The purpose of the Screw Box Reacher is to help anyone who comes to Nuvu and is handicapped. Our device will help them reach different screws at difficult heights without spilling the entire screw box. This circuited reacher grabs onto the screw box with a front clamp and then as somone pulls it out a motorized wheel places a track to stabilize the box so it wont spill.
Sometimes objects fall down, and we either can't or don't want to pick them up. Regardless of the case, the Trunk is here to help. This is not your ordinary household grabber, either; the Trunk has a unique piece of bendable wood that curves around objects you want to pick up at your command, as opposed to the standard claw mechanism. It can move in two directions, to open and close.
My original idea was to design something to the standard claw mechanism so that it could be opened and closed at the push of a switch, but after the idea's conception I was encouraged to go further and redesign the claw part entirely. To start brainstorming, I looked how various animals carried objects, specifically insects.
It was later that I then decided to look at elephants for their trunks (natural progression, I know) once I realized just how truly unique they were; instead of simply picking something up with little appendages, elephants use their trunks to curl around objects before bringing them to their mouth. It was here that I decided on my final general idea, and where I eventually decided on the name for the final product to be "the Trunk" (as well as the affectionate working title, Project Elefante).
Once all that was set in stone, I decided to go ahead and make the first iteration. For this design, I had a piece of cardboard in the shape of a long trapezoid split into 17 segments. Instead of slanted edges, they were set up like stairs (each segment was slightly longer than the last.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gandhi once said, "be the change you wish to see in the world." That is basically what I have done. I wanted a tray for my wheelchair, but couldn't find one that worked for me. With the help of NuVu, my new school based in Cambridge Massachusetts, I invented the Universal Arm. When I first started NuVu, I had wanted to build a wheelchair that could fly as well as go under water. My boss told me we needed to start small and then get big. He told me to come with a wish list of all the attachments that I wanted for my wheelchair. The Universal Arm and the Rowing Motion lever were part of that wish list. There were twelve students who worked on the attachments for a period of two weeks. I had three team members who worked with me on the Universal Arm and its attachments. I continued improving the Arm after they left. I soon realized that I could use the arm, which attached to the arm of my wheelchair, for other purposes. For example, when not using the tray, I can attach a cup holder, a tripod, and a canopy for protecting me from rain to the Universal Arm.
The other great thing about the Universal Arm is that it allows me to control everything from the front which is a great advantage, specifically for people in wheelchairs. If you are in a wheelchair, you don't have to worry about having something taken from your backpack in crowded places. The Universal Arm is cheap, 3D printable, customizable, and foldable. All the attachments can fit inside one small briefcase.
It took more than twelve versions to finally come up with the final working version of the Universal Arm. The most frustrating part of the whole process has been the canopy, which is still a work in progress. When I met President Obama this past week, I realized that all my hard work on the Universal Arm was worth it. Having met Obama motivates me to do work even harder. Five years ago, back in Afghanistan, it would never have crossed my mind that one day I would be sitting in the White House shaking the hand of the most powerful man in the world. It all made me realize that while there may be many challenges in life, there are also many possibilities within my reach.
After a year of living in the United States, I set some long term goals for myself. One of my goals is to open a school for street kids back home. Many of these kids are creative kids like myself. Unfortunately, they are born with an AK 47 next to them and grow up brainwashed by the hatred of an enemy and war. I want them to be born next to a 3D printer so they can grow up thinking of inventing something that will change the world in a good way. When I started NuVu this past year, I realized that this is exactly the type of school that I want to open. At NuVu you can be a filmmaker, an engineer, inventor, scientist, fashion designer, or a graphic designer. There are superman brains from MIT and Harvard to help you along the way if you get stuck or need help. NuVu is a universe of opportunities for creative minds.
Many students at the White House on Monday were scientists. That was the focus of the White House Science Fair. It was a celebration of young scientists. My school will be named after my American Mom, who is not a Muslim, and will focus on innovation and film. When I first told my mom that I will name my school after her she said, "well Sweetie that is very sweet of you, but beside the fact your school would be named after an infidel, the movie industry is also something that many conservative Afghans oppose." That is my over all goal to open their minds and introduce them to the outside world. If I had not come to America, I would never have learned that we are not enemies. This country is made of immigrants from every country and there are millions of Muslims Living here. To make a long story short, my business plan for my school will follow the plot of the movie, Pay it Forward by Mimi Leder.