Flawless Cars Through the Power of LightNishita Belur, USA Global finalist, 13-15
Nishita (13), of San Jose, California, loves coding, physics, and biology. Fascinated with how cars are produced in vehicle manufacturing plants, she was surprised to discover that human specialists perform random visual tests to subjectively determine whether a car’s exterior has any defects later in the car production process. This can mean expensive corrections, slowing car production down and making the whole process less cost-effective. Nishita was inspired to design an automated scanning system that can accurately find defects in metal sheeting at the beginning of the production process. Her system analyzes light reflection to detect dents, scratches, and other defects that aren’t easily seen by the human eye. Nishita believes her system can easily be implemented via robotic arms in automated car production lines, and she hopes that her work can help reduce factory waste, improve car quality, and keep car costs low.