Interview: “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, a Senior Project Grant of 4th year students from ICT Mahidol

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Talk about “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, the project that has been developed by using “Virtual Reality” technology (VR)
  • Experiences sharing 

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Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Mahidol University (ICT Mahidol) aims to be a leading institution which can respond to the rapidly changing world, both in education, research, and digital technology innovations. The Faculty of ICT focuses on applying ICT knowledge to various activities, especially, arts and cultural activities. The Faculty of ICT, therefore provides grants for its 4th year students whose senior projects are related to arts and culture conservation, called “Senior Project Grants”.

The ICT Spotlight team did an interview with Mr. Atthakul Chanthong, Mr. Witchapon Intarapan, and Mr. Thanut Promsuk whose work, “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, received the Faculty’s arts and culture conservation support grant. Let’s check it out!

1. What is “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer” about? What are the objectives of this project?

A senior project entitled, “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer” is the project that has been developed by using “Virtual Reality” technology (VR), the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. The program is designed for anyone who is interested in learning and practicing the alto xylophone in a simulated environment. It does not require any real alto xylophones or trainers. The users can learn from the basic to the advanced stages; starting from sitting posture, holding the alto xylophone mallets, reading notes, and respectively playing a song.

2. What were your inspirations?

     At first, we just thought about doing any project which relates to VR technology, we didn’t have any idea about the alto xylophone. Then, we heard about the Faculty’s senior project grants, so we started thinking of developing a program that is related to arts and culture conservation by using VR technology. We then consulted our supervisor, and decided to conduct the project “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”.

3. What was the biggest challenge of this project?

The most challenging thing about this project was time management. Since our free time didn’t match very well, we had to work separately. As a result, we consulted, and distributed the work load of each member clearly. Also, we always tried to complete our assigned tasks before the deadline.

4. During the project, did you encounter any problems?

There were 2 main problems: first, we all didn’t have much experience in both VR technology and alto xylophone. We therefore did some researches about both topics on the internet, and consulted with our supervisor and related experts. Next, “responsibility”, to enable work collaboration, and to get the team on the same page, it was necessary to consult with each team members very often. We regularly kept updating about our work progress and results. We often discussed what we’ve missed out, and what should be added up on our project.

5. What did you gain from your project?

First, “working as a team”, although there were some work distribution problems at the beginning, we learned how to work as a team and how to be more responsible. Next, “coordinating with outsiders”, as we had to find more information about the alto xylophone, we learned to contact with College of Music experts. It’s very new and challenging for us, since we all didn’t have a lot of experiences dealing with other people.

6. How does this project benefit society?

Our project “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, supports those who are interested in learning and practicing the alto xylophone, but cannot afford to buy an instrument or hire a trainer.

7. What to do to get the Senior Project Grants?

You can find the conditions and details of the Senior Project Grants on the “My Courses”  website (https://mycourses.ict.mahidol.ac.th/). If your project meets the criteria, you can apply for the grant.

8. What do you want to recommend your juniors who are preparing to conduct senior projects?

First, “choosing team members”, when you are choosing someone to be on your team, do not choose them just because they are your best friends. Instead, you need to consider about their responsibilities. Next, “choosing the project topic”, when you are deciding to choose the project topic, you need to consult among your supervisor and team members, to make sure that you choose the right topic and you are really interested in that topic.

The “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, is a merging of technology and Thai traditional instrument, which helps conserve arts and culture, and encourage teenagers to have more interest in Thai traditional instruments.

If you want to try the program “Virtual Alto Xylophone Trainer”, please stay tuned to its launching!!  The ICT Spotlight team will keep you guys updated very soon!!

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