Open Innovation II Spring 2016


Irene McLaughlin-Alves and 2 OthersJack Mullen
Olivia Dobkin

We wanted to create a film that would not only bring awareness to the issue of depression but would help people that don't have depression better understand those that do.  This is a subject Jack had wanted to address previously, when we were partnered as a group,  we all decided to move forward with the idea. 

Our goal was to stay away from the cliche teen angsty film but we weren't exactly sure what direction to take. We thought about it a lot,  wrote different forms poetry to create a narrative for the background and shot a large variety of film footage. In the end, we combined different elements we each had written to create "Since Day One". 

Before we began creating the final film, we made our process film to get comfortable with the technology and software we would use to create the film. For the final cut, we recorded Jack reading the poem.  Jack also wrote and recorded the music for the background.  One of the challenges was the volume of audio and video editing. 

We feel that we met our goal and kept the film from the teenage angst point of view. This film will allow those listening and watching to have a glimpse into the pain and sadness of depression and how it affects people.  We wanted to make an abstract piece that would have an impact on the way people view depression. Everything came together and we feel  we delivered a tone that fits the subject and what we hoped to create. 

Since Day One

Jack Mullen

Life Light in the Press!

Micah Reid

Life Light was in the press!

Read about it here:



Sam Daitzman and 3 OthersJakob Sperry
Louie Adamian
Stefano Pagani

The JuanChair

Reed Miller

A few months ago a student from New Hampshire emailed NuVu looking for help. Juan has cerebral palsy and can only move his arms. Juan's favorite activity in school is gardening. Juan can’t participate in gardening because he is not able to bend down to touch the ground. Stefano and Ethan started to design a wheelchair that could safely lower Juan to the ground, so that he can garden. They designed a 1/6th scale of the wheelchair. Ben Four weeks ago picked up this project from where Stefano and Ethan left it. For the last two weeks Ben, Reed and Ethan have been working on making it a reality for Juan.


The newest version of the wheelchair is a 1/3rd scale model that fully functions. The wheelchair is a mechanical foot pump to operate. The wheelchair has gears that are a 1/4th scale to cut down on weight. The small gears is connected to a ratchet. That ratchet has pawls to help hold the weight and lock it in place. The ratchet has a foot pump that turns the gears to push Juan up into the normal configuration for a wheelchair. The smallest gear has a gears shift to let Juan lower to the ground that is slowed down by linear dashpots, so juan doesn’t get hurt lowering to the ground. Reed and Ben have been talking about what parts, material, shape, size, and how to use the parts for the past week and have decided that the wheelchair will have a frame made of aluminum and square shaped. The padded chair from his normal wheelchair will be removed and bolted onto the lowering wheelchair. Also, to water jet steel gears to make the gears strong. One challenge that was faced was that juan can’t have his legs straight, so we have to have his legs slightly bent when his is lowered to the ground. The wheelchair has its chair not completely on the ground so that juan can have his legs slightly bent.


One iteration that we did was to take out one of the supports with a gears that was not essential to the wheelchair. This support beam was getting in the way of the gears and foot pump. That gear on the support was then attached to the second support with a gear. This iteration cut down on weight, amount of material and complication.


The second iteration was the original ratchet was made of wood, bolts, nuts, and springs. The problem with the wood ratchet and pawls was that the wood started to dull and brake. The newest version of the ratchet is 3D printed. The pawls, small gears shifts, and ratchets were 3D printed to create more strength and weight capabilities for the wheelchair. On the final product, all the gears will be water jetted from steel for strength.


The third iteration we redesigned the foot pump. The original pump was not strong enough to have someone use it. The first time the foot pump together it broke and split the thin wood parts. So, we redesigned the foot pump and laser cut the pieces in thick wood. Also, we added pilot holes for the screws to go into to stop the wood from splitting.



Julia Szabo

Process Post

Julia Szabo and Jessica Sidell

In action video

Tali Bers and Mackenzie O'Gara

Process Post

Tali Bers and Mackenzie O'Gara
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The Problem:

It is challenging for doctors to collect accurate self reported information from children about their level of pain due to lack of communication skills, fear, anxiety, and discomfort. Traditional 1-10 pain scales do not fully address these issues, often leading to uncomfortable children and inaccurate symptom information.

The Solution:

Penelope the Pain-O-Monster is a plush toy that uses integrated pressure sensors to allow children to express their source and level of pain through play. An additional “Fun” mode provides distraction from pain and anxiety.

Detailed Solution:

The stuffed animal has force sensors in different body parts that light up from blue to red depending on how hard they are pushed to show the child’s pain level. There is also a game mode with an interactive lights game to take the child’s mind off their situation. 

Further Elaboration:

Main Story or Theme: Our project is a spin off of our Emotion Owl project which was for kids with autism to express themselves. We thought about making a different stuffed animal to help kids in hospitals, we realized that the pain charts that patients used to express their pain could be made more interactive and easier for a child to use. We read that playing with stuffed animals can take the children’s mind off the pain so we decided to incorporate a game mode.


We have a switch that turns the stuffed animal off, puts it on the pain-o-meter mode or the game mode. It is connected to an exterior power to be able to power six LED light strips and six force sensors. Everything is connected to an arduino which is basically a small computer we programmed. The lights and force sensors are matched up to different body parts. The child would press where it hurts with as much pressure as it hurts and the light in that body part will turn on. The color goes from blue, not that much pain to red, the most pain. The game mode has a random strip light up and the child has to press the corresponding force sensor in that body part as fast as they can before they restart.


We started out by having many ideas about what we would put in the different modes, like a heartbeat and rainbow colors. We also thought about sound and smell but those were all very ambitious. We liked the game where different colors light up in a pattern and you have to press the force sensors in the same pattern, each round the pattern got more complicated. This was hard to generate randomly because there was no simple way to repeat the past exact two colors again in the same place and then add another random color. We decided it was still fun to have  limited amount of time to press the force sensor corresponding to the light that lit up, there was no pattern in this game but there is a random aspect because the lights lite up in a random order after you press the right force sensor. In the pain-o-meter mode we knew that we were going to have the color go from blue to red depending on the amount of pain. We decided to make a stuffed animal that looked like an alien with a heart pocket. We had two iterations of our ‘alien’ we ended up choosing one that looked more like a monster.


We faced a various programming challenges. First we had to find a way to connect the arduino board to an external power source, we used a portable charger and cut an USB cable to connect the wires to. It took us a while to set up the three position switch and have all the power connected to the board so that the LED lights were controlled by the switch and not the portable charger directly. We also had trouble connecting the two modes and getting them to work correctly. Robin helped us a lot with the coding and helped us use arrays to keep track of all the different light strips and corresponding force sensors. We couldn’t quite get the game as sophisticated as we first envisioned but we made a game that is still usable and fun. We also had so many delays in the program that is messed up the two independent timers for the heartbeat. We decided to not use a heart beat.


Teresa Huckaby and 2 OthersLisa Winshall
India Hyde