Innovation Camp for Educators 2016 - Session 3

Penelope the Pain-O-Monster

Tali Bers and Mackenzie O'Gara
1 / 16

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.

Mechanics:

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.

Development:

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.

Challenges:

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.

In action video

Tali Bers and Mackenzie O'Gara
1 / 1

Sayed's Universal Arm

Mohammad Sayed
1 / 11

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.

Arte Para Todos

Oliver Geller and 3 OthersAlea Laidlaw
Seth Isaacson
Joshua Brancazio
1 / 18

We created a drawing and writing tool for children with cerebral palsy. Our target demographic includes children ranging from those with very limited fine motor control to those who have a higher level of fine motor control and simply need guidance with their movements.

Our goal was to create an assistive drawing and writing tool that gives people with cerebral palsy the freedom to express themselves through artistic creation.‚Äč To do so, we wanted to create a supportive device that provides a stable, ergonomic experience. The main concept behind the design was to provide resistance to the child's movements to resist involuntary motions. We also wanted to provide guidance to the movements in order to create a relaxing writing and drawing experience. Writing and drawing are very meaningful forms of expression, and we hoped to enable children without fine motor controls to have this experience. The experience of writing and drawing is not only useful when it comes to expressing oneself, but it can also be a very mentally therapeutic experience. By adding a physically therapeutic aspect to the design by helping children to extend their arms, this device is not only relaxing and great for expression, but it can be great for the user's health as well. 

Our first attempt was a 2-axis sliding system controlled by the artist’s arm. Attached to the y-axis slider was an ergonomic “mouse” that holds a pencil, pen, or marker. The idea behind this design was to allow users to control the device with their upper arm and forearm. This design, while an effective proof of concept, had several flaws. In an attempt to make the device more portable, we made it clamp to the side of a table. This reduced control and caused the device to fall out of place often. Furthermore, the "mouse" piece was not easy to use for a child with CP. Finally, the device did not give enough support to the arm.

We progressed this initial concept into a more sophisticated control mechanism. In the next iteration we focused on the natural position of an artist’s arm and how it moves when it draws. We found that the arm should sit at a more natural angle and should be able to rotate. We considered the support a child with CP might need and what would be comfortable for a wide range of CP patients.

 

Tracking System:

The first iteration of our tracking system used a two axis sliding system which had a "mouse" shape in the middle and allowed for two degrees of motion. While effective in guiding movement, this design lacked in stability, could not draw curves easily, and forced the arm to sit at an uncomfortable angle. The second iteration was based off of an architectural drawing board. It mounted at the top of the table and allowed movement by bending at joints. By doubling up on the arms, it became very sturdy. However, this idea was trumped by a similar yet better idea which removed the middle joint piece and created a rhombus of arms. These four arms bent at the joints and provided a stable, guided drawing experience in a simple mechanism while easily providing adjustable resistance simply by tightening the joints. This is the idea we decided on.

The hand piece also underwent multiple iterations. First, we had a mouse shaped design which was spring loaded to allow the pencil to touch or hover above the paper. Although comfortable for a completely able-bodied person, for someone with cerebral palsy it would not have been as comfortable. The next design, an arm brace, fixed this problem. By 3D printing a flattened brace and then molding it to an arm, the brace was easily customizable, allowed for increased support, and was more comfortable for children with CP. We made one final improvement to this design by making the length adjustable.

Dolphin-like discombobulation

Andy Kreiss and Benjamin Snyder
1 / 4

Process Post

Tali Bers and Mackenzie O'Gara
1 / 14

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.

Mechanics:

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.

Development:

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.

Challenges:

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.

Process

Stefano Pagani
1 / 6

Initial Consideration of All Alternatives Iteration:

Before settling on an idea, we did precedent research and brainstorming. There were must haves that we had to think about. These requirements include that the device must be narrow, waterproof, raise and lower, go over a toilet seat, and turn in confined spaces. During our precedents research we looked at various different already existing devices. Such as wheelchairs, walkers, hanging systems, Exoskeleton, and more. We looked at each device and wrote the pros and cons to each one and whether or not they had our must haves. We later brainstormed different mobility devices that we could create. We brainstormed three different ways and came to conclusion that a seated mobility device would be the best option for kids with cerebral palsy.

Crank, Pulley, and Track Iteration:

During the brainstorming phase, we discussed different ways of raising and lowering the chair. We came to the conclusion to use pulleys and a crank together. We decided to use 2 pulleys, with one fixed to the chair and the other fixed to the frame, this would allow a 1:2 ratio in the lifters favor. We then moved to the crank. We went with a socket wrench to give the power to the crank. After 3D printing a wheel, the socket wrench fit in perfectly!

Next Iteration:

For the next model we have some adjusting to do. This is because of different material and what we found needs to be improved. In the next model, we are using 8020 which is very different than the square dowels that we are used in our scaled model. 8020 is much stronger than the wooden dowels which means that we would not need some of the supports that were used in this model. For example, at the bottom of the seat, there is a wooden part in the back that would not be needed in 8020 model. Furthermore, 8020 has a built-in track. As a result, we would not need to build one like we did with the scaled model. Additionally, with the 8020, the wheels would be right underneath the device not on the side like it is on our scaled model. Some other adjustments that we would need to make on our next iteration would be the toilet seat and hand crank. The toilet seat may need some experimenting to see where the ideal spot and size would be. Moreover, we would make some adjustments with the hand crank to make it work better and easier. In addition, we would like to incorporate a foot rest and create caps for the 8020.       

Final Iteration:

We were faced with the task to create a mobility device that would assist the caretaker to maneuver their child around the house. A problem that occurs with many older, heavier children with cerebral palsy is that their caretaker may not be able to pick them up to take them to the bathroom, shower, table, etc. As a result, the person may need to spend the whole day lying in bed even if they need to go to the bathroom. Our device seeks to make it easier for a caretaker to lift, rotate, and position their child with cerebral palsy in different locations within the home, especially in the bathroom. Additionally, our device was tailored to the requirements of Monterrey, Mexico, which demand low cost and high flexibility.

Our mobility device is designed to be able to maneuver in narrow confined spaces and to raise and lower to different heights ranging from 45 cm to 75 cm off the ground. To raise and lower the device, the caretaker can easily crank a rope and pulley system which is attached to the seat along the backrest. In addition, the mobility device is designed to back up and wheel directly over a toilet seat without making the person get off the device. Furthermore, the device is waterproof and can go into the shower. The seat has a hole in its center allowing the person to use the bathroom in the device and allow water to flow through while taking a shower. Additionally, our mobility device has a high back to be able to strap a child in if necessary. The materials we used to make the mobility device are simple, cheap, and can be found in numerous places. The simple 8020 frame can be affordably manufactured.  Other parts such as the wheels, pulleys, rope, nylon back, and seat cushion are readily available at hardware stores if replacement or repair is ever necessary.  This means that our device will be cheap, accessible, and easy to fix if parts break. Our mobility device is important because it will aid the caretaker and ease the life of someone with cerebral palsy.

The Process of the Drum Hand

Caroline Leta
1 / 9

Our first idea was to create a tambourine hand. When someone shook the hand, the tambourine would move back and forth and make noise. We then changed our idea to a hand that could have removable instruments and a single drumstick that would hit all of the instruments. Later, we met with David and he helped us realize that it would take the whole two weeks to make just the drum stick so we should only make that.

Our first design was 2D printed on wood. We fixed our small mistakes like having parts be too small, not having a hole for the drum stick, and not having a handle, and started working on building the hand in 3D.

Our first 3D model turned out well. The drum stick moved like we wanted, except that we couldn't attach the elastic to have the drum stick and hand because we forgot to make a part to hold it. Once we got the standard back to our hand, we made the piece to hold the string and elastic. It was really hard getting them to be exactly the way you want because the knots would come undone or they would be too tight or loose. 

Once we got the strings to be exactly how we wanted them, we started cutting the screws to be the size that we want and designing the front handle. We 3D printed it and it worked! The last thing we did was add velcro and then we finished!

Empathy: Multiple Sclerosis

Carter McDivitt and Noah Zakarian
1 / 7

Empathy: Parkinson's Disease

Ryan Habermann
1 / 6