Dining Band @ NY Tech Meetup = internet fame

Zainab, Omar, Youssef and Matthew did an amazing job presenting the MOUSE Corps Legacy Project: Dining Band at NY Tech Meetup on Tuesday – in front of 500+ tech innovators.   Their demo totally inspired the NYTM community:

Watch their demo here: http://bit.ly/158V6Fa

Thank you to NY Tech Meetup for inviting us – and we can’t wait to show you our student’s new assistive/adaptive tech prototypes in partnership with United Cerebral Palsy!


MOUSE Corps Legacy Projects win at the Emoti-Con Festival!

Big congrats to the Dining Band Legacy Project team for winning the top prize at this year’s Emoti-Con Festival!

article from MOUSE.org:

MOUSE, a national nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires underserved youth, is pleased to announce its students being recognized for their innovative projects at the 4th Annual Emoti-Con! 2012 Digital Media and Technology Challenge! Emoti-Con! brings together middle and high school students from across New York City to share their passions in technology, present their digital creations, and network with peers and industry professionals.

“Emoti-Con! is an extremely unique opportunity to showcase the work of a new generation of innovators and thinkers, who are passionate about sharing their perspectives and making a positive change in the world through digital media and technology,” said Marc Lesser, Education Director, MOUSE.

More than 150 students presented their technology projects at Emoti-Con! 2012, through their involvement with other NYC-based nonprofit organizations including DreamYard, The Museum for African Art, The Parsons Scholars Program, Girls Write Now, Global Kids, WNYC Radio Rookies, MOUSE, New York Public Library, and Institute of Play.

Sixty students and educators attended from MOUSE, presenting a wide range of technology and digital media projects involving 3D printing and design, anti-bullying games and videos, and technology to assist the visually impaired or those with special needs.

Youth projects were judged in the following categories: Best Pitch, Most Innovative, Most Potential for Social Impact, Most Entertaining and Favorite Project. Students from MOUSE were honored to be recognized with three of these five awards. Judged by their peers, the Emoti-Con! 2012 winning projects were:

  • Best Pitch and Favorite Project: The Dining Band, designed and developed by MOUSE high school students, this project provides a location and temperature sensor wrist band to assist the blind or visually impaired while eating
  • Most Innovative: T.A.P. Project, created by the P256Q MOUSE Squad, includes a series of assistive technology inventions that offer easy solutions to everyday tasks involving fine motor skills
  • Most Potential for Social Impact: A multimedia documentary about “stop and frisk” produced by a high school student through his participation in WNYC Radio Rookies
  • Most Entertaining: A space-themed video game built on Scratch and Arduino, designed and programmed by a 6th grader during an after school program with Institute of Play

Emoti-Con! is designed, organized and led by youth that are guided by a steering committee of educators and youth professionals from Global Kids, MOUSE, New York Public Library and Parsons The New School for Design. These organizations, as well as those that brought youth to present projects, are all members of Hive Learning Network NYC, a network of 39 nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating new digital learning opportunities for youth.

“Emoti-Con! illustrates what’s possible when organizations and youth from across the city come together to celebrate their passion for creating, building, making and learning using digital media and technology,” said Chris Lawrence, Director of Hive Learning Network NYC. “The entire process – from developing their projects to meeting with successful media and technology professionals – offers youth a transformative learning and entrepreneurial experience and reveals real pathways towards college and career readiness.”

MOUSE empowers underserved youth to learn, lead and create with technology, preparing them with skills essential for their academic and career success. Founded in New York City in 1997, MOUSE is a dynamic nonprofit organization having a positive and lasting impact on students in more than 350 locations in the United States, including in New York, California, Chicago and Texas, as well as a global presence in more than 50 countries. To learn more about MOUSE, visit http://www.mouse.org.

About Hive Learning Network
NYC: Hive Learning Network NYC is a Mozilla project that was founded through The MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media & Learning initiative to fuel collaborations between cultural organizations and create new learning pathways and innovative education practices together. Hive NYC is comprised of thirty-nine nonprofit organizations—museums, libraries, media and other youth-facing organizations—that create opportunities for youth to explore their intellectual and skill-based interests using digital media and other technologies. Network members have access to funding to support this work through The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust. For more information please visit http://www.explorecreateshare.org. Also visit http://www.facebook.com/EmotiConNYC ¬or Twitter @EmotiCon_NYC.

Extra Tech Mentor Meeting w/ Joe

-We began the meeting with soldering the battery to the switch
-We learned more about how the arduino code works from Joe
*boolean- Can only be one or two states i.e. true or false, on or off, yes or no
-3 Short Pulses: On
-1 Long Pulse: Off

  • 5 Short Pulses: Close
  • The distance sensor numbers jumped around a lot so we are now join to sample 30 numbers and average them to get a more accurate and reliable sensor.

-We are trying and modifying different enclosures for the final product
-We have made our enclosures and finished our final patches of code
-The Dining Band Prototype is COMPLETE!!!

3rd Mentor Meeting w. Joe (Final Prototype)

-We previously ordered a temperature sensor from China and it had arrived
-Joe worked on the vibration motor and he edited the code
-We are attaching the pin via soldering to the mini arduino so that we can program it
-We are attaching two female header pins to the mini arduino
-We are using a protoboard to hold the circuit
-We are attaching two male header pins to the protoboard
-We are going to need to control the vibration motor through a transistor on an arduino
-We are going to convert USB to FTDI
-We are assembling our final circuit
-We are going to connect the middle pin of the transistor to a digital pin (d4) to control the vibration motor
-We are going to attach the vibration motor to the VCC (Positive)
-We are going to connect the distance sensor to the circuit
Red-Digital Pin
-Solder Analog Distance sensor to A0

  • We are going to check if the distance sensor is programmable

-The On/Off button is attached to a digital pin (d7)
-We are going add an LED to the On/Off button so as to debug it and for us to know if the prototype is on eating mode or not
-10 ohm resistors (for the button)
-We are connecting the LED to a digital pin (d11)
-We created an enclosure for the prototype
-We are now connecting the distance sensor
-We are going to code so that arduino can be programmed to test the temperature sensor
testing. mission completed.
-We are going to attach the temperature sensor to the circuit
-Solder temperature sensor to A2
-We are to use hot glue to insulate the back of the sensors
-The sensor calculates temperature in Celsius

  • We are going to put the circuit in the enclosure (FINAL STEP)

Prototyping (Dining Challenge)

We decided that instead of a napkin to scan the food and identify the food we decided to think about other things
We decided on a watch last week but this week we identified some problems with the watch.
-The watch would be super costly and is almost impossible to make
-The watch doesn’t connect to the internet
We decided that since everyones has a phone then we could make an app instead which would be software
The part of the challenge that cuts the food into bite size pieces for the user could be the hardware part.
Consider: Cost and Accessibility
App functions:
-Identify the food
-Communicate with the user
-Deflects the hand from touching the food because you already know where the food is
Not Sure: App or attachment to the phone
Attachment scans the food
App Identifies the location of the food
Process: Camera watch —-> Phone —–> Internet ——>Phone
CONCLUSION: Its a watch that detects distance (sensor) from the plate and takes a picture of the food, the picture is sent to the phone which sends it to the the app which identifies the food and sends it back to the user immediately by vibrating
Sensor > Phone > Watch >Vibrate

Prototype Interviews at Selis Manor

Suggestions: Talking cable boxes*
Thoughts: Think about people that aren’t only visually impaired but have arthritis or any other disabilities. Think about the fact that not everyone might be able to use the knife and we might have to teach some people.

  • An attachment that tells the expiration date on your food
  • The napkin scanner for the plate should probably be under the plate and not over the plate
  • The knife should not be sharp and should be a foldable template.
  • A watch that you wear with a scanner. You put the fork in the food and the watch scans it. It has the same functions has the nakin idea but in the form of watch. The watch works with the fork!!!!!!

We could have a watch instead of the napkin because the napkin has lots of faults.

Design Research

Build On:
http://carroll.org/2011/12/14/knork <—- Cutting food easier but doesn’t tackle bite size problem
Design Challenge:
Unique- To be informed about the location of the different types of food on the plate and being able to put the right amount of food on her plate. <—— FOCUS CHALLENGE!!!!
-What if she feels under the plate to know where the food is?
-What if we create an app that you can scan over your food to identify food?
-Maybe finding glucose and water level isn’t required
-How can we make the device/app/design conspicuous?
It takes about a week to measure water and glucose levels.
PRIORITY: The location of the food on the plate!!!
Thinking- Maybe a pad or a napkin that you can put under your plate