Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s week nine 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, September 2nd - September 8th, we have had a total of six updates posted across three projects. With only a few projects being updated this week, I’m going to pick two 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: Anosmia  - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #9 - Smart WheelChair Integration



Dixon Selvan once again claims the top spot this week with the ninth update to project Cue System for Anosmia. This update focused on building the smart wheelchair and integrating it into the project. Along with the wheelchair’s control hardware, Dixon incorporated main, and secondary “smell sensing” units that he talked about in a previous update. Unfortunately, a small issue did pop up during development that was caused by different pin assignments between the Arduino Uno and the Arduino MKR1000. Dixon was able to solve this issue fairly quickly, as he explains below.


“The main hurdle I faced is in 'Serial Communication'. The Arduino MKR1000 uses Serial1 (14 - TX,13 - RX digital pins) for serial communication but the Arduino UNO uses Serial (1 - TX,0 - RX digital pins) for serial communication. So while programming Arduino MKR1000 you have to use Serial1 for initialization and for further use in the code. I usually test the setup with Arduino UNO and then migrate them to other dev boards. So the entire hardware setup is working in UNO but not in MKR1000. Since I had faced the same issue in my previous project Traffic Predictor, I was able to realize the mistake faster.”



Project: Blowing-Whistle as Controller - Design for a Cause Challenge Blog  #8 - Make use of ScheduleTable for Arduino



My second and final featured blog for this week hails from project Blowing Whistle as Controler (BWaC) by F .Yao. In this update, he walks us through the process of creating a Schedule Table for Arduino. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this, a Schedule Table is a set of instructions that run along a stated timeline. Using the ScheduleTable library for Arduino he was able to build a suitable framework to ensure each task was performed in the proper order.


“Here is my framework. The core process supervises the microphone module for control signal and screens for valid Whistle command,” he wrote. The  sensors and actuators polling the room status in schedule table even some are male-functional. Each command read the sensor or run the curator like servo or motor.”


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.