Student Equipment Fund (SEF)

The Student Equipment Fund (SEF) is an initiative by the Computer Science Department of Heriot-Watt University to support students in purchasing technology (either in hardware, data or software) to explore the usage of and code development for new platforms, as part of a taught course or as a personal project.

How to apply

MACS Computer Science students are invited to download the application form. To apply, complete the application and email an electronic version of this form to Benjamin Kenwright.

Past projects

Retro Arcade Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

The Raspberry Pi 3 is the third generation of the single-board computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In comparison with other models, RP3 Model B offers wireless connectivity (WiFi and Bluetooth).

A student designed and built a Retro Arcade based on the Raspberry Pi. The result has the look and feel of old fashion gaming stations. To achieve his project, the RP3 was connected to a joystick and push buttons and a special distribution was installed on the RP3 with a game emulator running a selection of old games such as Pac-Man.

Parallella Cluster

The Parallella board by Adapteva is a single-board computer with multicore chips. Parallella was specifically designed for exploring the prospects of parallel computing.

An MSc student used a cluster of Parallella boards to explore the effects of memory locality and data placement of the Parallella board.

Parrot Drone

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is an advanced Wi-Fi controlled quadricopter, suitable for operation indoors or outside. It provides a commercial device to introduce students to state-of-the-art topics in robotics and software development for embedded devices.

A fourth year student project used the OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) open source computer vision and machine learning software library to develop control code for the Parrot drone. The long term goal of this project was to provide limited autonomous control for the drone within a restricted, thus easier to handle, indoors environment. Although this challenging project didn't achieve full autonomous control, the software development for this concrete device, together with the feedback gained from its behaviour proved to be a highly engaging environment for a student project.

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is a Virtual Reality headset that is having a big impact on the way how virtual reality environments are being deployed to users. Providing a highly immersive environment, it is heavily used in the computer games industry but also by main-stream technology providers such as the BBC in broadcasting sporting events. A fourth year student project used the Oculus Rift to develop a small virtual puzzle in a fully immersive 3D environment. Furthermore, the device was used in a demo session as part of our fourth year course on Computer Games Programming to additionally demonstrate third party software, especially developed for the Oculus Rift.

Key information

Benjamin Kenwright

Job title
Associate Professor