Open Innovation Spring 2018

Living wall video

Jacob Calka

Tessellating Gardens

Satchel Sieniewicz and 2 OthersMaximus Reisner
Louie Adamian

The Charles River is one of Boston's most iconic features, yet it is one of the most toxic rivers there is. It can reach 9 on the pH scale, contains high levels of phosphates and nitrates, and has high levels of heavy metals. It is so bad you are supposed to wear shoes when swimming in the river.

The "Tessellating Gardens" presents a potential solution to address this issue. It will biologically filter out chemicals such as phosphates and nitrates as the plants grow and mussel/oyster chains that naturally reduce heavy metals. The plant beds themselves are hexagon shaped and can tessellate in order to be modular and adapt to whatever the plants and environments require. The hope is that over time and with investment, the garden will be able to make the River a cleaner, more hospitable place for more than just humans and spread awareness of the potential to rebuild using recycled materials.

project board

Aveen Nagpal

living wall

Ross McNeill and 3 OthersJacob Calka
Robert Paglione
Duncan Jurayj
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Living Walls utilize the technique of converting a conventional horizontal garden into a freestanding, mobile, and aesthetically pleasing structure capable of transforming an open space into a private space.  Each living wall rests on a mobile tub, allowing for the necessary mobility to conform to any environment. Suspended from the top of the aluminum frame, wires hold a series of troughs, containing shallow root plants, growing from the nutrient rich water generated from the aquaponics system.The symbiotic relationship between the vegetation and fish is key to sustaining a micro ecosystem. Within this relationship, fish waste provides essential nutrients for the plants which in turn  filter the water for the fish. The water is recycled by pumped through the system numerous times which reduces water usage by 90 percent.

This project addresses the growing need for functional and tasteful spaces within spatially constricted urban areas. Work spaces with an open concept have been proven to allow for elevated productivity and collaboration; however, negatives include external distractions, heightened risk of sickness and even elevated anxiety. We perceived the solution to this issue would be a smaller and more private space within an open concept floor plan. This new space will compensate for the loss of privacy and add leafy relaxation to any stressful work environment. The are of which these growing cubicle partitions are capable of siphoning off can accommodate around five workers comfortably.

Daria and Sina's Duckie Bot

Daria Plotz and Sena Ball

Daria's Brief:

The Duckiebot is a self-driving robot that navigates Duckie Town, a miniature city. It was inspired by self-driving car technology, including lane, light, and color detection. The DuckieBot is made up of a simple plastic chassis, a Pi camera, and a Raspberry Pi computer that processes all the programs that control the bot. To control the robot, the Pi camera records a live video stream, which is then processed by the Raspberry Pi according to pre-written Python programs. 

To detect lanes, the computer uses color recognition to find the center dashed yellow lines, right white lines, and red stop lines. It then uses Canny Edge Detection and the Hough Transform to find the edges of these lines. After combining all of the endpoints of the lines on each side of the lane marker, it finds the best fit lines for both sets of points. To drive from these lines, the Duckiebot tries to match the slope of each line to an ideal, pre-calibrated slope. Based on the difference between the target slop and the actual slope, the Duckie Bot decides if it should continue straight or turn in one direction or the other. 

At intersections, which it recognizes using the red line, it first looks for stop signs. To detect stop signs, it uses a Haar Classifier (a tree-based classifier) to find the stop signs and then filters each potential stop sign to make sure it is in fact red. If it sees either, it obeys the rules of that signal before continuing. Once it is ready to turn, it looks for other red lines in its field of vision to figure out which turns it could make without driving off the turn. It then randomly makes a decision between the possible turns and completes the chosen turn before continuing with the lane following. Overall, the Duckiebot is a complex robot running many layers of programs that allow it to interact with Duckie Town in as many ways as possible. 

Sina's Brief:

A small, car-like robot that can drive autonomously to navigate a miniature town. An onboard Raspberry Pi controls the robot’s two wheels and filters a camera feed to detect key features of the road.  

The Duckie-Bot is a small, car-like robot that can drive autonomously to navigate a miniature town. It is inspired by self-driving cars and the computer vision behind them, including image, light, and color detection. An onboard Raspberry Pi controls the Duckie-Bot’s two wheels and filters a camera feed from the front of the robot to detect key features of the road. There are two main processes that drive the Duckie-Bot:  the filter process, and the motor process. The filter process detects the key features, including road lines, stop lines, traffic lights, and stop signs. Most of these detections are color-based, they look at specific regions of the image that contain the color they are looking for, and then run detections like line or light detection. Then the filter process determines how the things it detects relate to the Duckie-Bot by running them through a series of parameters and seeing if they fit them.  When it finds the road lines, it looks at their slope to determine if the Duckie-Bot is facing the correct direction. When at an intersection, it looks for where it can turn. Then the filter process tells the motor process to power certain motors depending on how the Duckie-Bot relates to what it detected, like turning right at an intersection or turning left to stay oriented with the road lines. A separate motor process is necessary to ensure that the Duckie-Bots wheels can be controlled without causing the filter process to come to a halt. These two processes work together to create a Duckie-Bot which can detect and navigate through all of the features of Duckie-Town.

pcb printer

Aveen Nagpal

Aveen: The PCB Maker is a device that allows cheap, fast production of custom-printed circuit boards so a consumer doesn't have to pay a premium for production and shipping from out of state or abroad. Most current consumer PCB-making devices use a milling bit to mill away the unwanted copper, a time-consuming process that results in a product that is normally rough and unusable. This method also requires a full redesign of the board before going into commercial production. The PCB Maker aims to cut down on time spent, increase the reliability of the tool, and output better quality PCB's. After a laser galvanometer cures a positive image of the design onto a photoresist layer, the PCB blank is dipped in a series of acid and corrosive baths in order to etch away the unwanted copper and output a finished board. This method creates the speed necessary for one-off or small batch production of boards. 

The previous design of this device had several problems with stability and reliability due to its wood structure and haphazard assembly. The improved design uses 20/20 aluminum for a more precise and stable structure, with the added benefit of enabling easy mounting to tables, walls, and even other PCB makers.

Polyphonic Fun

Jackson Enyeart and Lina Huang


Sina Ball and Daria Plotz


Nicole Katz and 2 OthersCaitlin Haggerty
Molly Rosenberg

Caitlin Haggerty:

Chains: A wearable designed to bring together women who have felt the effects of gender inequality and rape culture. Wearing this jewelry will bring up necessary conversations about our society.

Over the course of human history, it has been believed that beads’ characteristics represent emotions and experience. Chains draws inspiration from this and uses different charms to symbolize experiences. For example, the third layer has 9 lip charms painted red and 1 unpainted to symbolize how 90% of rape victims do not speak up. By wearing this jewelry, women can show their pain and find comfort in others who have felt it too. There is healing in community, in empathy, in sisterhood.

Molly Rosenberg:

Chains: a wearable that unites women and aims to start conversations around rape culture and the inequality women experience in society. The project incorporates chains, symbols, and different colors; each piece of the necklace brings awareness to different parts of women's injustice in society and unites women to help find their voice.

The art of beading has played a key role in many different cultures. In African communities beads were used to protect their wearers from bad spirits and to represent emotions and experience. Chains contains six necklaces layered together at different lengths in order to create a story. Each individual necklace represents a statistic relating to the rape culture and the hard truths about its affect on women. Different laser cut symbols are assembled as the charms on each necklace; each symbol relates to the given statistic in order to help the user visualize the data. The main color used to show percentages and fractions in Chains is red which is typically a color associated with blood, heat, passion, fire, and leadership, all of which amplify the main message of the project. Women continue to feel silenced and unable to share their stories of injustice; Chains helps them gain a voice and be apart of a bigger community by understanding that they are not alone. There is healing in sharing, realizing, and understanding others' pain.

Nicole Katz:

Chains: This wearable piece is about gender inequality and rape culture in America. Through different shape and color charms, we demonstrate the truly real statics of rape culture for women. While incorporating chains, beads, symbols, and different colors this piece represents every victim and gives them a voice.

This wearable piece is a way of taking away the silence to an important topic. Millions of women in the world are silenced to a tragedy and inequality and are too afraid to speak out. We wanted to use our wearable to bring awareness of the reality and progression of a serious issue in the American society. With different colors charms being white and red, we represent the statistics. We start with the top chain which has the number 321,500 which represents the 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. This is the top chain because it is the baseline statistic of rapes REPORTED. The next chain was the 6 women symbols, 5 white and 1 red to represent the statistic that 1 out of 6 women in America experience attempted or completed rape. This shocking statistic really shows how common rape is in our society. The next chain is 10 lips, 9 red and 1 white to represent the 90% of victims who stay silent.  This is a very important message because our main inspiration was the me too movement which encourages victims to come out of the silence. The neck chain was 9 red women and 1 white man to represent that 90% of rape victims are females. This shows the inequality not only in rape culture but in general. The next chain is 17 white red-cross symbols and 3 red symbols to show the 3/20 victims who attempt suicide. This shows the severity and results of being raped because no one's life is not worth it. The last chain is 19 red eyes and 1 white eye to show the 19/20 victims who experience PTSD as a result of being raped. The harsh reality of our necklaces hope to bring awareness to this topic and stop tragedies and inequalities from happening

Would You Eat This Apple?

Dina Pfeffer