Computing, Coding and Creating

Coding and Creating

Following on from the success of the Computer Science Transition Year programme (CS-TY), Kevin and Dr. Jake organised a pilot programme this summer entitled CS-TY 2. (The programme was full of imagination and creativity, even if the name was not!) The way Kevin explained it, “some more computers and more fun things to do with technology”.

Smart Shoe with Distance Sensors and Self-Tying Laces

The week was an adaptation of a one day workshop normally run in the core week called ‘The Future Technology Workshop’. The idea is to imagine it’s the year 2050, you have access to unlimited resources and money and you have to come up with an invention and then make a 1 to 2 minute advertisement. This week was a lot like that. Unfortunately we didn’t have access to unlimited resources and money. But we did have to come up with an invention and have a working prototype along with the advertisement.

Over the course of the week each member of each team would have a chance to try computer coding in different languages such as python. The main tasks for each team would involve a lot of coding. Some members were very capable in their coding ability. Some, like me, were more suited to talking and the ideas side of things. Rather than team names, each group of people came up with a company name and slogan. The company name would act as there team name for the week. I really liked my team for the week. They were really enthusiastic and we worked well together. The members of my team were Sean, Megan and Mistura.

The company I was part of was called ‘Allons-y’, our slogan “…going places…” Quite fitting as our invention was a shoe for blind people that would vibrate whenever they come within a certain distance of an obstacle. We didn’t stop there however! Many people who read this may have seen ‘Back to the Future 2’, when Marty McFly’s shoe laces tie themselves, we tried to incorporate this into our product too… well as much as we could! Our finished product worked like a dream. The shoe used a proximity sensor to detect obstacles at a certain distance. When an obstacle was within a certain range the shoe would let the person know by buzzing. We simulated the lace tying system by programming a motor to wind up and tighten the laces at the touch of a button. The people in charge of the coding and techy side of things had a hard time making it all work but got there in the end. The used various coding languages such as python different bits of hardware like arduino and conductive thread to attach the bits of hardware onto the shoe. The whole thing worked brilliantly!

Emmet and the team filming their TV commercial

Along with the prototype we had our minute long TV ad and our sales pitch for the product, which I mainly took part in. For the company itself I came up with the name, slogan and opening statement, which was “wherever you’re going, wherever you’ve been… we’ll get you there one step at a time… Allons-Y!” Along with the statements we had to design a logo along with a website.  On the website we had to include a twitter feed and information about the company. The TV ad was a parody of the ‘Emmaaah’ iPad v Paper ad.  I worked mainly on these aspects as my skills are more geared towards sales and marketing rather than the coding elements of the project.

Happy students at the end of a great week!

Overall the week was a really enjoyable experience. There were so many cool inventions and ideas. From an electronic door hinge that automatically opens doors and windows in your house via an app on your phone to an automated wardrobe that selects your clothes for the day based on the weather. It was really fun and cool working with different technologies and to actually have something to show for at the end of the week in the form of a functioning prototype was pretty awesome!


Emmet is a sixth year student in Drimnagh Castle CBS and has attended several workshops with Bridge21 over the last two years.

If you’re going into Transition Year in 2014/15 and would like to apply for a place on the CS-TY programme, you should contact

Comments are closed.