each with an individual resolution of 1080p, for a collective resolution of 6K. NonaVitra runs on Windows, and features such software as Autocad, Matlab, and some Adobe products.
For more information, please visit the library's NonaVitra page.
In 2014 Missouri S&T’s Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engagement (OSE3) brought the campus’ first fully electric shuttle online. Before it was retired, the 30 passenger bus could reach speeds of 45 MPH and looped campus twice an hour. While the EBus was free to S&T students, faculty, staff, and the variable routes and traffic congestion throughout the day made it difficult for riders to predict departure times.
MinerTrax was developed by IT Research Support Services to bridge that gap. The MinerTrax client ran on an Android device on the EBus and updated the server with its GPS coordinates once every 2 seconds. This data was then overlaid on to a map to show riders where they could find the EBus in real time. Additionally, MinerTrax’s mobile-friendly website informed riders of the next stop on the route as well as any important announcements. In the first 3 months of operation, the MinerTrax website received over 50,000 visits.
In addition, MinerTrax captured data to expand research efforts on campus. By capturing time, location, tilt angles, and passenger counts, MinerTrax aimed to record information necessary to improve the EBus program.
MinerRide is a green, rapid personnel transportation vehicle developed by IT Research Support Services. MinerRide utilizes an inverted pendulum design and can safely reach speeds of 12 MPH. Its fully electric design allows riders to rapidly travel up to 6 miles on a single charge.
MinerRide is a self-balancing, two-wheeled, elevated platform operated by a rider standing on it and shifting their weight forward and backward to control speed and direction. The steering mechanism can be shifted to the right or the left to initiate turning.
Although there are many inverted pendulum transport devices commercially available, MinerRide focuses on low cost, unique features, and innovative designs. Among its features are a one-of-a-kind, color-based combination lock mechanism that doubles as a speedometer when the vehicle is in operation, infrared laser rider detection units to ensure rider safety, high-torque brushless DC motors to easily climb hills, and a unique wireless programming interface to allow the vehicle’s behavior to be modified on the fly. The distinctive aluminum chassis allows for maximum weight distribution and safety considerations and the innovative steering mechanism provides users stability and a satisfying operational feel.
Designed and built by IT RSS students, MinerRide is a shining example of cross-discipline engineering. The main chassis consists of a single piece of 1/2 inch thick aluminum stock with various pieces machined by both CNC mills and by Missouri S&T’s waterjet cutter, the same technology used to create the campus’ Stonehenge and Millennium Arch monuments. MinerRide’s internal components include a lithium polymer battery, dual motor controllers, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and various other instruments all connected by a custom printed circuit board. The vehicle is controlled by a single microcontroller that was programmed using the programming language C. In combining experience from engineering students from mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering as well as computer science, MinerRide has proven to be a true cross-discipline project.
Due to a lack of space and knowledgable students, MinerRide is currently an archived project.