MIL-OSI USA: McClellan Announces Winners of the 2023-2024 Congressional App Challenge

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (Virginia 4th District)

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (VA-04) announced the winners of the Congressional App Challenge for Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District: Agastyya and Irra Kala. The Kala siblings designed an original application, Brainee, to improve mobility and address accessibility issues for individuals with disabilities. 

Brainee utilizes brain-computer interface (BCI) technology and electroencephalogram (EEG) data to measure the electrical activity of neurons in the brain. Brainee processes the data and sends signals to an Arduino-based prototype wheelchair to remotely control it using the electrical currents from the brain. 

“Agastyya and Irra’s Brainee is an advanced, thoughtful, and forward-looking application that could make a profound impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said Congresswoman McClellan. “Too often, individuals who require the use of wheelchairs often find it to be a physically laborious task, especially for those who suffer from degenerative diseases. Brainee seeks to address those issues and empower individuals with disabilities to reclaim their autonomy and mobility. I am incredibly impressed with the Kala siblings’ mastery of coding software and the utility of their application. Congratulations to Agastyya and Irra on winning the Congressional App Challenge for Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.” 

McClellan called Agastyya and Irra, who attend Appomattox Regional Governor’s School and Midlothian Middle School respectively, to personally congratulate them on winning this year’s competition. 

The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide competition that encourages students to pursue careers in STEM and computer science. This year’s competition boasted a record-number 374 Members of the House of Representatives hosting competitions in their congressional districts. 

Watch the Kala siblings’ application demonstration video here