`Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s week six of the Design for a Cause Challenge and a lot of progress has been made, so lets cut to the chase and learn more about the challenge before we get to the three featured projects that made this week's update!


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  72-8474 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, August 12th - August 18th, we have had a total of ten updates posted across nine 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: Blowing-Whistle as Controller - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #3 - How to catch the sound from whistle



F. Yao’s project, Blowing-Whistle as Controller grabs our first spot this week with a form of wireless communication that I do not think we have seen in any design challenge before. Using a common plastic sports whistle, F. Yao recorded its unique sound, and then analyzed the recording to identify the specific frequency that the whistle resonates at. With that knowledge, he can set a specific frequency range in which an Arduino MKR1000 will recognize, and then perform an action. “The most important part of the project is the whistle. Unlike BLE, WIFI or other remote control parts, the whistle do not need any power to keep it alive. You may think they are different, but to users, it is the same. Therefore, using passive sound wave-generator like a whistle is one of the key features in this project,” he wrote.



Project: Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #6 - Fall and Collision Detection



Dixon Selvan is back in my spotlight with the sixth update to his project, Cue System for Anosmia and Smart WheelChair. This week he took up the task of developing the fall and collision detection systems, and connected everything to IFTTT to provide an IoT solution that easily allowed notifications to be sent out notifying people of the incident.


“The Fall Detection Circuit requires the ADXL335Z Evaluation Board connected to the Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board. This will assess the position of the wheelchair and trigger IFTTT in case of a fall,” he wrote. “The X and Y axes are used to maintain simplicity and hence the Z axis is omitted. The X and Y axes are connected to A3 and A2 respectively. The ground pin of the accelerometer to Arduino MKR1000 ground and the VSS to the VCC (3.3V) of the Arduino.”



Project: Fingerprint Skeleton Key  - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #4 - Capacitive Fingerprint Module



Biosecurity is one of those sci-fy sounding topics that has always piqued my interest, and as you can imagine, Milos Rasic’s fourth update to his project, Fingerprint Skeleton Key, caught my eye. After some research, Milos decided to utilize a capacitive fingerprint scanner in his design. Unfortunately, this posed a few problems early on in this update, but after some trouble shooting, and tweaking of example code, he was able to successfully get the fingerprint sensor working with the Arduino MKR1000.


“I was pretty frustrated in the beginning when it didn't want to work over the USB pins, but after setting up the converter correctly and going over UART everything clicked into place pretty fast, especially considering that the Adafruit library works with the module as well. I will take a look at it a bit better also to see what other functions are available,” he wrote.



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 weeks updates. If you would like to learn more about that challenge, and to see what progress has already been made, head over to the its official challenge page. I'll be back next week for another installment of my Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14.