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  • The inspiration for this project was an 18 year old girl named Sara. She has Cerebral palsy, a disability that affects the subject's control of their own muscles, and can make it very difficult to hold things. We met with her a couple times over a two week period and she expressed a very strong passion for drawing. Sara's first way of drawing involved her using her left foot to draw, but she wanted to learn how to draw with her left hand as well. We proposed a couple designs to her which were made to help her change the color of her marker without assistance.

    The one which we decided on was built off of the principle of the multicolor pen. It works in almost the same way except that instead of pens, there are markers. All four colors are held in a central compartment and connected to servos with wire. The servos are connected to an Arduino which is then connected to a set of pedals. The two pedals cycle through 5 servo positions(1 per color and an off setting) and are easily accessible by anybody. The main part fits in someones hand and can be strapped in if necessary. This devise makes it easy for her to draw with multiple colors, and switch the colors easily and efficiently.

  • Izzy: 

    Foundation’s connectable blocks are used to improve fine motor skills in a fun way. Numerous different shaped blocks have attached connectors and are made out of either wood or acrylics; lights are also embedded into the transparent pieces creating glowing windows.

    Foundation aims to engage people of all ages who have disabilities with using and improving their fine motor skills in a way that is exciting and enjoyable. The project is specifically designed for Nico, a 15-year-old student at the Cotting School. While Nico’s exact condition has not been shared, he uses a wheelchair and has some trouble maintaining complete control over his hands and small finger movements. For example, he has a hard time zipping his jacket. This particular detail about Nico sparked the idea for fun and interactive blocks that, when used, would improve fine motor skills. Nico loves science and engineering and these blocks allow him to engage those interests as he fits the different connectors together like a design puzzle.

    Basic software was used to design all the pieces: walls for the blocks and connectors. Each piece was then put together by hand. These blocks are custom-made to work on specific fine motor skills that the generic LEGOS set cannot provide. For example, a small press that does not require complex fine motor skills will connect two LEGO pieces together. However to connect the 2-inch cube blocks, rectangular prisms, and triangular prisms, they must first be arranged and then connected using one of the four connection types, requiring to either be pressed, aligned, pinched, or moved so that they fit together. When these fine motor skills have been mastered, for an extra challenge, users can try to build a three-dimensional house using every block in the set.

    Although Foundation is specifically designed for Nico, it could really be used by anyone looking to improve fine motor skills and thereby their independence and high-level hand functions. Some people naturally have full range of motion and complete control over their hands; however, others have to work at it. This can really divide society, but the hope is that, by combining play with physical therapy, these blocks will allow more people to participate fully in more activities.


    Foundation: Blocks that are made from Wood and acrylics to help improve fine motor skills while being engaging and fun to use.  Creativity is in the hands of those who use it.

    Nico, a 15-year-old who uses a wheelchair, has trouble with the fine motor skills of zippering and buttoning his clothes.  Most people have complete control over the hand and others struggle to use some fingers, but control can be improved through physical therapy. Foundation is designed to make physical therapy enjoyable; it challenges users to solve puzzles with blocks. These blocks work by having different tasks to connect them. It is a different twist on the infamous legos and practising by creating different designs inevitably is practice and will improve hand control.The hope is that these blocks will make it easier for these skills to be achieved. Although designed for Nico, these blocks can be used for all ages. When noticing him struggle with zipping up jackets the Blocks came to mind when prototyping and were created into a fun puzzle to complete. These blocks are an improvement from legos because they have a sleek design and are all different with connection points.

    The blocks were created in Rhino and were laser cut for fine precision. The external parts were created with Fusion 360 and were 3D printed. I was a tedious process

  • Aveen; The Shooting Star is a device designed to help Nico, a 9th grader at the Cotting School for disabled kids, shoot basketballs farther and with better form than before. Nico loves to play basketball and plays well, but he has trouble shooting the basketball into the standardly sized hoops because of his cerebral palsy; instead, he hands the ball to someone else, who shoots it for him. The Shooting Star provides physical therapy to try to change this and help him train his arm muscles to be able to shoot farther and with more accuracy. The device uses a 4-bracket system to grip tight around Nico's arm tightly enough not to slip off but not so hard that it hurts him. The 3D-printed brackets are strong enough that Nico can rotate his arms in perfect form without fear of the device breaking.

    Shooting Star: A physical therapy device to help basketball players in wheelchairs to build strength to shoot farther and better.
    Nico is a 15-year-old who loves to play basketball. But as he plays in a wheelchair, he told us it was very hard for him to reach the hoop when he shot the ball. We decided to create a device that would help him build the required strength to shoot a basketball in the hoop. It consists of creating resistance against two motions: the lifting of the arm (the shoulder movement) and the extending of the elbow (the triceps extension). Nico can add more resistance as he gets better by adding more resistance bands to the hooks. As Nico is a very independent person, this will improve his self-confidence and hopefully inspire others when they see the progress Nico made.

  • Izzy: The Hand Helper is an arm brace attached to a wheelchair to help raise a person's arm. The device is meant to support someone with a disability that prevents them from raising their hand. With the help of the device, the user can ask a question or gain someone's attention. It also provides an element of physical therapy since the user's arm has to raise its self partially in order to start the process. This device is specifically designed for a freshman boy in high school who has muscular dystrophy. He has a very limited range of motion and although he can lift his arms a little, he struggles with raising his hands all the way. This has become an issue for him in class when he has a question since he is unable to raise his hand.

     A lifting device below the brace functions in a similar way as a crane. This lifting device is made of laser-cut wood and contains a 3D printed brace to wrap around the arm. The part that wraps around the arm is created out of plastic that was 3D printed. A handle attached to the front of the device allows the user to secure their arm. A button in the front starts the device by turning on the motor, which pulls the attached strings and therefore, braces backward to lift the user's arm upwards. 

  • Daria's Brief: 

    As a student at the Cotting School, a school for people with disabilities, E.B. uses a wheelchair and is an active participant in Waypoint Adventures, which offers hikes, rock climbing, and other adventures for people with disabilities. Participants have to borrow all-terrain wheelchairs, and E.B. has found them to be uncomfortable and tiring to self-propel. Freedom Skis take a wheelchair already custom-fitted to the user and adapt it so that it can be pushed over the varied, snowy terrain by an able-bodied person. This allows the user to experience the joy of skiing instead of focusing on propelling themselves through the snow. E.B. has never been hiking in the snow, partly because Waypoint's existing wheelchairs for skiing in the snow are uncomfortable for her, an issue that Freedom Skis solve.  Existing ski chairs are also expensive for families who do not have access to a program like Waypoint.

    Freedom Skis improve on current options in several ways. Designed to be affordable for everyone and to allow more families to experience the joy of winter and skiing together, Freedom Skis were made mostly of PVC, 3D-printed connectors, and used skis, keeping the cost under $100, whereas the current ski wheelchairs on the market cost in the thousands. Freedom Skis also improve on current options by incorporating a system of springs that helps absorb shock for a smoother ride and allow the skis the necessary vertical freedom to navigate uneven trails, but not so much that the skis get caught in holes and come out from under the chair.  Lastly, all of the current ski wheelchairs force the user to move from their usually custom-fitted chair into a different chair not designed with comfort in mind. Freedom Skis keep down costs and the user comfortable by using the user's own wheelchair.  They also help normalize having a disability by allowing people who use wheelchairs ski, a popular and fun winter sport.

    Ronan's Brief:

    People with disabilities often face unnecessary limitations in their activities, due to a lack of innovative, affordable design to meet their needs. EB is a client who loves the outdoors and exploration but is in the the wheelchair. She has expressed that on these hikes her legs become sore and stiff because it is not her personal chair. These chairs are often not durable, efficient,comfortable, or affordable. Freedom Skis takes EB’s original chair and transforms it into a snow terrain chair. This adaptation allows EB to stay comfortable while allowing her to explore.

    The basic design of the project uses PVC piping, skies, springs, and two to three pieces of three-dimensional modeling. There are two bigger skies that are on the back which [remove words wherever you can without sacrificing meaning] give support and stability and two front skis that help with steering. Each individual ski has its own suspension system, which allows helps with rough terrain and limits rotation of the skis. The four skis are screwed in with bolts that would normally be used for the wheels. The goal of the design is to provide the easiest way to put on the skis while still having efficiency, stability, and durability.

  • Nick's Brief: The Drum Garden: a device that brings a drum set to a wheelchair without having to carry around big and heavy equipment. The Drum Garden was designed for Sara, who is a teenage student at the Cotting School and she has cerebral palsy. This device is designed to help her be able to drum without getting out of her wheelchair. She has difficulty with holding onto things and sometimes with controlling her muscles. She can use her left foot really well; in fact, she writes and makes paintings with her foot. She has the same a good sense of humor and social awareness, as any teenager and she has a lot of energy. When asked her if she was interested in anything musical. She said, “Drumming”. The Drum Garden is not a regular drum set. It attaches not only to Sara’s wheelchair, but also to other drums . A wire is connected to Sara’s wrist by a conductive fabric wristband which all connect to a computer. The computer provides the sound by a through makey makey software. Using PVC pipes, connected to a drum frame and a clamp for other drums, the makey makey wires go along the pipes while being connected to conductive fabric which comes back to the circuit . Sara controls what sound and rhythm is through the pads and pedals. The drums can help not only Sara, but anyone who wants to drum but has trouble with their muscles or is in a wheelchair that can't drum on a real kit. The hope is to highlight the way music enriches people’s lives and that it is something anyone can engage in, This reminds people that music is everywhere and anyone can play music. It shows how important music is and it is possible to give that to anyone, no matter what physical difficulties one has. 

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  • Hi All,

    Great day today.

    For homework:

    1. Please post a blog post UNDER THE UPDATES TAB OF YOUR PROJECT. 

    • Please write about how your project changed today
    • What directions you are pursuing for your project 
    • What excites you about your project
    • What unknowns you are dealing with that you would like answered on Wednesday

    Please do the following 3 tutorials: https://cambridge.nuvustudio.com/studios/winter-2017-skills/fusion#tab-info-url

  • In "Unstoppable" you will be working with Waypoint Adventure  to design and  fabricate non-traditional devices to help enable students at the Cotting School in Lincoln to participate in adventures.  You will be interviewing these students and working with them to co-design projects that address their passions and interests as they relate to urban and outdoor adventure. 

  • The Final Post:

    This post showcases your final design through two parts:

    1. An Abstract that shows the final project a concise series of images and diagrams. Its purpose is to allow a viewer or visitor to understand the project in its entirety in a few brief minutes. It is mainly concerned with the What of your project but must contain an overview of the Why and your entire narrative arc. This part of your post will be used in your 2-3 minute NuVu community presentation and will likely be the portion reporters, colleges, and family will see first. 
    2. The Process which tells the comprehensive story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifested. The arc of the story should encompass the, How of your project in a compelling narrative. It showcases your design process including your brainstorming, each of your iterations, and your final prototype. It allows the viewer to delve deeply into your process. This post will be used in your review presentation at the end of the session. 

    The title of this post must be The name of your project. 


    The Final post has 15-20 slides. Every slide MUST have a title. Captions are a good idea as well.

    I this section you are showing the main concept and design of the project. The abstract is an overview meant to excite the viewer. You should not plan to describe the entire project in this section.

    1. TITLE WITH TAGLINE (1 Slide): This slides shows a crisp, clear final image and the title of your project. with a pithy blurb describing the project. The image, name, and tagline should draw a viewer in. 


    • The Fruit - A line following, light tracking robot
    • Segmented Vehicle - A vehicle that conforms to the landscape
    • Cacoon - Wearable sculpture exploring the concept of transformation and death

    2. CONTEXT IMAGE: (1 slide) This is a single image that shows a clear precedent or evocative image. This image helps set up the why in a compelling way, sets the stage for your narrative, and will help frame the entire presentation. The caption of this slide (set with the Edit Captions button when editing your post) should be the text of the Thesis Statement/Problem & Solution. You will read these while presenting this slide. No Text on the slide.

    3. THESIS STATEMENT / PROBLEM & SOLUTION SLIDE (1 Slide) : This is a TEXT ONLY slide for visitors to your portfolio. In consultation with your coach you will either create a Thesis Statement or state the Problem/Solution. You will skip past this slide in the presentation as you will have read the content in the Context Image.

    Problem/Solution: This works best for a project with a clear problem that leads to a describable physical solution.

    This slide answers the questions:

    • What is the problem I am trying to Solve? This is likely different for each project in a studio. Be clear and use the problem to set up the narrative for your presentation.
      • Example: The Problem: Design a vehicle for a mountainous world with difficult terrain to traverse.
    • How did I solve it?. This is your 1 sentence project description with an optional additional 1-2 sentences. 
      • Example: The Solution: A segmented vehicle with a universal joint system that handles mountainous terrain by conforming to the landscape.

    Thesis: Thesis statements are appropriate for a conceptual project with a nuanced or complex generative narrative. Your thesis states the Why and How clearly and succinctly in 1-3 sentences.

    • Examples:
      • The Cocoon:  A wearable sculpture that explores the concept of transformations and death. The Cocoon explores the spiritual journey beyond the human experience; what it means to be human, how wonder effects us, and the concept of what happens after death.
      • Body Accordion: A musical prosthetic that translates the wearer’s body movements into a dynamic multimedia performance. The Body Accordion converts flex sensor input to sound through Arduino, MaxMSP, and Ableton Live. 
      • Seed to Soup Animation: A whimsical animation about the slow food movement. Seed to Soup showcases a holistic method of cooking. From garden, to kitchen, to dinner table.
      • Antlers: A wearable sculpture inspired by antlers found in the deer and antelope family. "Antlers" explores the comparison between armor and attraction. 

    4. FUNCTIONAL DIAGRAM: A diagram showing some aspect of the functionality. These can include:

    • How one uses or interacts with the project
    • The overall behavior of the project over time
    • For a complex interactive project, this can be a clear diagram of the software behavior\

    5. FINAL IMAGE: (3 slides) The last slides should have an image of the final project. These images should be taken in the photo booth, cropped, and adjusted for contrast, brightness, etc. You can also use an image In-Use. Consider using a GIF to show how the project works. You will NOT describe the whole project here, simply show the completed project before going onto the Process. 


    6. PRECEDENT SLIDES (2 slides minimum, 3 slides maximum):  Precedents are any projects that inspired you creatively or gave you technical guidance. No Text.

    • 1 Slide - Conceptual Precedent
    • 1 Slide - Technical Precedent
    • 1 Slide - Additional Precedent

    7. INITIAL SKETCHES/CONCEPT DIAGRAM (1 slide minimum, 2 slides maximum): These slides show your initial, generative ideas in sketch form. You can think of this as a sketch of the big idea, it is the chief organizing thought or decision behind the design presented in the form of a basic sketch or diagram. If you do not have a clear concept sketch it is fine to make one after the fact. These should clean, clear drawings. No Text.

    8. ITERATIONS: (3 slides minimum, 5 slides maximum): The next part of the process post are the iterations you documented in your daily posts. Explain your design decisions and how your project changed at each step.

    • For build studios, choose 3-5 representative iterations of your project with 1 slides per iteration. The images should show clear, major design changes. 
    • For digital or graphics studios, have a slide for each important design decision. Generally it is best to avoid screen shots. These could include:
      • A storyboard slide
      • A slide with multiple images showing graphical character development.
      • Stylistic explorations

    9. DIAGRAMS: (1 slides minimum) Diagrams of the final project.

    Build studios will need at least 1-2 additional diagrams:

    • Construction Diagram:  A diagram offering insight on how the project is put together
      • Ideally, this will be an exploded axonometric
      • At minimum this can be a labeled disassembled photo  
    • Electronics Diagram: A circuit schematic showing project inputs, outputs, and architecture.

    Digital studios should have a diagram of the storyboard and flow of the project.

    10. ADDITIONAL FINAL IMAGES: (3 slides minimum, 5 slides maximum) Additional final images showing the culmination of your process. You should include:

    • 2-3 Images in the Booth. Make sure they are cropped, adjusted, and look great.
    • 1-2 Images in Use