Abhaya Induruwa and Ian Kennedy of the Department of Computing, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity participated at the Big Bang @ Discovery Park, a free education event organised by the STEM Hub of the University for students of Kent & Medway Secondary Schools. Students and teachers of Wellesley House School, Laleham Gap School, Ursuline College, and Kent College attended the workshops run by Abhaya and Ian.
Abhaya, assisted by PhD student Fida Hussain, gave a workshop in which they demonstrated how Nao – a humanoid robot – can be controlled using brain computer interface (BCI) technology. This is the outcome of a research internship project supervised by Abhaya and completed by Year 3 Computing student Dan Shead in the summer of 2017.
Several students and teachers also had a chance to interact with Nao by wearing the BCI headgear and to experience how EMG (ElectroMyGraphy) signals generated by their facial muscle movements and picked up by the BCI sensors are used to control the movements of Nao.
Ian tempted the visitors with a seemingly simple password challenge: set a Windows login password on a laptop he could not break in front of them. Ian demonstrated a special technique used by security researchers and digital forensic specialists to bypass the security used by Windows computers. The technique is so fast that in all cases the password was broken in less time it took for the students to set even the longest password!
The feedback from both the students and their teachers is very encouraging. One teacher has said that “it was a real joy to see them engage with your presentation and ask your staff meaningful questions. As a Teacher and STEM Ambassador, it is moments like this that make what we do worth-while”. One of the visitors who had a word with Nao wrote his feelings on the message wall.
For more information and to search for similar Big Bang events near you use the following search page: Big Bang Near Me.