Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. A new Design Challenge is upon us, and that means that we have some awesome projects to cover. It’s week four of the Design for a Cause Challenge and a lot of progress has already been made, so lets cut to the chase and learn more about the challenge before we get to our first three featured project updates!



Design for a Cause Design Challenge


The Challenge


Featured as the third Design Challenge of 2018, this challenge task its participants with designing a piece of assistive technology for individuals living with physical or mental impairments using the Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board.



While sixteen project proposals were chosen to be the official projects of the challenge, entering the challenge is not limited to just those sixteen community members. Anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger, and still be eligible to win one of the prize packs. If you are a non-sponsored challenger all you need to do is integrate an Arduino MKR1000 into your project, and then post 10 blogs about your progress in the Design For a Cause Challenge space and then tagging those blogs 'Design for a Cause'.



The Official Kit


As mentioned earlier, the Design for a Cause Challenge is sponsored by Arduino and its Arduino MKR1000 Development Board. Each challenger will receive all of the components below plus a wide assortment of additional passive, and digital components to build their projects with. If you would like to enter the challenge for yourself, or if you just want to follow along at home, you can purchase all of the components in the kit right here at Element14.


To learn more about each of these components as well as the other components included in the kit, visit the official kit announcement page or click the links above.

The Prizes

To reward the creativity and innovation of the challengers in the Design for a Cause Challenge, element14 is offering some cool prizes that both sponsored and non-sponsored finishers can win. To learn more about each prize pack, visit the official Design For a Cause Challenge Prize Page.

      • Grand Prize: $900 USD to the winner’s favorite charity,  FLUKE 279 FC/IFLEX Digital Multimeter, and a  Tinkerkit Braccio Robotic Arm DIY Kit.
      • Runner-Up Prize:$500 USD to the winner’s favorite charity Tenma  72-847472-8474 Oscilloscope and a Microduino Quadcopter w/Joypad
      • Finisher Prize:  It’s a surprise! To be eligible, challengers have to post at least 10 update blogs and use an Arduino MKR1000 in their design.



The Past Week In Review


Over the past 7 days, July 22nd - July 28th, we have had a total of six updates posted across six projects. I’m going to pick a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them below, but before we get into that lets take a look at which projects were updated this week!




This Week’s Top Updates


Project: Audio4Vision - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #4 - Show and Tell: Image Caption Generator Neural Network



Up first this week is project Audio4Vision by Pranjal Ranjan. I chose this update because this is the first time that a challenger has attempted to integrate a Neural Network into their project. Pranjal plans to utilize the Show and Tell module (https://arxiv.org/abs/1411.4555) developed by researchers at Cornell University which will auto-generate captions for images based on the image’s contents.


“The Show and Tell model can be broken down into two blocks: the encoder, and the decoder. The encoder is a CNN, which takes an image, performs convolutional operations on it, and outputs a vectorized representation of the input,” he wrote. “This vector is then given to a natural language processing model, which converts it into a sentence in a language of your choice (The original paper uses English).”



Project: Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #4  - IoT Temperature Monitoring [DIY]



Dixon Selvan is back again for the second week in a row with another well-written project update. In the fourth update to his project, Dixon focues in on the temperature monitoring feature of the Smart Wheel Chair portion of his project. He utilizes a TMP36 temperature sensor which is read by the Arduino MKR1000, which in turn feeds the data to thinger.io, a cool website that helps users visualize data from their IoT projects.


“Thinger.io is an IoT Platform and it provides free of cost (but with limitations) features to add your Arduino MKR1000, receive and plot the temperature data in a Graph and have a dedicated URL to visualize the Graph in any internet enabled device. For this IoT temperature monitoring system, the free of cost version is sufficient,” he wrote.



Project: Ultrasonic Collision Avoidance System - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #1 - Project and Parts Overview.



If there is one thing I like more than a well-written project update, it’s a well put together video project update, and that is just what Aaron Oliver surprised us with this week in his project’s first update. The video is just a basic overview of his project, and a short unboxing of the official challenger kit, but if this is any indication of how well shot his future updates will be, I can not wait to watch them each week!


“Sorry for the late start on the blogging.  I had some issues getting the video working!  In this first episode of my build vlog, I go over the kit as it was supplied from Element14 as well as the additional parts that I ordered,” Aaron wrote. “Now that everything has arrived the real building can begin.  Hope you enjoy my video and stay tuned for the next one soon!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!”



That is going to wrap up my weekly summary coverage of the Design For a Cause Challenge. Check back each week for a complete summary of the previous week's updates. If you would like to learn more about that challenge and to see what progress has already been made, head over to its official challenge page. I'll be back next week for another installment of my Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14.