Darwin's Droids [Master]

Final Presentation

Genavee Torres
1 / 11

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief Part 2 - Full Brief


Remember, all documents related to the brief are found HERE. These include a note from the writing coach and the Composition Reminder Sheet.

Now that you have created an document that outlines all of the information you want to relate in the Brief, it is time to weave that information together into a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What and Who of your project through clear, cogent writing. Tell the story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested.

Create 1 post titled “The Brief” in the Writing tab with text that includes the following 2 items, numbered:

  1. A 1-2 sentence project description for your transcript. This will serve as the basis of the Project Description that appears in your transcript. This description should not include the name of the project and should be written in the third person. This was Question 1 in your Outline.
    examples:
    Night Light Blankie: A child's sensory blanket that provides comfort and privacy in the high stress environment of the hospital using weight, textures, and light. The blanket transforms into a mini light up fort over a child’s head.
    Cocoon: a shroud that explores human spirituality and the concept of life after death through the use of repetitive religious iconography. Composed of over 300 pieces of laser cut balsa wood lined with space tape, the icons are arranged using a mathematical strange attractor.
  1. A 1-2 paragraph brief for your project based on the description below. This will be based off the information you put together in your Outline and should focus on style. The NuVu writing coach will give you feedback and you will have the opportunity to revise this text before the final presentation. The primary purpose of The Brief is to explain, entice, and convince the reader that your project is amazing and important. Imagine your project on display in the Museum of Modern Art. The Brief is hanging on the wall next to your work. In 1-2 paragraphs, a viewer should understand what your project is, why it exists, and how you made it, and who it is for. More importantly, the viewer should be interested and care. You will draw them into your project through a compelling narrative.

    Things to think about:
    • Use the information in your Outline. Do not simply put all of the answers together -- you must weave it together into a clear story.
    • The what is a clear statement of the thesis or problem+solution. Your project description for your transcript (#1 above) can be adapted for this purpose.
    • The why explains how your project changes the world. It is the reason your project exists – what social issue is it engaging, who is your project helping, how does the project change the world, and what important social, intellectual, or technical questions does it raise? The scope of the why can vary widely.
    • The how briefly explains what technical prowess, innovative methods, or cool materials you used in your solution.
    • The who explains who will use your design, why they will use it, and in what context.
    • Think of the reader - it is good to imagine that a college admissions officer AND a potential employer in the field of your design should both be able to understand and be excited by the project based on your writing.

Write in the Third person in an explanatory fashion. Resist using I, WE, OUR, or YOU and focus on describing the work.

Here is an example from Penelope the Pain-O-Monster:

Pediatricians and other doctors find it challenging 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 cute plush toy that uses integrated pressure sensors to allow children to express their source and level of pain through play.

A previous project, The EmoOwl, helped children with autism to express themselves by translating motion into color. Penelope the Pain-O-Monster grew out of the desire to expand children’s health menagerie with a different stuffed animal, one that makes the pain charts patients use to express their pain more interactive and easier for a child to use. Because research has shown that playing with stuffed animals can take children’s mind off pain, an additional “Fun” mode was added to distract from pain and anxiety. The handcrafted stuffed animal uses 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. The hope is that, as one of many future healthcare friends, Penelope can help sick children feel safer while providing more useful information to care providers.

The Brief - Part 1 - Outline

Andrew Todd Marcus

The Brief - Part 1 - Outline

As part of your portfolio for each studio, you will be asked to write a Brief for your project. The Brief is a written piece that will accompany your presentation and is a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What of your project through clear, cogent writing. It tells the story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested.

For students at NuVu Cambridge, to help you develop your writing, Rebecca, the NuVu writing coach, will provide feedback throughout the process. Rebecca is a published writer, a professional editor, and a teacher of writing. Her assistance is invaluable in developing your written communication skills. She will expect hard work and thoughtful writing and respond with thorough feedback on content and style.

------Copy & Paste this section below into a new post and answer ALL of the questions completely ---- 

The Brief Part 1 - Outline

Answer the following questions in full, complete sentences. Title the post "Brief Outline" and post it in the Writing Tab of your Project. Every student must do this assignment. Cut and paste the assignment below and write your answers below each point. You must respond to ALL items (#4 can be skipped if there is no individual client). Click Shift-Return to start a new line.

  1. Write a A 1-2 sentence project description. This description should not include the name of the project and should be written in the third person. 
    1. What is the "soul" of your project? Describe the idea of the project in conceptual terms. This should paint a conceptual picture in the readers mind. (1 sentences)
    2. What is the "body" of your project? Describe the basic technical or physical construction of the project. This should NOT go into excessive detail, just provide an overview. Describe the project to someone with no technical knowledge in as few words as possible. The reader should be able to envision what the project looks like. ( sentences)

      Examples:
      Night Light Blankie: A child's sensory blanket that provides comfort and privacy in the high stress environment of the hospital using weight, textures, and light. The blanket transforms into a mini light up fort over a child’s head.
      Cocoon: a shroud that explores human spirituality and the concept of life after death through the use of repetitive religious iconography. Composed of over 300 pieces of laser cut balsa wood lined with space tape, the icons are arranged using a mathematical strange attractor.
  2. Why does your project exist? The why explains how your project changes the world. It is the reason your project exists – 
    1. What social issue does your project engage? (1 sentence)
    2. Who is your project helping?  (1 sentence)
    3. How does the project change the world? This can be in a simple physical way or in a complex social way. (1 sentence)
    4. What important social, intellectual, or technical questions does it raise? (1 sentence)
  3. Who is the project for? Who will use it and in what context (1 sentence)
  4.   If you are designing for a specific person, answer the following:
    1. What is the client's name and what is their medical condition, if any? (1 sentence)
    2. How does their condition relate to your project? Include concise and compelling information about the client you are working with, their condition, and how that relates to your project design. (1 sentence)
    3. What is their personality like and how does it inform your design process? (1 sentence)
  5. How does your project work. In non-jargonistic language, answer the following 
    1. What is the basic technology behind your project? (1 sentence)
    2. What is technically innovative about your project? How does it differ from existing technology? (1 sentence)
    3. How does a user physically and mentally interact with the project? (1-2 sentences)

R/C to Arduino Setup

Aaron Laniosz
1 / 13
Adafruit_Motor_Shield_V2_Library.zip
EnableInterrupt.zip
RCPulseIn.zip

Arduino Motor Shield Introduction

Aaron Laniosz
1 / 8
Adafruit_Motor_Shield_V2_Library.zip
EnableInterrupt.zip
RCPulseIn.zip

#include <Wire.h>
#include <Adafruit_MotorShield.h>

Adafruit_MotorShield AFMS = Adafruit_MotorShield();

Adafruit_DCMotor *myMotor = AFMS.getMotor(1);
//Adafruit_DCMotor *myMotor = AFMS.getMotor(2);

void setup() {
     AFMS.begin();
}

void loop() {
     myMotor->setSpeed(255);
     myMotor->run(FORWARD);
     delay(1000);
}

Endangered Species

Angel Larios
1 / 3

Animals -

Santa Catalina Island Fox:

Image result for Island Fox

The Santa Catalina Island Fox is the smallest fox species found in the United States. With their small body features, they are an easy prey for predators. This has caused them to reach near the brink of extinction. 

Guadalupe Fur Seal:

The Guadalupe Fur Seal was a species that was hunted especially for their fur. Their fur would be used in trades for warmth and clothing. This caused the Guadalupe Fur Seal population to dramatically decrease.

Plant-

California Jewelflower:

Image result for California jewelflower

Since 1990, the California jewelflower was listed as endangered. The California jewelflower's texture consists of maroon buds which contrast with the bright white flowers growing beneath them. The reason this beautiful flower is endangered is the destruction of its habitat due to agriculture, urbanization and oilfield activity. 

Spoonji

Alec Chang and Amiyr Ahmad
1 / 4

Alec Brief: Spoonji: A floating barge that utilizes sensors and GPS trackers in order to monitor the PH level of the water surrounding a sponge as well as tag its location on a digital mapping program. When the barge encounters a sponge, it releases a capsule containing PH level sensors and a radio transmitter. Then, the barge marks the location of the aforementioned sponge on Google maps. With the help of this tool, researchers can monitor the chemical content of the water near the sponge without gathering local samples. Spoonji brings an otherwise obscure species of freshwater sponge to the public’s eye, and it will provide a way for the citizens of Massachusetts to interact and care for the sponges. The main component of Spoonji is the floating barge that is powered by two, bottom mounted motors. The barge consists of a wood body along with two sealed PVC pipes for flotation.When instructed to do so, a servo controlled crane atop of the barge drops a capsule containing monitoring equipment and weights into the water. The equipment is contained in a PVC pipe capsule. There isn’t anything technically innovative about this project, it combines multiple pieces of existing technology into something original. For example, the barge by itself is not innovative, but by integrating a crane system with the barge a completely original product. This project encourages people to interact not with the project itself, but with the sponges that it is surveying. The Spooji is a medium in which ordinary citizens of Massachusetts can play a part in aiding a local species.

Amyir Brief: A small remote-controlled barge designed to monitor and protect the freshwater sponge, which helps filter pond water and eats bacteria.Gas emissions from cars, and oil and gas that run off roadways, all contribute to the pollution that raises the pH levels in small ponds  and threatens the freshwater sponge. The barge is a remote-controlled barge about the size of a duck,designed to scare away ducks, one of the sponges' main predators, and to monitor the sponge environment. An underwater camera attached to the barge will allow a user to find freshwater sponges and direct the barge to drop a small module with a pH level sensor and a GPS tracker Freshwater sponges filter bacteria from pond water. This project is helping the sponge by monitoring the pH levels around the sponge with minimal disturbance to the environment in order to make changes in the future. the importance of monitoring the pH levels is that we can find out what things are changing the pH levels and make changes in the future and to scare away the predators of the fresh water sponge. A RC barge users are no longer using big boats to drive through the water to find 3 or four sponge then test the water and drive away the boats  that would me used to find the sponge would be further polluting the water. 

The Mus-Bus

Tinna Grönfeldt and Oliver Trejo
1 / 28

Oliver's Brief:

The Dwarf Wedgemussel (Alasmidonta Heterodon) is an endangered small bivalve mussel that lives in freshwater rivers scattered throughout the northeastern United States. The mussels rely on one of 3 three species of fish to help them grow to maturity by carrying their eggs. The male mussel will launch its sperm downstream, to be caught by the female. After many months the female will hold the larvae [glochidia] in its gills. When the mussel feels a fish on top of it launches the glochidia onto the mussels face[explain the lifecycle here]. [explain here: One of these species is the mottled sculpin.] Since waterways have gotten blocked off and/or they have gotten heavily polluted, the fish have abandoned their old routes for cleaner and more easily traversable routes away from the mussels. This has caused an even greater decline in their populations in the past few decades. The Mus-Bus provides a substitute for the fish, giving the mussels the final step in their maturing stage back. Our project uses tiny motors to propel a fake duck forward and to allow the model fish at the bottom to seem like it is swimming by the mussel habitats, hopefully picking up the larvae, also known as the glochidia. The mussel will launch its larvae into the river when it detects a fish swimming directly above it. The mussel deploys a fleshy lure, and when the fish swims above it and comes in contact with the lure the mussel shoots the glochidia onto the fish, where they attach to the scales using tiny hooks. The project uses sonar and servos to raise and lower a tiny model mottled sculpin that attempts to imitate its real-life counterpart as it is designed to be convincing enough that mussels will put their glochidia on it.

By working to save this species, the Mus-Bus upholds biodiversity, which is necessary for balance in the ecosystem. It prevents other, potentially invasive, species from acquiring too strong a grasp on the environment. It raises interesting questions and hopefully provides an answer about how other species will react to imitations of life, and if whether they would shun them or believe in them. By finding an answer to this it could speak about nature overcoming the ‘uncanny valley’, the feeling of discomfort humans have when they see an eerily lifelike replica of a human being. This could show how animals react to different species and whether or not the mussel specifically has a similar ability to recognize specific species of fish. Biologists, both professional and amateur, can use the project to study the behavior of the Dwarf Wedgemussel and its ability to recognize different species of fish. Our project uses tiny motors to propel a fake duck forward and to allow the model fish at the bottom to seem like it is swimming by the mussel habitats, hopefully picking up the larvae, also known as the glochidia. The mussel will launch its larvae into the river when it detects a fish swimming directly above it. The mussel deploys a fleshy lure, and when the fish swims above it and comes in contact with the lure the mussel shoots the glochidia onto the fish, where they attach to the scales using tiny hooks. The project uses sonar and servos to raise and lower a tiny model mottled sculpin that attempts to imitate its real-life counterpart as it is designed to be convincing enough that mussels will put their glochidia on it. Once the user deploys it in the water upstream from the mussel population in late April or early May they let it be and at the end of July use the embedded GPS to find and retrieve the duck with the fish attached. Other than that it is completely autonomous.  

Tinna's Brief:

Pollution from industry and agriculture, and manmade structures, like dams, are endangering the Dwarf Wedgemussel by limiting the number of fish in the mussels' natural habitats. During the Dwarf Wedgemussels’ reproduction cycle the mussel relies on the fish to provide a safe environment for the mussel larvae to develop. The reproduction cycle of the Dwarf Wedge mussel is: the female mussels launch the mussel larvae on to fish and the mussel larvae attach to the fins or gills of that fish. As they develop they stay on the fish until they become juvenile mussels. At that point, they let go and fall to the bottom of the river and keep developing into adult mussels. With this in mind, the Mus-bus aims to help the mussels reproduce by providing an artificial substitute for the fish.

The Mus-bus has two parts: a) an artificial fish made out of silicone and b) a hollow wooden duck. All the mechanics are stored inside the duck, i.e., the motor that activates the webbed feet that propel the duck forward; the reel; and the line that attaches to the fish. A GPS device ensures that the duck doesn't get lost and a sonar that determines the length of the line to keep the fish at the right depth. All the mechanical parts are powered by a battery pack that is inside the duck. The objective of the Mus-bus is to make the Dwarf Wedgemussel no longer an endangered species, Because if the Dwarf Wedgemussel disappears it will have a rippling effect on the ecosystem and other species. For an example, if the mussels go extinct algae will build up and lower the oxygen level in the water which could kill fish which would lead to food shortage which will affect us and other species.  This shows that it is important to maintain a balanced and diverse ecosystem and the first step is to protect all species no matter how big or small because we all serve an important role on this earth.

Mini Monarch Nursery

Melina Bertsekas and Maddie Johnson-Harwitz
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The Mini Monarch Nursery Maddie:

A small milkweed habitat that can be attached around a tree or pole in urban areas, to provide monarch caterpillars a place to form chrysalises and turn into butterflies before being released, while also providing a learning experience for an urban community.

The Mini Monarch Nursery is a small milkweed habitat that can be attached around a tree or pole in urban areas, to provide monarch caterpillars a place to form chrysalises and turn into butterflies before being released.The habitat consists of  a cylindrical attachment cut vertically in half so that it can be attached around a tree or pole using undergirding supports, internal columns, and straps. Inside, milkweed plants are growing in soil, and outside the cylinders are covered with mesh, to both protect the caterpillars and chrysalis and let outsiders observe what is happening inside. A latch can be opened to let developed butterflies out. It can be deployed around urban areas where this sort of ecosystem is lacking, and bring some nature and life into areas where there isn't much, as well as helping a threatened species. The small ecosystem can be transported and attached to light poles around cities and towns and provides a safe but visible space for monarchs. By creating a small protected ecosystem for them to grow and thrive in, the Mini Monarch Nursery addresses the current endangerment of monarch butterflies due to loss of habitat caused by farmers and illegal loggers cutting down the milkweed plant, as well as spraying the plant with dangerous pesticides. The milkweed plant is crucial to the life cycle of a monarch butterfly as not only do the monarch caterpillars need it as their food source, but milkweed leaves are the only place that monarch butterflies will lay their eggs. The Mini Monarch Nursery helps to increase their population by giving them a safe place to complete their life cycle, while also providing a learning experience for people in urban areas who can watch the monarchs turn into butterflies. It can be both a private initiative, or put in public spaces and taken care of by community members who want to help and learn about monarchs. This may inspire people in urban communities to become more involved in helping nature and preserving the beautiful wildlife of our world. The Mini Monarch Nursery can be placed along the monarch butterflies' migration route, allowing the newly hatched butterflies to migrate and increase the population.  

The Mini Monarch Nursery Melina:
Mini-Monarch Nursery
: A small urban milkweed habitat in which monarch butterflies can safely complete their life cycle before being released. This cylindrical habitat fixes around a pole in an urban space and provides the necessities for a monarch to mature: milkweed growing from it’s floor for the caterpillars to eat, a ceiling for the chrysalises to hang from, a door to release the butterflies, air holes, and a clear, protective shell.

Elementary school students gasp in awe as they watch a monarch butterfly hatch from it’s chrysalis; as they set it free, they have not only learned a great deal about the maturing of the monarch, but have also contributed to preventing this species’ extinction. As farmers and loggers illegally cut down wild milkweed plants and spray them with dangerous pesticides, they destroy the sole food source of the monarch caterpillar and the specific leaves on which the butterflies lay their eggs. This has critically impacted the population of the Monarch butterfly, causing mass die-offs during migration. This is a consequential issue that cannot wait, and the Mini-Monarch Nursery is the perfect creation and installment to face it - While also building an eco-friendly community in urban areas! This miniature ecosystem consists of an extended annulus protected by a clear mesh that attaches by hinges around a public light pole and holds dirt in which milkweed grows. The community members with the responsibility of preserving the habitat put Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants through the quarter door, and passerby are able to observe the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly up-close. The caterpillars inch up the walls and form chrysalises on the inner ceiling, and once the chrysalises have developed into butterflies, the Monarchs can be released. The Mini-Monarch Nursery can be placed in any urban location  along the migration path of the Monarch butterfly, to provide a protected home for the Monarch to be raised. Let your heart fly and save the Monarch butterflies with the Mini-Monarch Nursery!

Darwin's Droids

Emily Glass
1 / 1

Since the Cambrian Explosion approximately 541 million years ago, the earth has gone through five mass extinction events. Currently in the Holocene era, we are in the midst of what some have called the sixth mass extinction; as a result of human activity, researchers estimate that current extinction rates are at least 100 times what they were before the dawn of humanity.  Many species are even thought to have disappeared before any human awareness of their existence.

As effective tool-makers and inventors, humans have been able to adapt to almost every climate on earth. Human pressure on the natural environment began with the development of agrarian society over 10,000 years ago. From the domestication of wheat and pigs to more recent genetic manipulation of plants and animals for production of food and resources, our actions have had serious effects on the evolution and extinction of other species. Today, land use and pollution are some of the biggest causes of extinction.

In the first studio, Cyborg Enhancements, students explored the proliferation of technological advancements that augment, adapt, and affect the development of the human body. In this studio we will look at how human advancement has affected (and is still affecting) other species through our impact on the environment.

In both studios, students will begin by identifying specific plants and animals on the LA County endangered species list and research the human and environmental pressures that have led them to their current status as endangered. Students will develop a deep understanding of the human activity that has caused their organism to be placed on the endangered species list.

In the Build section of this studio, students will shift the paradigm of humans as toolmakers and design tools (devices and bots) for species under duress in to this new, harsher world we’ve created. In the Media section, students will create a visual campaign to raise awareness about about these activities. Campaigns around cute animals, such as polar bears, and tigers, touch people’s hearts; how can you create a campaign for animals that are just as deserving but maybe not quite as cute?

This studio will explore the ethics and ramifications both of widespread alterations to the biosphere and the idea that humans can and should take action to help plants and animals protect themselves.