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Spotlights

Otterbein systems engineering major builds mini-arcade as a side project

Otterbein systems engineering major builds mini-arcade as a side project


By: Lauren Heberling ’19

School is fun and games for Andrew DeBacker, a junior systems engineering major from Painesville, Ohio.

This past summer DeBacker spent two and a half months creating his own, fully operational mini-arcade machine as a side project during his internship with The Point.

As a member of the first systems engineering class to ever go through Otterbein, he has taken advantage of internship possibilities the past two summers. When he wasn’t helping construct lab equipment for the Maker Space at The Point, DeBacker was designing, ordering computer parts, laser cutting vinyl sheets and assembling his mini-arcade.

He downloaded classic video games such as Tetris, Space Invaders and Asteroids, from RetroPie Software onto a micro SD card, which he then put into a Raspberry Pi computer. In all, the mini-arcade cost him $200.

DeBacker is willing to share the fun.

“I leave it on so people can play whenever,” he said.

DeBacker’s interest in engineering goes back to his childhood and love for Legos. His father is an engineer and DeBacker said he always wanted to know how everything worked, just like his dad.

He offered high praises to Otterbein’s new program.

“Professors are always available, there are smaller classrooms where instructors can focus one-on-one instead of having to compete for assistance with other students,” DeBacker said. “The instructors are supportive and helpful with getting internships and connections.”

DeBacker hopes to use his engineering skills to one-day work for SpaceX, the Elon Musk company that designs, manufactures and launches spacecraft.

 

Learn more about Otterbein’s Department of Engineering and The Point at Otterbein innovation center.