Archived Projects

Braille Trainer

Client:

The client for the Braille Trainer was the Oregon Commission for the Blind, whose mission is "to assist blind Oregonians in making informed choices and decisions to achieve full inclusion and integration in society through employment, independent living, and social self sufficiency."  Blind people must learn how to read Braille properly so that they can read correctly.

Basic Project Description:

Currently, the only way that the OCB trainer, Richard Turner, can correct his students is by following the student's hand with his own or by responding to students' vocal feedback. This is not an optimal way for the students to learn Braille, so Richard has requested that we design a device that will aid him in training students and allow the students to learn more autonomously. 

Status:

The design team is currently in the development of a detailed design and build stage of the design cycle and will working on SolidWorks drawings of the Braille Trainer so they can begin fabrication!

Possible Solutions:

The design team considered using an accelerometer as the core of the braille trainer. However, after much discussion, debate, and weighing pros and cons, the design team decided to go with a mechanical system that uses linear slides at its core.

Currency Reader

Client:

For over 50 years, the Oregon Commission for the Blind has been an important resource for Oregonians who are blind or visually impaired, as well as their families, friends, and employers. Their mission is to assist Oregonians who are blind or visually impaired in making informed choices and decisions to achieve full inclusion and integration in society through employment, independent living, and social self-sufficiency. Their nationally recognized programs and xpert staff work with the visually impaired to instill confidence and build skills in all aspects of day-to-day life: from grocery shopping to reading to surfing the Web. The Oregon Commission for the Blind is headquartered in Portland, but has field offices and resources available in Salem, Eugene, Baker City, Redmond, Medford, and Roseburg.

Basic Project Description:

There has been established a need for people that are vision impaired need a way to differentiate bills of currency. Currently blind people rely on folding dollars bills a certain way to distinguish them from each other. This system relies on trust and dependence. There are devices already in use that fulfill this need, but are not cost effective or mobile enough for people living on government support. This currency reader will be a system that will allow someone without the sense of sight, to be able to quickly, discreetly, and cost effectively distinguish between different bills of currency; this system will allow the client to be able to know what currency they are giving, or being given, in any reasonable environment.

Status:

We have provided an overview of the electrical/computer aspects of the project.  This included an introduction to the AVR C code, Matlab, FANN.  Also, we have updated the repository to contain only relevant files for use next semester. As it stands now, we are capable of scanning bills, building a database, and running that database through a neural net called FANN (Fast Artificial Neural Network).  We haven't found an algorithm that works as of yet, but results look promising.  It does not appear out of the question to achieve a reliable algorithm with the data we have been collecting once a sufficient binning and network setting have been found.

Possible Solutions:
  1. Manual Handheld Scanner (Slide through)
    1. This device is a handheld currency scanner. The user will hold it in either hand, and the bill will be slid through it manually as with any type of credit card reader, or card access slider. This will minimize the size of the device as it only has to span the length of half of the width of a bill.  A sensor from an optical mouse will be positioned inside so that when a bill is run through it, the very center will be where data is collected.
      1. This device does not use any mechanics and therefore requires less space. It will also require less power to operate, and will require less maintenance.
      2. This solution relies on the users ability to steadily insert and slide a bill through the device.
  2. Manual Handheld Scanner (Pull through)
    1. This device is a manual handheld currency scanner.  The user will have a small device barely wider than that of a dollar bill. The bill will be inserted on one side, and has to be pulled through on the other. A sensor from an optical mouse will be positioned inside so that when a bill is run through it, the very center will be where data is collected.
      1. This device does not use any mechanics and therefore requires less space. It will also require less power to operate, and will require less maintenance.
      2. This solution relies on the users ability to insert and pull a bill through the device.

MCC Vangari

Client:

This project is to being undertaken for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in order to help the impoverished of Bangladesh by creating better job opportunities liberating the third world poor. This work will go to benefit the poorer class of Bangladesh and extended regions.

Basic Project Description:

The Mennonite Central Committee Vangari project team's goal is to create a vangari for use in Bangladesh that is made of local materials, is of reasonable cost, and has less deteriorating effects on the vangari rider's body.

Status:

To help evaluate the effectiveness of the designed vangari, an authentic Bangladeshi vangari was imported and assembled. There were no instructions included, so the imported vangari was assembled using Google images as a guide.

Possible Solutions:
The conceptual solution is based on a bamboo bed frame connected together with twine and epoxy, connected to the front half of a mountain bike frame by twine and epoxy. The bottom of the frame is connected by metal brackets to the axle and wheels.

Snoezelen Cart

Client:

The client for this project is the Providence Center for Medically Fragile Children.  This facility is the only of its kind in the Pacific Northwest by providing 24-hour care for children and young adults ranging from the ages of infancy to 21 years. Patients at the center are surrounded by pediatric nurses and are provided with long-term, short-term, respite, or end-of-life care.

Basic Project Description:

The Snoezelen Cart is a mobile sensory stimulus unit. It allows the patients at Providence the ability to get some sensory stimulus without having to be taken down to the Snoezelen room in the basement of the hospital, which can be a difficult task. The cart will allow the nursing staff to bring the sensory equipment to multiple patients at a time on a convenient mobile cart.

Status:

This project is currently in the "Project Maintenance" phase of the Design Cycle.  Providence is in possession of the cart and continues to use it.  We are currently in possession of the bubble tube, to fix its leak.  We are also in the process of finishing a small speaker system as a new addition to the cart.

Possible Solutions:
The conceptual solution is based on amobile sensory stimulus unit.

Upright Therapy Frame

Client:

The client for the Upright Therapy Frame is Providence Center for the Medically Fragile Children. One other approach to help children with cerebral palsy achieve their optimal level of functioning is Sensory Integration Therapy. This therapy helps to overcome problems experienced by many young children in absorbing and processing sensory information. Encouraging these abilities ultimately improves balance and steady movement. Therapies include stimulating touch sensations and pressures on different parts of the body. With the use of certain items, such as Styrofoam chips, water, or textured toys, this therapy can also motivate children to learn sequences of movements. The purpose of the project is to deliver the client with a therapy frame that will allow medically fragile children to physically interact with the environment by means of sensory integration therapy.

Basic Project Description:

The purpose of the project is to deliver the client with a therapy frame that will allow medically fragile children to physically interact with the environment by means of sensory integration therapy. The goal is to understand “what” is needed by understanding the context, stakeholders, requirements of the project, and to develop measurable criteria in which design concepts can be evaluated.

Status:

Under Construction

Possible Solutions:
A therapy frame that uses spring action to amplify movement and to support child. This frame will consist of a harness, and variable spring constant spring/bungee ropes that will be able to support many children's weight (50lb-180lb). The harness/bungee system will attach to an existing rail system (on the ceiling) and a winch will be used to raise/lower harness for children. A system consisting of variable spring/bungee ropes will be color coded for ease of use. The bungee system will allow the child to bounce up/down by means of a simple push from the therapist or nurse. This bouncing allows the child to physically interact with the direct environment. The sensory integration therapy will hopefully be achieved by the product.

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