“You both there. Enough chatting!!”, shouted my professor looking at us. “Now stand up and tell me if you have submitted your final semester project ideas ?” , he asked.

Me and my friend stood up completely blank. I was looking down ignoring him and trying to finish the cartoon that I was drawing in the previous hour of lecture but my friend responded quickly saying, “Sir, we will submit it before tomorrow noon.” I looked at my friend sarcastically and giggled. He gave me a wicked look to keep it down to myself. It was our final semester in college and we were supposed to give our project ideas by that week.

The next day morning we were discussing about the Boxing match results of the previous day. It was the time when 2012 London Olympics was on going and we used to discuss about the previous day’s events in our class. We were arguing about India’s loss because of an unfair judgement made by the referee. The referee made some bad scoring decision which led to the player’s defeat. There were already many controversies going on in Olympic boxing regarding this. As we were discussing about it, my friend suddenly asked me if I had brought any ideas for the project. I said I didn’t have any but suggested that we do something different and new.

Usually, most of these projects done by the students would be from different centers within the city where they would pay some cash to learn something new and do a project out of it. We were against that culture and decided to do something of our own with whatever knowledge we had. We started discussing different ideas. Some things like unmanned robots that may help surveillance during disaster. In a matter of time we started talking GPS, GSM, Bluetooth, WiFi and lot of other technical things but the fact was we were only familiar with those terms but not so great in the technology behind it. 😛  We made fun of ourselves and started laughing at each other. We had to submit the project idea in the next hour of the class. I pulled in one more guy for the discussion since each project can have a maximum of 3 students working on it. He was the brainy among the three of us but usually quiet all the time. We again started talking stuff and finally ended up in silence since none of the ideas seemed good enough.

All of a sudden my friend said, “Boxing”.

“What boxing ? No more boxing discussion till we arrive with an idea for the project”, I said.

He replied, “No I meant for the project. We can take up Boxing for the project. Why don’t we do something to eliminate these kind of error happening in scoring system”.

We both looked at him and then looked at each other. He then started explaining to us as how good it would be to automate the scoring system of boxing matches without having a referee to do it. We felt it was a good idea but weren’t sure if that was possible. We then discussed on a higher level as how and what could be done on it. I was worried that if that idea will work because we have to demonstrate a working model of our project during our final project review. The professors wouldn’t provide us with good grades if we were just going to put up our project as a theory. Finally we decided to give it a try and submitted our idea.

Two weeks passed and we hadn’t talked a word since we submitted our idea. We had no clue on how we were going to implement our project. The next day we had an initial review of our project. We had to explain the content of the our project and method in which we were going to implement it. We three sat  together the previous night and managed to prepare a PowerPoint presentation explaining our project. We drew some pictures of men boxing, showing how our model would look like at the end and added it to the presentation. We still had no idea as how we were going to make a working model of it. The next day we presented the topic before the panel of professors. They liked it, especially the pics that we drew 😛 but questioned us if we were actually going to do a working model of it. 🙂 The review went on pretty well and we walked out of the room. I looked at my friends and said, “We better don’t show the same pictures at our final review too”. We all laughed and left for the day.

All things were set. We finally started working on our project “Automated Scoring System for Boxing“. All three of us used to gather at one place and started our project with the hope that it would work. We did a micro controller based model. We also bought a boxing kit from a store so that we could fit in our module and see how it actually works. We tried different logic and saw how it worked. Sometimes it would work good and sometime we would end up burning the components 😛 We used to prepare Project reports as and when we had reviews coming up. Typing reports was a boring task which none of us liked. So we made sure everyone does some part of it. We worked day and night. We would walk around the streets for some midnight snack break. Most of the time we would go to sleep at about 3am in the morning. Sometimes we never slept. Finally in about 3 months we made a stable design.

We integrated our design to the boxing kit to see how it worked. We also improvised our design to display the score through wireless technology. We further did some tweaks to our code. Some were actually improvements but some were just to cover up the externally visible bugs 😛 The first time when we saw our model work was special. It made us proud.  We presented our project on our final review. The panel liked it very much. They appreciated our effort and recorded videos of us demonstrating it. Our college professors congratulated us. We felt good for what we had done and how our efforts showed good results.

We felt like we accomplished something that day. For the first time we really felt like Engineers 🙂

I made a small mix up video on how we ended up doing our project. It will be funny one 😀 which actually includes our 6 months of activity. Go ahead and have a look 🙂


This post is a part of Look Up Stories – LookUp