Mechatronics Students Reimagine the Typical Family Fun Center, Bringing Tickets and Prizes Into the Digital Age

Mechatronics Students Reimagine the Typical Family Fun Center, Bringing Tickets and Prizes Into the Digital Age

An entrepreneur, with the help of Utah Valley University (UVU) mechatronics students, is developing a family fun center that will include virtual reality games, laser tag, and an online ticketing system. When conceptualizing his new business, he envisioned a ticket redemption process where patrons could accumulate digital tickets on their smartphones and see available prizes on a visually engaging animated display case towering at ten feet tall.

Greg Little, president of Lumos, is that entrepreneur. He’s a Texan with big ideas. UVU mechatronics Professor David Frame met Little at a barbeque and invited the founder of Lumos Social to tour UVU’s campus. He was impressed with what he saw, and that’s how the Lumos Project and the partnership began.

“It's really important to get the requirements and what success looks like and what success means defined upfront,” said Frame. With clear expectations set for the family fun center idea, Professor Frame assembled the Lumos Project team. He said the Lumos Project showcased UVU's commitment to hands-on, real-world learning experiences for all the students involved.

The UVU mechatronics capstone class —  Trevor Fisk, Dinah Kibwe, Mackenzie Chapel, Daniel "Hyrum" Powell, and Matthew Armantrout — alongside Professor Frame and Little were the first to move the project forward. The work was then relayed to the summer team, where Bryce Wakely and Zach Pittman led the construction and improvement of the machines.

Professor Frame said dedication, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to the project were critical to its success. "Zach is just amazing. When it came down to, 'Oh, find another solution,' he was right there. He never hesitated and was always there to get the work done,” said Frame. Others also helped bring the entrepreneurial venture to life, as success required interdepartmental collaboration. The Lumos team also extended thanks to faculty and additional teams outside of their program, such as Darian Elliott, a mechanical engineering student, who spent an entire afternoon finding solutions with the team.

Throughout the project, the students not only applied their technical skills but also gained invaluable experience in project management and problem-solving. Innovation, hard work, and creativity paid off, and the Lumos Project was a success.

“I feel like this was a great project for both the UVU mechatronics students and for Lumos,” said Little. “They learned a tremendous amount and had to stretch outside of their normal mechatronics skill sets to complete the project. I would absolutely (utilize) the UVU student skill sets supported by strong professor oversight again in the future. I highly recommend other companies also consider this program.”

The Lumos Project demonstrates the power of collaboration between academia and industry. The “family fun center” machines created through the Lumos Project proudly bear a plaque acknowledging that they were designed and built by UVU mechatronics students.