Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s week eight 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 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  72-8474 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 26th - September 1st, we have had a total of fourteen updates posted across seven  projects. Since we only had two featured updates last week I’m going to pick four 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  #6 - Initial prototyping with OV7670



This week was filled with working prototypes and finished projects, and my first featured blog this week is project Audio4Vision by Pranjal Ranjan. After experiencing some delays due to hardware importation issues, Pranjal was able to get ahold of a camera module that was able to move the project forward. “...We were stuck with some logistics problem with the camera unable to be imported into India from its manufacturer. It took us a lot of time just to procure this camera and we have ordered a better and hopefully last camera for this project, which should arrive in a few days,” he wrote.


The post continues on to talk about his experience with the OV7670 Arducam and how Pranjal set up a testing circuit to see if it would work within the scope of the project. “The images despite being black and white and of size 240*320 pixels, are being captioned decently well by our DL model. Hence we are confident that with a better camera of 2 MP we will be able to generate captions for coloured images much more accurately,” he wrote. “We have ordered the Arducam Mini 2 MP image sensor module, and it should be able to take pictures in plug and play for MKR1000. In the next blog we will be unboxing the OV2640 which is the Arducam mini 2MP, and a speaker for our text to audio output.”



Project: Fingerprint Skeleton Key - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #10 - First working prototype



Making the number two spot this week is Milos Rasic and his project, Fingerprint Skeleton Key. When we last left Milos he was working on the sliding mechanism that allowed a key to be presented on demand, and this week we saw a few more updates, with the latest update showing off the working prototype. The final design features several tweaks to many of the systems, but it works fairly well. I won’t spoil too much in this post, as this is one I feel you should read through from the beginning to the end.


“I set out to build a device that would help with choosing a right key for the user. I finished up with a proof of concept that, while not finished on the outside, works pretty smoothly when it comes to functionality. While of course there always things that I would like to change, I can say I am thrilled how it turned out and that it actually does what I want it to do,” he wrote. “This challenge was a really fun journey with a lot of new things for me like the fingerprint and RFID sensors. I will for sure continue to work on this in in my free time, because I would really like to have a device like this in my backpack.”



Project: Autism Assistant - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #10 - Project Complete



Rob Romero’s project, Autism Assistant, crossed the finish line this week with time to spare with its final post. After working on getting the code cleaned up, and the project’s final assembly complete, Rob treated us to a short demonstration video that showed off the distance sensor working as well as the touch screen LCD  and the audio interface working together to create audible statements for the end user. Head over to the complete post at the link above for the project’s full bill of materials, source code, and more.



Project: SeeingEyeduino - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #9 - All wired and ready for a trial run



Dale Windhild claims the last spot this week with his project’s ninth update. With the final week upon us, Dale worked hard to get the project’s final assembly finished and all of its systems wired and ready for testing. “I have finished the Seeing EyeDuino, it is all together and wired. I haven't loaded the code yet but it is all ready to upload to the Arduino MKR1000. The big change that I have made to the EyeDuino is removing the drive motors and replacing them with breaks. This way the operator can go as fast or slow as they require as well as direction,” 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 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.