Putting it all together

After going through all the resources we have available, we finally got a chance to start designing and prototyping our idea. Our group, JJJ Inc., has decided to design a smart device that will allow a user to turn on/off the light switch using their phone. This device can be attached to any (ideally) light switch without taking out any screws or rewiring the light switch. Our first problem we ran into was thinking of a way to actually make the light switch move using a small motor. We went to the FabLab to talk to some of the volunteers there. They suggested we use a rack and pinion.

View post on imgur.com

The rack we decided will have a hole in it where the light switch will go through (see picture below).

View post on imgur.com

The gear will then be attached to a motor. The gear will have a fixed position, which will allow the rack to move up and down, which will then turn on/off the light switch. Using this design will allow us to easily add a button on top of the device. This button will allow users to turn on/off the light switch without using their smartphones.Here are to sketches of our design. We have decided to not put the Arduino inside the box, which is why you don’t see an Arduino sketched in.

View post on imgur.com

We currently only have the rack and pinion 3d printed. We must make sure we make a rack and pinion small enough to fit in certain dimensions. After we figure this out, our next step is to design a box that will attach to the light switch. This box will house all the components except for the Arduino. Once that is figured out, we can then go ahead and start programming the motor how much to turn. Overall, I think as a group we have a solid foundation to have a working prototype in about two weeks.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

Team BCC Creations Designing and Prototyping Reflection

This week we mainly focused on our final project in regards to designing and prototyping. Prior to having group time Vishal had given us resources on the process of prototyping, and reminding us that this would not be the first prototype we would be creating but instead we would keep learning, rebuilding and growing form our prototypes that we create.

My group is Team BCC Creations; we are trying to provide college students with a peace of mind through a cheaper security alternative for their apartments. We have come to a conclusion that many students leave campus during breaks and during those times there are higher chances of trespassing. Thus, we have come up with a “cheap” alarm for a college student, as we don’t have the funds to be purchasing nice alarm systems that some of us may have at our parents’ homes. The alarm can be placed by any door and the alarm will detect whether the door is opened or not. If the door were to open the individual that enters has 5-10 seconds to shut off the alarm before it begins to ring and text the roommates of the apartment. Therefore, unsolicited entry will immediately cause the alarm to ring as well as notify the roommates of the apartment through text messages.

In order to create our alarm we will need a raspberry pi, Twilio, jumper wire, piezo, breadboard, ultrasonic sensor, battery pack, 3D printed housing and Velcro. During our group time we had created a poster that had a diagram of how the components would be connected to each other as well as a sizing guide so we could have a better understanding on how big the housing had to be as well as the alarm system itself. While drawing the diagram we had some concerns on how the parts would fit in but the breadboard gave us more leverage. Because we didn’t have the parts physically in front of us, we still need to approximate some of the components such as the piezo, because we may using a different alternative for the sound system. During class one of our group member had gone to the FabLab to check if they had any Bluetooth modules available for our use, but after speaking with a FabLab assistant we came to an understanding that we could use Twilio as cloud communication platform to send our texts instead of the Bluetooth module which we would need to have Vishal order. The raspberry pi has the capacity to use Wi-Fi and connect with Twilio, so we will still need to test it out but I believe that it could be a very suitable alternative.

After this weeks session we definitely have a better grasp as to how our product will look like, what it will be made of and where to get our components from. I can’t wait to see what we will be able to do in our next class once we have gathered all our components and have them physically laid out in front of us.

The diagram we had drawn in class.

Our ultrasonic sensor and breadboard.