ResistAR is the result of the very first 24 hour hackathon project that any of the members of my team have ever done. The idea is to use augmented reality to help students visualize the flow of electricity through a circuit while solving for the voltage across and current through every component of the circuit.

You can find the Devpost page of the project here.

Image

Technical Challenges

There were 2 major technical challenges to this project.

Since we wanted to use augmented reality, we decided to go with Unity3D for the graphics rendering. The challenge we faced with this was that we ultimately wanted to build a 2D “interface” for the app while technically all of the coordinates returned by Unity were in 3D. We had to use vector projection to place the 3D coordinates back into the 2D grid that we were actually going to draw the UI elements in.

The other challenge was solving the circuit. The givens are the voltage of the power supply and the resistance of each element on the circuit. At that point, we had barely finished our first programming course so it took a lot of fiddling around to apply an algorithmic approach to circuit solving which we all knew how to do by hand. In the end our approach involved recursively solving voltages from the voltage source down to the ground element and then iteratively solving the current afterwards.

Prizes

We were super fortunate to have been picked for the Grand Prize at TartanHacks 2017. We also won the Facebook Prize which gave us an invitation to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park to compete in their global hackathon.