Final Projects

During the last week of the course, the students are asked to design and prototype a final project. After a brainstorming where ideas are discussed together with the class, the students design a smart device with at least one input and one output. They prototype the electronics, write the code and fabricate the shape using all the skills learned during the course.

Chris Song - Wearable Obstacle Detector

Chris' project started as a device to help blind people to walk in the obstacle-filled streets of Shanghai. He started developing a walking stick with a ultrasonic sensor attached to the end. During the second brainstorming a number of considerations came out: how the walking stick used by blind persons would benefit from the addition of a sensor, being the stick already a "sensor" itself? So Chris decided to move the sensor into an area of the body that is not covered by the stick, the head. A second consideration came: what if the device was used by anyone? For a blind person it would replace a sense that was absent, but for anybody else it would be a newly added sense: the sixth sense for obastacle you cannot see when you walk and use your smartphone at the same time!
The project uses two ultrasonic sensor to detect the obstacles and a servo motor to alert the user with vibrations, connected to a Shanghaino board.
Chris' Website and Documentation

Lea Chen - MINO Music Device

Lea's first idea was to make a bluethoot speaker to play the mp3s in her phone... she soon realized the complexity of such a device and she went through a very effective re-thinking of her project. First she understood the scope and the scale of a project that had to be made in no more than four days and after making some experience with various inputs and outputs connected to her Shanghaino she came up with the idea of a simple music instrument: a tilt sensor produce a single sound through a speaker and using a potentiometer the frequency of the note can be changed, creating different notes. By tapping the case she lasercut out of acrylic you can comand the melody. She applyed the fundamentals of spiral development, and went through many iterations making her project a little better each time until the final presentation. By the number of people playing with her device and making music during the open-night in the fablab, we can clearly call it a big success.
Lea' Website and Documentation

Neil Jiang - Smart Bike

Neil is a bike enthusiast and for his final project he wanted to make a set of devices to make the bike more interactive. He went through many explorations of different sensor and he wrote code fo a lot of solutions that were all working well. Two buttons on the handlebar connected to signal lights: when you press the left or right button the correspondent light blinks signaling the intention to turn. A Hall effect sensor applied to the front wheel detects the speed of the bike and prnt its values to the serial monitor of a computer. He also experimented with a LCD screen to show these information directly to the biker. He was able to 3D print the model of a bicycle and he fixed all his devices to this model to show the integrated system he created.
Neil's Website and Documentation

Randal Liu - Sorting Box

The first idea of Randal was to create a box where you could put any object in a random and chaotic way and the device would sort everything into order for you. It was a very suggestive idea, but he soon realized he would have needed more than the limited time available to be able to make something so complicated. Instead of abandoning his idea for something different, he decided to scale it down to a simpler version: he was able to design a very ingegnous and compact module that is able to sort two types of coins he lasercut from acrylic and plywood. You throw them into the box and the device divide them into two drawers. It doesn't miss a shot! The device uses an LED as a light source and a photo-resistor to get a range of readings on the different materials. A servomotor send the coins to the right container each time. Randal's project is a demonstration of all the skills he learnt during the course and is an amazing accomplishemnt.
Randal's Website and Documentation