• Our assignment was to create a simulation of a disease for the user to empathize with the victims. To do this we had to find and research a disease that could be represented mechanically. Parkinson’s proved to have physical symptoms that wished to recreate. We chose to represent the hand tremors and the poor posture. To represent hand tremors, we created a laser cutted hand plate that would mount on the back of one's hand. Atop the hand plate we vertically placed a motor surrounded by laser cutted walls in order to provide stability. A 3.5 centimeter ellipse was then meshed to the gear on the motor. On the far side of the ellipse was a 20 millimeter M6 screw with two M6 nuts holding it in place. The hardware was incorporated to provide additional force exerted on the hand with each rotation of the motor. This created for more realistic hand tremors. To power the motor, we created a wrist module to encase a 9 volt battery. We then soldered a wire connector to the motor leaving a connectable side for the battery. Sturdy fabric strips and velcro were used to secure both the wrist and hand modules. To represent the poor posture that is often associated with parkinson’s, we designed a back brace that forces poor posture. This consisted of creating one large curve and notching four additional pieces horizontally. The back brace also used fabric straps to secure itself to the user's back. Our project produced extremely realistic results. The hand tremors were very natural and made normal tasks exceedingly difficult. One of the best traits of our project is the hand modules ability to shake more vigorously when the user performs a task. When the user grabs an object such as a pencil, the hand module will tighten around the hand creating faster tremors. This is often how hand tremors affect those with Parkinson’s disease. The back brace creates an unbalanced feeling and forces the user to experience bad posture. The two elements create for an overwhelming, slightly scary, and empathizing experience for the user.

  • Our world is mountainous with difficult terrain to traverse. The ‘Segmented Mountain Climber’ is able to deftly maneuver up and down the steep mountainsides, and over their sharp peaks. Its Whegs, half wheel half legs, are able to climb over both small rocks and large boulders. It can also quickly reverse, turn and is able to continue movement even if flipped upside down. 

    Our original idea was a mountainous world with difficult terrain to traverse. We started by brainstorming many different models that could help climb mountains. We decided on a segmented car which could work best in a mountainous situation by conforming to the landscape. It’s called ‘Segmented Mountain Climber’.

         During the first few days, we thought of various shapes for the vehicle, drawing inspiration from existing creations including roller coasters, snakes and trains. Then we brainstormed various designs for the wheels, including tank treads, legs, many small wheels, and large powered wheels.

         In order to better visualize the connections and turning of the segments, we made our first prototype of the large-wheeled model. In essence, it was just a trio of cardboard boxes tied together with string, with an axle and pair of wheels through each segment. However, some clear problems came up: the connection was not sturdy enough, and the wheels failed to rotate. We discussed at length how to incorporate the right wheels and connectors into our design. We started looking at other possible wheel choices, and then we settled on wegs. A weg is essentially a spoked wheel with the rim removed. Deriving its name from the words "wheel" and "leg," it could use circular motion, but with legs. Compared to traditional wheels, they could climb over obstructions and had superior grip. We also decided to replace the strings. At first, we had considered ball joints by virtue of their versatility, however we chose to nix the ball joints in favor of universal joints, because they could be better incorporated into the segments. Universal joints are basically two axles intersecting at a point, offering flexibility in two dimensions. Furthermore, the ability to transfer torque is exclusive to universal joints, so they could prevent any one segment from falling over. 

        Taking these considerations into account, we replaced the string and wheels on our prototype with universal joints and wegs. Upon finishing, we realized that the wegs in the prototype had the right structure but would not rotate because of the material (cardboard), the number of legs (4), and the structure of the foot. We decided that a 6-legged wooden weg would work better, and we redesigned the shape of the foot to include rubber that could provide traction. Another problem was the turning, we considered models such as rack-and-pinion, which was too delicate and complicated, and exploiting right-and-left rotation differences, which wouldn't work as well in a multi-car design such as ours. We decided on using a servo to rotate the first compartment relative to the others, turning the rest in due course. We didn't know, however, how we could incorporate the servo into the overall design. We decided that the joints would be included into the design of the car segments, and the servo would be attached to the foremost universal joint via a 3D-printed attachment. Unfortunately, a problem inherent to servos was the elimination of one of the two axes of rotation; as a result, the first and second compartments would always stay firm on uneven ground.

    Finally, after considering all these issues, we crafted the final product, learning from our previous errors. We used wood, which is much sturdier than cardboard; we used wegs, capable of scaling obstacles, and we used a servo to turn and manipulate the vehicle. We connected the motors and servo to an Arduino controlled by a remote. Overall, we had many separate design challenges; in the end, however, all the components came together to form a polished final product.

  • The Shooter in Action

  • Celia Hidell's Brief:

    A pair of shoes that enable the user to manually adjust their height by pulling the bottom sole of their attachable shoe to enable the scissor lift to be used as a step stool feature to "step-up" and "step-down" to any available height when desired. 

    Every day, people with dwarfism are struggling all around the world to reach inconveniently placed things both in public places, and in their own homes. Not only is it incredibly frustrating to not be able to reach things that other people can effortlessly, but people with dwarfism also suffer from disrespectful actions and hurtful comments. But what are they supposed to do; carry around a step stool all the time? Constantly ask strangers to get things for them? No, They are just as self-sufficient as everyone around them, and want to be able to carry out their daily activities independently, and with ease. The Edward ScissorShoe is a fashionable series of connected shoe soles that strap on to the user's everyday shoes. Its main feature is an adjustable scissor lift, enabling the shoe to expand and contract when desired. 

    The Edward ScissorShoe contains six layers in total. These include (from bottom to top); A laser-cut base sole with three laser-cut adjustable locking hook mechanisms for the bolt on the scissor lift to slide through (these mechanisms contain four potential heights that can easily be adjusted to the user's needs as many, or as few, times as necessary); A 3-D printed layer that surrounds the sole of the shoe and is tall enough to cover the scissor lift and adjustable locking hook mechanisms when they are fully collapsed; A laser-cut scissor lift that is durably constructed and held together by a bolt and four nuts; Another laser-cut sole that mirrors the bottom sole and has a similar mechanism, the main difference being that this one allows the scissor lift to fully slide, and does not hook, in order to allow the maximum amount of potential collapsibility; A second 3-D printed layer that has clips that lock onto the actual sole of the user's shoe to ensure extra stability; And finally, two straps with buckles that keep the user's shoe from slipping around while they are walking . 

    Leah Grealish's Brief:

    A shoe attachment that enables the user to adjust their height by moving the scissor lifts which give the desirable height of the user.

    Dwarfism affects an estimated 30,000 people in the U.S. and more than 650,00 in the world.  People with this medical condition are at most 4'10" tall and have much difficulty with completing everyday tasks.  Often people with dwarfism have trouble reaching anything two feet above their heads.  The most common places where people with dwarfism struggle are any type of store, gas stations, driving cars, reaching for door knobs and being able to see what they are cooking.  The Edward ScissorShoe allows people with dwarfism to become 1 foot taller, making daily burdens barely a struggle.   

    The Edward ScissorShoe includes six layers.  The 1st layer (bottom) is a laser-cut sole (wood) with laser-cut adjustable locks for the bolt through the scissor lift to slide through; A 3-D printed (plastic) layer that borders the sole of the attachment; A (wooden) laser-cut scissor lift that is held together by a bolt which is constructed in a way in which it is durable enough to support the users body; A (wooden) laser-cut sole that is very similar to the base sole, but the distinction is that this one allows the scissor lift to fully fold; Another 3-D printed layer that holds onto the users foot in the heel and four other side parts of the foot which allows the user to have full stability when walking; Two (cloth) straps with buckles that keep the users foot attached to the mechanism.

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