It’s finally here folks! It’s been some time since I last wrote a weekly summary post for the design challenge series here at Element14, but today marks the kick off of the 2017 design challenge season. Over the last couple of months community members have been submitting their project ideas for the Safe & Sound Wearables Design Challenge, and today the design challenge crew have officially announced the projects that have been chosen! I have had the opportunity to read over some of the project proposals and if they are any indication of what this challenge is going to be like, I must say that I am thoroughly impressed and quite excited to see the progress that will be made in the coming weeks. So let's just jump straight into it, and learn all about the Safe & Sound Wearables design challenge, and what projects the challengers have brought to the table.


Safe & Sound Design Challenge


Featured as the first design challenge of 2017, the Safe & Sound Wearables challenge tasks its participants to conceive and build a 'safe and sound’ wearable that protects a person from personal and environmental risks, or monitors personal health or protects personal property from theft.




The Official Kit, and The Prizes


Texas-Instruments-logo-design.png                        DJI_Innovations_logo.svg.png


On February 14th 2017 Element14 announced the list of the official 15 challengers picked to participate in the challenge, and those 15 challengers received a kit of components to use in their design which was sponsored by Texas Instruments. Each kit contains the following items:


You do not have to have been selected as an official challenger to compete for the prizes. All you have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller, the MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad, into a wearable that is Safe & Sound. Official challengers as well as unsponsored participants will be competing to win a myriad of prizes including a Phantom 4 and Phantom 3 Professional drone from DJI for the first place and runner up projects respectively. Every participant who finishes their project on time will also receive a Texas Instruments EZ430-CHRONOS-915 Development KitTexas Instruments EZ430-CHRONOS-915 Development Kit.


The Judges


Judging for the Safe & Sound Wearables challenge will be performed by Jan Cumps (jancumps), Mizanur Chowdhury (mrchy) and Mohammad Akbari (Akbari1982) , who will also be on hand throughout the challenge to respond to Challengers' questions during their project builds. For any general questions about the Challenge, challengers and community members can post a 'comment' on the About this Challenge page.  The challengers, judges, challenge officials or anyone following the Challenge are likely to respond. Finalists will have until May 12th to submit their projects. Entries will be judged on originality, innovation and technical merit by a panel of judges including experts from Texas Instruments and the wearables sector. The winners will be announced by the end of May.


The Challengers and Their Projects


I have listed out each project with a link to its respective challenger’s profile page. Below each project is a brief description of the project in its creators own words. I will update this info once project names have been set in stone, and their blog pages created.


Project: Balloon Safety by Clem Martins (clem57)

I would like to create a wearable light TI MSP430 using Piezoelectric power source. This will provide safety by warning of any power lines within the vicinity of the balloon similar to the warning of airplanes when about to stall. Also using GPS attached, information can be gathered for playback to plot balloon performance. Information can be sent to the team on ground to track and recover the balloon when it lands. By freeing the pilot of some of these chores, the pilot can spend more time ballooning improving the safe operations.


Project: Rider Protection and Vehicle Safety Gear for Bikes by Priyanto Deb (priyantodeb)

I am from India, belonging to a developing country with such a high volume of bikes and scooters, i witness a lot of accidents and thefts of these vehicles which in general have low security options and even less rider protection systems in place, with other developing countries also facing such problems such as Vietnam and Thailand. There are no commercial off the shelf products which can provide any specific theft protection. Although helmets are widely available, people prefer not to use them because of low police presence and no proper training. I propose a two stepped solution. Firstly, I propose a safety lock, working both ways for security and avoiding accidents, before the vehicle starts. Secondly, a different system that provides safety during the bike ride.


Project: Cold Weather Survival Suit by Dale Winhold (nbizzell)

Here in the great white north (Canada) our winter can be very cold. I live in Edmonton Alberta, recently we have had a cold spell of -31oC. We still go out in these temperatures, you just have to dress properly. Our outdoor sports also put a demand on keeping yourself warm, especially if you are a spectator. In these temperatures hypothermia and frost bite are very real and happen more then realized. So, I propose designing a cold weather survival suit for these conditions.


Project: Smart Safety Glasses by Alex Kucherov (salexku)

According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at the work place, making eye-related injuries one of the most common. In 70 percent of the accidents, the eye injury was caused by an object or equipment. What is perhaps more alarming, is that according to the Occupational Health and safety administration (OSHA), 90 percent of the cases can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. I propose designed Smart safety glasses, which communicate wirelessly with an electrical power tool or machine, and have the ability to detect whether they are being worn by a worker/operator. Unless the power tool receives a signal, indicating the operator is indeed wearing the safety glasses, it will not switch on, thus forcing the worker to wear the eye protection glasses.


Project: T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients by Sakthi Vvs (sakthi.1260)

Monitoring Elderly and Disabled Patients while away is always been a challenge. Thus, I promose designing a T-Shirt that monitors a Patient's position and Vitals and Transmits to a Computer (RPi) over bluetooth, which in turn connects to the Internet via WiFi.In case of Abnormalities such as Patient movement or Vitals change,the data starts to transmit to a mobile device of a care taker.


Project: Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System by Douglas Wong (dougw)

The first step in becoming safe and sound is to know the dangers and risks. Then we can devise strategies to stay safe and sound. This project investigates what invisible environmental factors might have hazardous side effects, how we might detect these conditions and what we can do to minimize the risks.Most people are aware that there are numerous invisible environmental factors that are potentially dangerous to humans, and many of us have nagging concerns that we are being exposed to potentially dangerous levels without knowing about it. I propose to create a Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System that explores how we might attempt to monitor some potentially dangerous environmental factors that cannot be detected by human senses. It will also discuss health risks filtered from information on the internet and provide some techniques we can use to minimize risks and exposure.


Project: Motorcycle Winter Monitor by Peter Lauer (plauer)

If you live in the northern part of the US you know the drill. Every fall you winterize your toys, Motorcycles, classic cars, convertibles, boats. Every spring you face the same issues, battery died, mice chewed through the charger wires, hoses busted. For this project, I propose to design a motorcycle winter monitor that will Equip the battery charger, conditioner with an IOT monitor. Measure battery voltage, charging current temperature, humidity. Transmit it via bluetooth or wifi to smart phone. Anytime you are worried about your toy in the corner of your garage, where you can't get to now? Just look at your phone and you get a great health status.


Project: Wearable Tracking Device for Miners by Md. Kamrul Hussain (sunnyiut)

My project proposal will be designing a wearable device that will display surrounding environmental information to the miner and to develop a system to track the location of a miner working inside the mine. The wearable device will be mounted on Miner's wrist which will display information on surrounding environment. A system based on NFC/RFID or BLE will be designed to locate the working zone of the Miner.


Project: Element 14 Custom Logging Explorer Wrist Equipped (E.C.L.E.W.E.) by John Kutzschebauch (jkutzsch)

I propose design an E14-C.L.E.W.E.: A wrist mounted explorer utility that provides GPS logging as well other navigation functions and utilities. A digital ball of thread that can be used to find your way!


Project: Firefighter’s Telemetry System for Smart Clothes by Alexander Molnar (amolnar)

Today, there are many dangerous profession in our lives. The most dangerous is the rescue workers, firefighters, steelworkers, military and so on. One of the main means of protection from the dangerous environment is protective clothing and additional protective devices (eg balloons with compressed air, steel plates, and so on). All this leads to a complication of doing the task, but necessary for the save health or life. Significantly improve the protection of special clothing is the using of modern electronic systems. I propose to design a firefighter's uniform for firefighters. Portable monitoring system for “smart clothes” was designed to be fix in clothes and wear comfortably. The system consist of main module (device) and sensors, which connected with module through flexible wires


Project: Flooding early-warning Alarm Pack by Feng Yao (fyaocn)

Empty riverbank is slumber demon if the river or lake is not well managed. In October 2009, Chembarambakkam lake discharge floods new areas in city with death toll at 269. Refer to     http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/chennai-rains-chembarambakkam-discharge-floods-new-areas-in-city-first-time-in-40-years/173727/, Even best weather forecast can not foretell the flood of July 2012 in Beijing, China, which ruined bunches of Resort Inns along one dry-up riverbed, even more severer than Hollywood Scenery. I propose to create a Flood Early warning Alarm Pack that sends an alarm to persons near a Reservoir Downstream Riverbed who may be exposed to great danger of unexpected flood discharge. This Early-warning Alarm Pack along the river can be of great help by offering vital escape signal. In most cases, 60 seconds in advance of danger can make life safe and sound.


Project: Safe Sleep Baby Monitor by Arturas Vaitaitis (varturas)

We propose to create a safe sleep baby monitor for prematurely born babies. If the monitor will detect interruption in breathing for more than 15 seconds it will alert parents via their smartphone and via build-in buzzer alarm. This monitor will help new parents with their anxiety about how their newborn babies sleep at night. The product will measure and classify motion, movements, position, orientation and activity levels and sending it to parents smartphone. It will detect breathing and falls and streams data to a smartphone app, where information is displayed in a convenient, easy-to-understand manner. Breathing movements, body position (on the back or on the stomach), fall detection, proximity to the phone, battery and connection status: parents will choose only the alerts they want to receive.


Project: Personal Sound Sensor for Hearing Protection by Jon Morss (jomoenginer)

I propose to design a personal Sound Level indicator that alerts the user either via an LED or vibration that the noise level in the are has gone over a certain level. This will let the user (such as Road worker, Yard Maintenance Person, Data Center Engineer, and so on) that the noise in the are is at an unsafe level and they need to use Sound Sound Suppressors. This also could be used as a standalone device in areas such as Data Centers or Warehouses to alert all those that enter the area the sound level is unsafe.


Project: Safety Jacket for the Tolling Industry by Inderpreet Singh (ipv1)

A few years ago when I was responsible for the RnD Department of a Toll Automation Company in India, I was unfortunate enough to witness an accident on one of our sites. A Toll Plaza in Chennai India was the location where a high speed car hit one of our local site engineers and he died as a result shortly thereafter. The application is based around the design and development of a complete safety and management solution for industrial workers in the tolling industry and can be extended to be used in other industrial environments as well. It consists of two major components as explained in detail below.In keeping with the theme of the challenge, the first part of the design consists of a wearable smart Safety Jacket.


Project: Trackable Safety Helmet for Miners by Mehmet Bozdal (mbozdal)

I am planning to build a safe working place for the miners. I decided to build this project because 21st century we still get news miners are missing and the result is usually catastrophic (Gas explosion kills 33 Chinese miners-2016, 9 miners dead and 23 missing after an explosion in Ukrainian coal mine). The main reason for the coal mine explosions is the methane gas explosions. The gas concentration, temperature, and pressure effect the explosion. These parameters should be observed carefully. Even all the measures are taken, the explosion may occur and some miners can be stuck inside the mining area and it may take long times to reach them. If we know where they are exactly, we can reach them faster. Another problem is human ignorance like not wearing the required safety-uniform, helmet, or mask. In order to solve these problems, I will design a trackable safety-helmet.



As I mentioned earlier, you do not have to be one of the fifteen chosen challengers to participate in this challenge and still be able to win a prize. Element14 encourage’ anyone who has already submitted a design idea, but not selected to still participate.


You can do so, provided that you use the Texas Instruments MSP432 Performance Launchpad as the basis of your project, that it is keeping within the theme of the competition, and that you blog about your project in the Safe & Sound Challenge Page.


Element14 invites entries from electronic engineers, performance apparel designers and makers to conceive and build any ‘safe and sound’ wearable to steer the world close to our vision of improving personal protection.


I want to wish a very big congratulations to all of the challengers who were selected for this challenge, and I can not wait to see what innovative ideas are devised over the coming weeks. That is going to wrap up things for this week, but check back next week for another Design Challenge Weekly Summary post, as well as my first Project Summary post of this challenge.  Until then head over to the official Safe & Sound Wearables Challenge Page, and as always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!