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Design Challenges

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week ten of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge and this week also marks the sixth week of the Upcycle it Design Challenge. Both challenges have seen several project updates over the last week, which means we have a lot to cover, so let's just jump into it!

 

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 16 - April 22, we have had a total of six updates posted across six individual projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a three of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

Project: Hearing Guard System - by Jon Morss (jomoenginer)

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

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

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

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

Project: Winter Survival Suit Post - by Dale Winhold (dwinhold)

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

Safety Jacket for the Tolling Industry #9: Keeping the Launchpads Safe

 

 

Inderpreet Singh (ipv1) takes our first spot this week with his ninth update to project Safety Jacket For The Trolling Industry. In this installment he showcases a simple 3D Printed case that he designed to fit the TI Launchpad. The case is designed to add a layer of protection to the Launchpad, and to keep water and other liquids from entering through the bottom, while recessed side buttons allow for ease of access while keeping solids out. Inderpreet included link to the .STL files in the event that one of the project's followers would like to print their own case.

 

 

T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients #7 : Its Dark and I'm Falling...

 

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Sakthivigneshwar R (sakthi.1260) is back this week with his T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients with his progress on the IMU and light sensing portions of the project. However, he is experiencing issues with the Sensors booster pack BMI160 and Energia, so for the time being he is using the MPU6050 instead. Head over to the link above to see his preliminary results!

 

 

Hearing Guard System #9: TI-RTOS Enable Button HWI Part II - Debouncin'

 

 

Our last featured update from the Safe and Sound Wearables challenge for this week is the ninth update to project Hearing Guard System. This week Jon Morss (jomoenginer)showed us an easy way to add a mechanism to reduce the debounce occurrences when a Button is pressed on the MSP432. Jon walks us through the code needed to help filter out button bounces using code step by step. If you are unfamiliar with what “bounce” is and why you need to “debounce” buttons when interfacing them with microcontrollers, this post will help clarify things a little, so head over to the link above for more info!

 

 

Upcycle It Design Challenge

 

About The Challenge

 

Featured as the second design challenge of 2017, the Upcycle It design challenge tasks its participants to upcycle an obsolete item, computer, piece of electronic equipment or appliance and make a cool new electronics project built around the Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino.

 

 

The Official Kit, and The Prizes

 

Challengers will build their projects using an official assortment of parts from Arduino, Intel, and Element14. Each kit contains the following items:

 

The Upcycle it Design Challenge features 15 official challengers that received a Challenger Kit for FREE, but thereafter anyone can join the Challenge simply by posting in the Upcycle it space (tagging their blogs 'upcycle it') to be in with a chance to win prizes. Anyone completing a project by the June 4th deadline and posting at least 10 times on the Community detailing their project build will be in the running to win some awesome prizes, including a Keithley  DMM7510 Digital MultimeterKeithley  DMM7510 Digital Multimeter worth almost $4,000.

 

*The official Challengers must build their project in accordance with the challenge's terms and conditions. All projects must include the Intel® Edison.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 16 - April 22, we have had a total of ten updates posted across ten projects. With so many projects this week I will be highlighting three that I found helpful, educational, or just interesting in general. Before we get to this week’s highlighted post,let's take a quick look at which projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Sockets In Sockets For My Sockets

 

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Jason Wier’s (jasonwier92) fourth update to project, PDU Upcycle for Automation holds the top seat this week in the Intel Upcycle It Challenge, and rightfully so. In this weeks update, Jason sets out to force himself to use NodeRed by writing a module that would serve as the gobetween for the various software components of his project. The post is full of useful information, and lots of source code, so head over and check it out!

 

 

WiFi Connected Smoke Detector #5: Monitor The Monitor

 

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One question that comes to mind when designing a system that could potentially save lives is what happens when the system, or components thereof fail? To tackle this question, Sergey Vlasov (vlasov01) decided to utilize the Cronitor Service in conjunction with a heartbeat to check for internal processing errors, and then send out a message to alert the end user of the system’s failure. This alert will come via a message in Sergey’s custom Slack channel notifying the user that there is an issue. If the heartbeat resumes, another message will be sent notifying the user that things are working again. Check out the full update for more info!

 

 

Hermes 3000 - Post #3

 

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This week I saved one of the best for last, and while every update we have seen from both challenges over the last seven days has been impressive, Joey Brock’s (jofas) third update to Hermes 3000 takes the cake for what had to have been a very high frustration factor. Continuing on from his last update where he attached 44 wires to each of the keys on his typewriter, Joey wired each of those leads into a breadboard filled with LED circuits. The theory here is that each LED will illuminate when its specific key is pressed. Source code and a more thorough explanation of what's going on can be found at the first link above.

 

 

That is going to wrap up things for this week. Remember to check back next week for another Design Challenge Weekly Summary post. Until then head over to the official Safe & Sound Wearables Challenge Page, as well as the Upcycle It Challenge’s landing page fore more Design Challenge content! As always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!

DCWklyGnrcHdr.png

 

Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week nine of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge and this week also marks the fifth week of the Upcycle it Design Challenge. Both challenges have seen a lot of project updates over the last week, which means we have a lot to cover, so let's just jump into it!

 

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 9 - April 15, we have had a total of eleven updates posted across nine projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, Since only four projects were updated, I will select a two of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

 

E14-CLEWE Blog #7

 

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After losing access to the PC that he worked hard to get set up for his project, E14-CLEWE, John Kutzschebauch (jkutzsch) has managed to recover, and has moved forward and is now experimenting to find the best way to interface different portions of his project. More specifically, the Ultimate GPS Data Logger shield,TI MCU, BoostXL Sensors, LCD Booster and Energia. Unfortunately, John has uncovered some issues that he will need to overcome. Head over to the link above for the full scoop!

 

 

Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System MQTT Subscriber & Publisher - blog 12

 

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Project Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System took a major leap forward this week with the addition of a second WiFi Booster pack that Douglas Wong (dougw) purchased from Texas Instruments to serve as an MQTT client subscribing to the IHEF data being published by his sensor platform being served from his custom sensor booster pack. As demonstrated in the video attached to his update, he shows us how he is using the boards to relay data using MQTT, and as a bonus, he has included the subscriber program that he wrote for this demo. Check out the video at the link above.

 

 

T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients #6 : Breathe and Heat

 

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My last featured project update for this week might be one of the most impressive concepts I have seen in any of the design challenges that I have followed over the years. In his sixth update to project T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients, Sakthivigneshwar R (sakthi.1260) uses a conductive elastic cord to devise an ingenious way to detect if a patient is breathing. The concept did work, but the resulting data was very noisy, and he has asked the community if they have any ideas as to how he could filter out much of that noise. Head over to the link above to check it out, and if you have any ideas, please get in touch with him.

 

 

 

 

Upcycle It Design Challenge

 

 

About The Challenge

 

Featured as the second design challenge of 2017, the Upcycle It design challenge tasks its participants to upcycle an obsolete item, computer, piece of electronic equipment or appliance and make a cool new electronics project built around the Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino.

 

 

The Official Kit, and The Prizes

 

Challengers will build their projects using an official assortment of parts from Arduino, Intel, and Element14. Each kit contains the following items:

 

 

The Upcycle it Design Challenge features 15 official challengers that received a Challenger Kit for FREE, but thereafter anyone can join the Challenge simply by posting in the Upcycle it space (tagging their blogs 'upcycle it') to be in with a chance to win prizes. Anyone completing a project by the June 4th deadline and posting at least 10 times on the Community detailing their project build will be in the running to win some awesome prizes, including a Keithley  DMM7510 Digital MultimeterKeithley  DMM7510 Digital Multimeter worth almost $4,000.

 

*The official Challengers must build their project in accordance with the challenge's terms and conditions. All projects must include the Intel® Edison.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 9 - April 15, we have had a total of twelve updates posted across twelve projects. With so many projects this week I will be highlighting three that I found helpful, educational, or just interesting in general. Before we get to this week’s highlighted post,let's take a quick look at which projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

 

Washing Machine Hydroponic Grower - #3 Preparation II

 

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Our first featured project update this week for the Upcycle It challenge comes from project Washing Machine Hydroponic Grower by Fernando Hila (nandohila). After discovering that the washing machine’s motor operates at a set RPM, he scavenged a stepper motor from an old printer to use as the drive motor for the project instead. Additionally, Fernando set to work removing the front of the washing machine to give the project a more industrial look, and that is exactly why I chose this post to be first this week. I mean seriously, when do you ever get to see someone hacking apart a home appliance with a hacksaw here at element14. Check out more photos of the carnage (I mean that in a good way) at the link above.

 

 

Embedded Web SDR client on Analog Radio Receiver #3: Meeting with Edison

 

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Project Embedded Web SDR client on Analog Radio Receiver from Konstantinos Konstas (konstantinoskonstas is the focus of my second featured post this week, and got to work after receiving his Intel Edison board. Deciding to ditch the version of the Arduino IDE that he had been using in favor of the latest version which is compatible with Intel Edison. As he mentions, this could cause issues as all of his code was written in the 1.6.5 version of the IDE. He also talks about setting up  Eclipse to test the Intel Edison SDK as well as reporting on some issues that have arose with the Nokia 5110 LCD display. Head over to the link above to read the full post, and to see the example code he originally wrote for LCD display.

 

 

Upcycled Clock - 3D printing parts to hold buttons, pot, and LCD

 

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My final featured update this week is one that I am sure everyone knew I would like. While waiting on a package full of goodies to arrive, Carmelito Andrade (carmelito) got to work on project Upcycled Clock by 3D printing some mock up panels in PLA to test his designs fit before printing the final versions in a wood-based 3D printing filament. These panels serve as the mounting locations for the clocks new electronics, and as you can tell from the image above, the fit is very nice! I can’t wait to see how this turns out once the “wood” panels are in place and finished with stain! Check out the slideshow Carmelito put together to show how the process went at the link above!

 

 

That is going to wrap up things for this week. Remember to check back next week for another Design Challenge Weekly Summary post. Until then head over to the official Safe & Sound Wearables Challenge Page, as well as the Upcycle It Challenge’s landing page fore more Design Challenge content! As always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!

DCWklyGnrcHdr.png

 

Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week eight of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge which puts us just over half way through. Additionally, we are just wrapping up the fourth week of the Upcycle It Design Challenge which means we have a lot to cover, so let's just jump into it!

 

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 2 - April 8, we have had a total of five updates posted across four projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, Since only four projects were updated, I will select a two of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

Project: Hearing Guard System - by Jon Morss (jomoenginer)

Project: Winter Survival Suit Post - by Dale Winhold (dwinhold)

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

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

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Hearing Guard System #7 CCS and TI-RTOS with Class code

 

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Our first featured update this week is once again from project Hearing Guard System by Jon Morss (jomoenginer). After teaching us how to set up Code Composer Studio to support C++11 in TI-RTOS, Jon moved on to writing a few code examples to help us better understand how to use C++ Classes in a TI-RTOS project. For readers who are not very familiar with TI-RTOS and CCS, this post is definitely a must read, and is worthy of a bookmark for future reference. As many of you know, I love post like this that are educational and sample code rich. Check out the full post at the link above.

 

 

Flood early-warning Alarm Pack #4: Understanding BQ25570 EVM board

 

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Project Flood early-warning Alarm Pack by Feng Yao (fyaocn once again claims the second featured update of the week. This we were provided with a very informative post that detailed the features of the BQ25570 EVM boardBQ25570 EVM board. “The bq25570 device is specifically designed to efficiently extract microwatts (µW) to milliwatts (mW) of power generated from a variety of high output impedance DC sources like photovoltaic (solar) or thermal electric generators (TEG) without collapsing those sources.The battery management features ensure that a rechargeable battery is not overcharged by this extracted power, with voltage boosted, or depleted beyond safe limits by a system load,” he said. “In addition to the highly efficient boosting charger, the bq25570 integrates a highly efficient, nano- power buck converter for providing a second power rail to systems such as wireless sensor networks (WSN) which have stringent power and operational demands.”

 

 

Upcycle It Design Challenge

 

 

About The Challenge

 

Featured as the second design challenge of 2017, the Upcycle It design challenge tasks its participants to upcycle an obsolete item, computer, piece of electronic equipment or appliance and make a cool new electronics project built around the Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino.

 

 

The Official Kit, and The Prizes

 

Challengers will build their projects using an official assortment of parts from Arduino, Intel, and Element14. Each kit contains the following items:

 

 

The Upcycle it Design Challenge features 15 official challengers that received a Challenger Kit for FREE, but thereafter anyone can join the Challenge simply by posting in the Upcycle it space (tagging their blogs 'upcycle it') to be in with a chance to win prizes. Anyone completing a project by the June 4th deadline and posting at least 10 times on the Community detailing their project build will be in the running to win some awesome prizes, including a Keithley  DMM7510 Digital MultimeterKeithley  DMM7510 Digital Multimeter worth almost $4,000.

 

*The official Challengers must build their project in accordance with the challenge's terms and conditions. All projects must include the Intel® Edison.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, April 2 - April 8, we have had a total of twelve updates posted across ten projects. With so many projects this week I will be highlighting three that I found helpful, educational, or just interesting in general. Before we get to this week’s highlighted post,let's take a quick look at which projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

UpCycle It - R2I - #3 - The Kit

 

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My first featured update for the Upcycle it challenge features none other than John Kutzschebauch (jkutzsch) and his project, UpCycle R2I. This is one of those projects that has stolen my heart and attention as it is very similar to something I have been planning to build for some time now. The idea of recycling old refrigerators into egg incubators is for lack of a better word, brilliant. As a hobby farmer myself, the idea of reusing an old appliance to help expand my flock of chickens is very interesting to me, and I will definitely be keeping a close eye on this project. Click the link above to check out this project from the beginning.

 

 

Interactive Race Car Driver - Edison

 

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Design Challenge veteran Andy Clark (Workshopshed) claims the number two spot this week with his project, Interactive Race Car Driver. In the project’s fifth update, Andy walks us through the process of setting up the Intel Edison board, installing a few prerequisite programs, and running a quick test with MRAA. This post caught my eye due to the list of references that Andy has posted at the bottom of the update. This is something I feel that we all should do more often. Having a list of resources where we gathered our info from could prove invaluable to someone else reading our post, and wanting to further understand why we did specific things in the code, hardware, or design aesthetics. Hit up the link above for more.

 

 

Nixie Display #2 - Investigations

 

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Out final featured update this week comes from Gerrit Polder’s (gpolder) project, Upcycled Nixie Display. After showing us how he measured the power rating of the Nixie tubes used in the project, Gerrit briefly educates us on how the numbers in each tube are indexed, and what is needed to drive the tubes. Nixie tubes are something I have always wanted to work with in a project, so I will be paying close attention to this one for sure. Follow along as well by visiting the link above.

 

 

That is going to wrap up things for this week. Remember to check back next week for another Design Challenge Weekly Summary post. Until then head over to the official Safe & Sound Wearables Challenge Page, as well as the Upcycle It Challenge’s landing page fore more Design Challenge content! As always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!

The UpcycleIt Design Challenge Challengers was announced on Mar 23rd.

 

During my challenges, I always found it useful to have a calendar of sorts as a gentle reminder.

 

Announced23-Mar
Closes 04-Jun
IntroBlog 1Blog 2Blog 3Blog 4Blog 5Blog 6Blog 7Blog 8Blog 9

Blog 10

Summary
23-Mar30-Mar06-Apr13-Apr20-Apr27-Apr04-May11-May18-May25-May01-Jun04-Jun

 

By my calculation we're now at week 3 (give or take a day depending on what time zone you're in).

 

CharlesGantt does a weekly overview of the Design Challenges   Design Challenge Weekly Summary: Week Ending April 1, 2017.

Due to storms and power loss, he had some issues, but no doubt will be in a better place this week to highlight the progress of the competitors in Upcycle It

 

It's a great stage to showcase your efforts every week, and it may get the judges attention which can only help you!

 

 

Progress

There have been some great blogs presented so far.

Some of these come from seasoned challengers, but others have provided very useful and informative blogs on their design.

 

As a Judge I have to be impartial, and my taste in fast cars means any monetary bribe is ... well just too expensive.

So I'm not going to single out any particular blogs.

 

I've also learnt that it's not over until the fat lady sings ... but then I've never been to an Opera and have no desire to go.

So while some might be slow off the mark, they can easily catch up and pass fellow challengers.

 

The journey to the finish line means that the challengers need to heed the Terms and Conditions, so a reminder here is appropriate as I'd like to see everyone in the running for the awesome prizes.

 

The T&C's state:

Post to the Competition Site blogs on the progress of their Project (Blogs) not less frequently than once per week during the Competition Period.

One or two weekly omissions are permissible as long as the total number of Blogs is at least 10.

 

The competition period is stated as  ... Competition Period: Challengers’ Announcement to Project Submission Close

 

Since the challenge only runs 11 weeks plus three days, there isn't a lot of room to miss many dates.

Any you do miss, will mean extra work in one of those weeks to make sure you post 10X.

 

 

Nothing to write

In my guide Design Challenge Blogs I gave an example of how to meet the blogging requirements that form part of the T&C's.

 

The first blog is easy, you put in an application which was chosen, and therefore your Introduction is already formulated and just needs a few tweaks and maybe a picture or two.

Many of the challengers did that within a day or two and the response was great, with ideas flowing between challengers and onlookers.

 

While the challengers wait for that knock on the door or package in the mailbox, you should have fleshed out the parts you need to concentrate on.

There should be some sort of plan about how you're going to implement your idea (i.e. the actual construction and hardware). You don't have to use all the parts in the Kit, just the mandatory component specified, which should help!

 

Your second posts were due on 6 April.

Again some challengers have done exactly that and spelt out how they will implement their designs, or the work they have done on the item they are Upcycling.

 

Sadly 30% are missing that blog, and it's now the start of week three of a program that lasts a little under 11 weeks.

A few people have already finshed their Intro and two blogs about the progress of their project ... well done.

 

 

No progress to write about

When undertaking these challenges, we all face issues where the software doesn't do what we thought, the parts haven't arrived, or we got sick.

All of these are part of the progress on the project.

 

It may not be progress in the right direction, but it is progress.

     Photo source https://momentswithmarsha.com/2015/07/22/serious-moments-dealing-with-disappointment/

 

Your blog about how xyz didn't work, may be answered by another challenger, or someone following the challenge, so don't be afraid to share throughout.

 

Some challengers have already found that others have made some great suggestions to either improve their design, or modify it to achieve what they expect, and with less work.

IMO anything that achieves the same output with less effort is a win.

 

The message here is that the weekly blogs can be very useful to help you progress your design.

The other challengers are not going to change track and copy it, so don't be afraid to share.

 

 

JUDGING

The T&Cs ( Upcycle it Design Challenge: Terms and Conditions  ) state this.

The same page suggests adding the tag "Upcycle it" to the blog

 

Judging Criteria: All of the following which will have equal weighting:

 Originality;

 Innovation;

 Technical merit;

 Meeting the goals and intentions of the Challenge as set forth in these Terms;

 Completeness and clarity of Blogs and supporting media describing the evolution and completion of the Project

 

Your idea may have the first two covered.

Some people may consider they should win a prize simply because their idea is original or innovative and therefore the content they provide is of little consequence.

 

Sadly, someone else may have the last two covered and therefore is in equal standing to be considered for a prize.

 

If you want to increase your profile to the judges, then good blogs are not just important, they are essential.

Have a look at past challenges to see what the difference is, and see if you can add content to make your blog standout.

 

 

Blog Criteria

The T&C's have a good explanation about what is required.

 

The sponsor has provided the goods in exchange for something.

For these challenges they want to see it exposed to Engineers and others that are interested in technology.

It's also a great way for them to see other uses, and any difficulties that you may have experienced.

 

element14 community provides that through the website and their social media channels.

 

The other aspect to this :

If you work for someone and are in charge of a project, the management (or the customer) will be expecting progress reports or updates on how it's going.

It could be the original specification, budget or timeline was impossible (who hasn't had those before), and these reports show that while the work is progressing, it will never meet the expected result.

They may be able to provide more resources to bring it back on track, or they note the 12hr days you're doing to help it, and you will stand out above your peers when the next promotion comes along.

 

So you should be considering these challenges as a practice for the real world.

 

 

Break It Down

Projects, large or small, can seem overwhelming when you look at the whole thing.

Breaking it down into smaller chunks, means you can concentrate on one aspect and then move onto another.

 

You need to be careful that you have the overall picture in mind when you arrange your resources.

It is better to order parts used in week 4 today, so they are waiting when you get to that aspect of the build.

 

I was once told that you need to have a plan.

The plan can change, but without a plan, you can't change it.

 

Some people might challenge that by saying they never have a plan, but the the reality is they do.

They may not write it down, but they do have one somewhere inside their head.

 

In my career I've seen some extremely complex, and IMO not entirely useful project workflows.

They seem to be generated just for the project manager to have a complicated looking timeline.

To add to the uselessness, the individual timeframes bore no relationship to the actual times required, and the whole thing seemed to be a box ticking exercise for bonus or progress payments.

 

For my challenges I had a piece of A4 paper with 10 or 12 subjects, and dates they were due.

It lived in plain view next to the mousemat.

Under each of the subjects I had some notes or single words that related to that part of the plan.

I ended up swapping a couple of subjects due to parts hold-ups, and I recall shifting some words from one subject to another as it fitted better. It doesn't need to be complicated.

 

These challenges have a very short timeframe (approx. 11 weeks), which means delays have a much greater impact.

Using your blogging plan means that should you have a delay in one area, you could skip to the next.

You may run across information that might suit further down, or the slight change in direction has an impact later.

 

The important part here is that while you need to break down a project and concentrate on that aspect, you need to always consider the impact on the overall project.

 

 

DNF

A DNF is "Did Not Finish" and I've seen it used in motor racing.

In that world you either cross the finish line or you don't, and the rules limit what sort of assistance is allowed.

 

          Photo source      Flip Schulke Photography » After running out of gas on the final lap, Jack Brabham pushes his car across the finish line…

 

 

The Design Challenges don't have a finish line as such, and the only way to achieve a DNF is to fail to meet the T&C's.

Under the judging criteria it doesn't say "Must work as designed".

 

Your initial design may not meet it's desired objective, but you've identified the problems, sorted out some solutions, and done just about everything you can to make it a possibility.

This is not an excuse for promising "world peace" in your application, and then saying you couldn't achieve it because of xyz.

It is an accurate reflection of the progress of your project, which due to various reasons was not fully working at the competition close date. That's OK!

 

So my advice is don't give up because it was not going as expected, see it through for the sponsors and more importantly your integrity.

The lesson you learn will be invaluable later, and other members will definitely learn from your efforts!...that's what Community is all about .

 

 

Mark

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week seven of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge which puts us about half way through, and our challengers have been working hard with new updates to several projects. I apologize for the late posting, but bad weather here in SC has caused mass power outages, and unfortunately I have been suffering  through them. That is beside the point though as there have been a lot of good project updates over the last week, so let's just jump into it while I still have electricity!

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, March 26 - April 1, we have had a total of eight updates posted across four projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, Since only four projects were updated, I will select a two of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days. 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients #5 : Listening to Heart and Beat

 

Setup.jpeg

 

Last week brought us the fifth update of project T-Shirt for Monitoring Elderly and Physically Challenged Patients with Sakthivigneshwar R (sakthi.1260) showing off his success at creating a pulse sensor built from parts supplied in the official challenger kit. I wanted to feature this post because I found the results quite interesting, but I wanted to see the code that was used to achieve the end result. Unfortunately the code was not provided, nor was a schematic of how things were connected. I want to remind the challengers that sharing your project, and its various components such as source code and schematics is what makes these challenges so great.

 

 

Flood early-warning Alarm Pack #3: IDE Tools for Development

 

element1.JPG

 

My second and final featured post for this week is from project Flood early-warning Alarm Pack by Feng Yao (fyaocn). In its third update, Feng details why he chose Code Composer Studio 7.x and Energia1.6.10E18 as the development environments in which he will code the alarm pack. While much of the information provided was from sample code provided by TI, Feng says that the sample code provided by TI has helped him not only become more inspired, but has also helped him understand things better. This is the exact reason that I push so hard for our design challengers to release their source code. It not only helps inspire the project’s followers, but allows those at home to recreate the project themselves.

 

 

That is going to wrap up things for this week, and in the time it took me to write this, our electricity has went out three more times, but this time it is because crews are repairing damaged sections of our grid, not because of storms. Remember to check back next week for another Design Challenge Weekly Summary post. Until then head over to the official Safe & Sound Wearables Challenge Page, and as always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week five of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge. It looks like more of the missing kits are beginning to show up, so we should see more updates this coming week!

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, March 19 - March 25, we have had a total of ten updates posted across nine projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days. 

 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Smart Safety Glasses #4: Establishing a wireless link - Part 2

 

pastedImage_0.png

 

In project Smart Safety Glasses’ fourth update, Alex Kucherov (salexku) shows us how to configure the CC3100 WiFi booster packCC3100 WiFi booster pack as a client that will communicate with the server running on the ESP8266ESP8266. From setting up the hardware and installing the IDE each step is well detailed and includes code examples with explanations as well as the full sketch for those who want to follow along at home. Alex wraps the post up by showing us how to test if the sketch works, and communication with the ESP8266 is successful. 

 

 

Code Composer Studio Woes

 

2017-03-28 04_30_00-Safe and Sound Wearables- Code Composer Studio ... _ element14 _ Safe and Sound.png

 

Week six was not kind to Jon Morss (jomoenginer), and tossed a curve ball at project Hearing Guard System when Jon ran into a trifecta of speed bumps with Code Composer Studio. After recent updates, issues developed involving code importation using the TI Resource Explorer in version 7.0.0.x of the software. Another issue appeared when the .cfg file was left open in the CCS editor window, which caused the program to throw an error when the program is started again. Finally, another error appeared when Jon attempted to add CSS classes to his project. Unlike the other two issues he was able to solve this one by removing the  'iostream' and namespace entries in the file and adding a few likes of code to the header file.

 

 

Rider protection and vehicle safety gear for bikes #1 Introductory blog

 

2017-03-28 04_40_46-Safe & Sound -  Rider protection and vehicl... _ element14 _ Safe and Sound.png

 

In his first blog post ever, Priyanto Deb (priyantodeb) outlines his project and educates us on the growing problem of motorcycle and bicycle accidents in India. “I am from India, belonging to a developing country with such a high volume of bikes and scooters, we 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,” he said. To combat this problem, he will build a special lock system for the vehicles that will improve their safety and security, and will follow up with a second system that will protect the riders during their travels on the bikes and scooters.

 

 

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!

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week five of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge, and this week also marks the return of my project summary series. There have been a lot of good project updates over the last week, so let's just jump into it!


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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, March 12 - March 18, we have had a total of nine updates posted across eight projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Safety Jacket for the Tolling Industry #5: Writing your own protocol

 

2017-03-21 16_49_08-Safe & Sound - Safety Jacket for the Tollin... _ element14 _ Safe and Sound.png

 

As an engineer there will be times where you have to take matters into your own hands and write your own protocols to get the job done, and with more than a decade of experience Inderpreet Singh (ipv1) is doing just that in the fifth update to his project, Safety Jacket For The Tolling Industry. In this educational yet easy to read update, Inderpreet walks us through each step of the process he uses to create his own protocol stack. From the terminology, to the code, it’s all there. I’m positive that this post holds something inside for everyone from seasoned engineer to home hobbyist, so head over to the link above to check it out.

 

This post actually came at a good time for me as I am actually in the process of learning to write protocols myself, and this update really helped me wrap my head around things a bit more. That is what makes these design challenges so valuable to the community, and why I hold such a high regard for those who join the challenges and share their knowledge. Collaboration and the sharing of knowledge like this is the true driving force behind innovation, and is what makes the Element14 community so special!

 

 

Hearing Guard System #5: Audio Circuit - Part Deux

 

 

My next featured updated this week comes from Jon Morss (jomoenginer) and his project, Hearing Guard System’s fifth update. If you have been following this project, you will remember that Jon recently started work on the project’s audio circuitry. In part two we get our first glimpse of the code that will run on the MSP-EXP432P401RMSP-EXP432P401R to handle the audio task as well as controlling the 430BOOST-SHARP96430BOOST-SHARP96 LCD.

 

 

Telemetry System For Smart Clothes #2: The shirt

 

Wire.jpg

 

Alexander Molnar’s (amolnar) second update to his project, Telemetry System For Smart Clothes, earns the final spot in this week’s summary. It’s not a very large post, but I wanted to feature it because despite still not having received his sponsored kit, Alexander is continuing to push forward by working on the shirt that will hold all of his sensors. Over the course of the design challenge series we have seen many attempts to hide wiring inside of clothing, but I think that Alexander may have just set the new standard for the best way to embed wires inside of clothing. Using a unique weave pattern, he created little channels that will allow the wire to flex and move with the natural movement of the clothes when worn, a problem that has plagued wearables designers for years. Great job Alexander! Hit up the link above to check it out!

 

 

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!

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week four of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge, and things are starting to heat up. We have a lot to cover this week so let’s just jump straight into it.

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, March 5 - March 11, we have had a total of eleven updates posted across eight projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days. 

 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Smart Safety Glasses #2: Playing with capacitive sensing

 

pastedImage_0.png

 

We kick off this week’s summary with an update from Alex Kucherov’s (salexku) project, Smart Safety Glasses in which he experiments with capacitive sensing, and how it can be utilized to enable or disable a power tool. Alex built a parallel plate capacitor and then measured it’s capacitance in three different cases. This information allowed him to set up a quick test circuit using an Arduino and the CapSense library. Head over to the post at the link above for the full rundown.  

 

 

Safety Jacket for the Tolling Industry #3: TI RTOS and POSIX with the CC1310 Launchpad

 

 

Inderpreet Singh (ipv1) posted an excellent update this week and introduced us to TI RTOS and the CC1310 LaunchpadCC1310 Launchpad. Due to the CC1310’s super long RF range, and low power capabilities, he has chosen it to serve as the main modules in his project. Unfortunately programming the Arm Cortex processors on this launchpad is a little more tricky than programming a MSP430, so Inderpreet wrote and filmed an excellent tutorial on how to get started in this new and exciting realm of real time operating systems. Check it out in the video and link above!

 

 

Winter Survival Suit Post #3 (Kit unboxing)

 

DSC01040.JPG

 

Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of the challengers state that their sponsorship kits have not yet been received, but as of this week, it appears that is no longer the case. Dale Winhold (dwinhold) updated us this week with an unboxing post as did a few other challengers. This means that the kits are beginning to arrive, and that everyone can soon get to building out their projects!

 

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!

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Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14! It’s week three of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge, and several of the challenger’s projects are making great progress, while the others are still getting started.

 

In other design challenge news, we have officially closed the application process to enter into the Upcycle It Design Challenge, and the Element14 staff is working hard reading through each entry. So stay tuned to the Design Challenge landing page for future updates on that challenge!

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

The Past Week In Review

In the past week, February 26 - March 4, we have had a total of five updates posted across five projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days. 

 

 

 

This Week’s Top Updates

Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System - blog 4

 

2017-03-07 23_35_31-Safe and Sound - Invisible Hazardous Environmen... _ element14 _ Safe and Sound.png

 

In the fourth update of his project, Douglas Wong (dougw) walked us through a wealth of information on air quality, and how it can be monitored with readily available sensors. Doug starts out by listing several common items that off-gas harmful chemicals into the air such as formaldehyde, and finishes up with a very well laid out chart of MQ sensors and their sensing abilities.

 

 

Hearing Guard System #3: User and Technical Stories

 

2017-03-07 23_42_13-Safe and Sound Wearables- Hearing Guard System ... _ element14 _ Safe and Sound.png

 

If you have read my past Weekly Summary post you know that I have a lot of respect for challengers who are able to organize their project into neat little segments, and that is because organization makes it easier for the reader to understand, and follow along with the project as it progresses. In his project’s third update, Jon Morss (jomoenginer) tackles the task of breaking each part of the project down into user and technical stories. This is a method of project management that breaks each of the project’s task a description of what it should do and what criteria must be met for that portion of the project to be considered a success and finished. I am a big fan of this type of system as it leaves almost no wiggle room as to what can be considered finished, and what still needs work, and I am very excited to see how this project unfolds in 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!

DCWklyGnrcHdr.png

 

Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14!  We have officially wrapped up the first week of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge, things are already off to a great start. Before we jump into this week's updates, I want to remind everyone that we are currently accepting project applications for the Upcycle It Design Challenge with Intel Edison. The application process closes on March 3rd at 23:59 GMT, so you still have some time to get your proposal together! Now that we have those bases covered, let's jump right into this week’s updates!

 

Before we get into the meat of today’s post, I want to take a moment and clarify a decision I made to change the date range of which I base these post. My goal each week is to publish a new weekly summary post every Monday, and with the previous range of Monday through Sunday, I simply had too little time to read through every project update and still get my summary post out by Monday evening. It caused me to get very behind on weeks where we had an abundance of post, and that is why I now use Sunday through Saturday as the range for each weeks summary. This gives me an extra day to make sure I have read everything, and craft a well written post. I apologize for any confusion this created last week, and I should have clarified why I changed the date range in my post.

 

I also wanted to reiterate a few things for those who are new to my weekly summary series. These post have no bearing on the outcome of the challenge in terms of judging the eventual winners. I simply write these post to help community members and other readers quickly process which projects were updated over the past week, and to showcase a few projects that I felt had exceptional updates that week.

 

Now that we have those bases covered, let's jump right into this week’s updates!

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, February 19-25, we have had a total of twelve updates posted across nine projects. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days.

 

This Week’s Top Updates

 

Hearing Guard System #1: Introduction to Project

 

HEARINGGUARD-HLA-sm.jpg

 

Over the years, Jon Morss (jomoenginer has noticed that laboratory and data center employees often suffer from hearing loss from prolonged exposure to the equipment that is present in those types of environments. Citing a CDC report, more than 22 million Americans are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year, with more than 10 million who already suffer from hearing loss due to exposure to these types of noise. Unfortunately, those who already suffer from some form of hearing loss will not be able to identify noise levels that could continue to damage their hearing. In his project intro, Jon lays out his plans to create a wearable device that will help solve this issue by alerting its wearer whenever they enter into an environment that contains noise levels high enough to damage one’s hearing.

 

 

Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System - blog 3

 

UVcct1a.jpg

 

While working out how he plans on measuring the UVA and UVB radiation that is present on any particular day, Douglas (dougw) realized that the sensor he planned on using was not very sensitive to UV levels in sunlight, and that his project would require the signal coming from the UV sensor module to be amplified to provide a signal that can be measured properly. To do this, Douglas used a simple general purpose offset and gain adjustment circuit which utilizes a Texas Instruments TLV433 Quad op-ampTexas Instruments TLV433 Quad op-amp. This circuit will eventually become one of the five sensors that will reside on a custom booster pack for the Texas Instruments MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad.

 

 

Winter Survival Suit Post #1 (Introduction)

 

baselayer-thermal-underwear.jpg

 

Dale Winhold (dwinhold) jump started his project, Winter Survival Suit, this week with its introduction post. The project focuses around building a wearable suit that is able to monitor your body temperature in several locations, and then turn on a heating system that will warm just the part of your body that drops below a predetermined temperature. A MSP-EXP432P401RMSP-EXP432P401R will monitor the sensors and control the heat while a 430BOOST-SHARP96430BOOST-SHARP96 will display the information to the person wearing the suit.

 

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!

DCWklyGnrcHdr.png

 

Welcome to another installment in the Design Challenge Weekly Summary series here at Element14!  We have officially wrapped up the first week of the Safe and Sound Wearables Design Challenge, things are already off to a great start. Before we jump into this week's updates, I want to remind everyone that we are currently accepting project applications for the Upcycle It Design Challenge with Intel Edison. The application process closes on March 3rd at 23:59 GMT, so you still have some time to get your proposal together! Now that we have those bases covered, let's jump right into this week’s updates!

 

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:

 

Participation in this challenge is not limited to the sponsored challengers however. Anyone can enter, and all they have to do is Design with TI - integrating Texas Instruments’ latest microcontroller (MSP-EXP432P401R) MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPadMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad into a wearable that is Safe & Sound.

 

 

The Past Week In Review

 

In the past week, February 12-18, we have had a total of four updates posted across four projects as well as a few helpful post from Jan Cumps, one of the challenge’s judges. As with all of my weekly summary post, I will select a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them briefly below, but first let's take a quick look at what projects were updated in the past seven days. 

 

 


This Week’s Top Updates



Telemetry System For Smart Clothes #1: Introduction to Project


Box.jpg

 

The honor of being the first featured update of this challenge goes to Alexander Molnar’s (amolnar) project: Telemetry System For Smart Clothes. Alexander has chosen to build a telemetry system that is designed around a fireman’s bunker gear. This project features a myriad of various sensors that are able to monitor various metrics that could prove life saving for the firefighter wearing them. This project caught my eye because it relates to me on a personal level. I served in my local volunteer fire department as a trained interior structural firefighter for over a decade, and after leaving that position I have spent many hours thinking of ways that embedded electronics could make the job much easier. Needless to say, I will be keeping a close eye on this one!



Example Code for the Challenge Kit

 

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My second feature this week is not a project per-say, but is more of a series designed to help challengers get started with their projects by providing relevant tutorials related to the different components that Texas Instruments has supplied the challengers with.  Design challenge veteran and Safe & Sound Wearables judge, Jan Cumps (jancumps) has taken the time to prepare several post that offer sample code and tips for the various components provided in the challenger kit. Head over to this post to check it out.



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!

DCWklyGnrcHdr.png

 

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!

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Also read: Member of the Year Awards

 

The Design Challenge series here at Element14 is one of my favorite sections of the whole community, and I am unsure if that will ever change. I spend a good portion of my week browsing through many of the sections here, but I definitely spend the most time in the Design Challenge section. I have spent 2016 covering the challenges every week, and summarizing the progress from each challenger, and this means that I have read through every update that was posted to every challenge this year. To end off the year, I wanted to write a year end recap post that summarizes my favorite challenges, projects, and post from the year. Before we jump into the meat of this post, let's take a moment and look at some impressive statistics from the Design Challenge series as a whole for 2016.

 

In 2016 we officially held three design challenges, with all of them being held completely inside of the 2016 year. Overall there were 43 projects and challengers selected to participate in the challenges as a whole, and somewhere around 390 project updates were posted. Finally, about 36 projects either made it to completion, or at least posted regular updates, which is something to be proud of as these challenges demand a significant commitment of time to bring from concept to fruition. If those numbers were not impressive enough, lets take a moment to thank some of the sponsors who helped out with both prizes, and the hardware each challenger used in their builds: Beaglebone, Raspberry Pi, Wurth Electronics, Autodesk, CadSoft, NXP, Oculus, GoPro, DuraTool, and many more!

 

The Challenges:

 

Open Source Music Tech Design Challenge

 

We kicked off 2016 with the Open Source Music Tech Challenge, which bled over from 2015. The challenge featured the Beaglebone BlackBeaglebone Black as its main component, and tasked its challengers with developing a new, useful musical instrument, or other electronic system that somehow improved, or innovated within the DIY music community, and was designed to be completely open source. A few of the more impressive projects I have seen were part of this challenge, and after following each project for its duration, I honestly had no idea who would take the win home after the judging had completed.

 

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Sixteen challengers were selected to compete in this challenge, and over the next nineteen weeks, the challengers toiled away on their projects, posting a grand total of ninety-six blog post, thirty videos, and hundreds of informative photos, code samples, and tips. With almost one-hundred blog post, this challenge was a close competitor to our largest ever!

 

 

On the fifteenth of April, the challenge officially closed, and the judges set to work rating each project that was completed, and just a few weeks later, the winners were announced. In the end,  Liam Lacey’s (liamtmlacey) project, Vintage Toy Synthesizer claimed the top spot. Second place went to Luis Zayas Garin (luiszayas) and his project, Kazumi. Third Place was awarded to Carmelito Andrade’s (carmelito) DIY Drum Kit, (a personal favorite of mine).

 

If you would like to read through the entire challenge, head over to it’s content page for a full listing of all of the content its challengers created. If you would rather skim through the highlights, I have included a list below of all of the weekly summaries that I wrote about the Make Life Accessible Challenge. Additionally, I have included second list below, that showcases a few of the projects from the challenge that I wrote complete summaries on.

 

Design Challenge Summaries January 1, 2016 - April 11, 2016

 

Open Source Music Tech Project Summaries

 

 

Make Life Accessible Design Challenge

 

 

The Make Life Accessible Design Challenge, our second challenge of the year, was centered around the ever growing need of high-tech solutions  to help give people freedom from their physical limitations. Challengers were tasked with creating a prototype that utilizes a motor control system from NXP with the ultimate goal of bringing benefits to people who are disabled or considered vulnerable, enabling them to live well with their conditions as a result of the challenger’s solution. Thirteen projects were chosen to participate, with their creators receiving an official challenger kit that contains the sponsored hardware from NXP, specifically the FRDM-KV31 Freedom Development PlatformFRDM-KV31 Freedom Development Platform and FRDM-MC-LVPMSM Low-Voltage Motor Control KitFRDM-MC-LVPMSM Low-Voltage Motor Control Kit.

 

 

With more than ninety blogpost being written, the challenge lasted for about eleven weeks, running from the third week of April to the first week of July. I have said it many times in the past, but if you are looking for a source of inspiration, you need to look no farther than the Design Challenges here at Element14. This challenge was filled with inspiring innovation, and a good bit of repurposing existing things to make helpful solutions to real world problems. When it was all said and done, Douglas Wong (dougw) walked away with the grand prize with his project, Clear Walk. Second place was awarded to Scott Coppersmith’s (rsc) ElapShelf, while Ambrogio Galbusera (amgalbu) took the thrid place spot with his project, Eye Prints.

 

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If you would like to read through the entire challenge, head over to it’s content page for a full listing of all of the content its challengers created. If you would rather skim through the highlights, I have included a list below of all of the weekly summaries that I wrote about the Make Life Accessible Challenge. Additionally, I have included second list below, that showcases a few of the projects from the challenge that I wrote complete summaries on.

 

Design Challenge Summaries April 17, 2016 - July 3, 2016

 

 

Make Life Accessible Project Summaries

 

 

Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Design Challenge

 

Our third and final Design Challenge of 2016 was the Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Challenge, which tasked its challengers to create a smater living, working, or educational space using an assortment of hardware from the Raspberry Pi foundation, and EnOcean. Each challenger received a Raspberry Pi 3Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi B+Raspberry Pi B+, Pi Noir Camera 2Pi Noir Camera 2, Pi Camera 8MPPi Camera 8MP, 7-Inch Touchscreen7-Inch Touchscreen, an EnOcean PiEnOcean Pi, a EnOcean Sensor kitEnOcean Sensor kit, and more.

 

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With more than two-hundred blog post being written, this challenge was one of our largest ever. The challenge lasted for about fifteen weeks, running from the third week of May to the last week of August, giving the Smarter Spaces Challenge the title of our longest running Design Challenge of 2016 as well. I do have to say that this challenge was by far my favorite of the year. I am absolutely captivated with anything home automation, and this challenge definitely held me captive throughout its duration. I mentioned the innovation that was present in every project of the Make Life Accessible challenge, and if it set the standard, the Smarter Spaces challenge broke the mold, and redefined that standard. From smart key hooks that let the system know who was present in the home, to exercise challenges being built into one challenger’s home automation system, this design challenge had it all. If this challenge was any indication of the quality, and level of craftsmanship we can expect to see in future challenges, then 2017 is going to be a great year!

 

 

When it was all said and done, Frederick Vandenbosch (fvan) walked away with the grand prize with his project, Pi IoT Alarm Clock. Robin Eggenkamp’s (rhe123) Project Thuis took home second place, while Gerrit Polder’s (gpolder) took the thrid place spot with his project, Plant Health Smart Camera.

 

If you would like to read through the entire challenge, head over to it’s content page for a full listing of all of the content its challengers created. If you would rather skim through the highlights, I have included a list below of all of the weekly summaries that I wrote about the Make Life Accessible Challenge. Additionally, I have included second list below, that showcases a few of the projects from the challenge that I wrote complete summaries on.

 

 

Design Challenge Summaries June 12, 2016 - July 3, 2016

 

Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Project Summaries

 

 

My top 3 Favorite Design Challenge Projects Of 2016

 

2016 was a great year filled with awesome design challenges, and I am so grateful that Element14 chose me to cover them. I wish I had the time, to write a small feature about all of my favorite projects from this year, but unfortunately I only have time for three. These three projects are in no particular order, and as I mentioned, I loved almost all of the projects that were completed this year.

 

Smart Competition Home by Caterina Lazaro (clazarom)

 

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I really enjoyed this project, and it’s fresh approach to making a smart home even smarter. Innovation is very hard to come by in the smart home world, as everyone is chomping at the bit to become the most refined version of whatever aspect of the smart home they are working on. When I first read Caterina’s proposal I knew this project had massive potential and the concept of integrating a fitness competition into the daily lives of those residing in the home was one of the most innovative ideas in recent design challenge history. I can honestly say that I looked forward to each and every update that Caterina made to this project. Head over to its main blog page to read through the entire project.

 

 

EyePrints by Ambrogio Galbusera (amgalbu)

 

 

As I have mentioned in several other post, for some reason, every new Design Challenge will feature a project that incorporates a design element in it that seems to align perfectly with a topic I am studying at the time. EyePrints was one of those projects, specifically the eye tracking development. During this challenge, I was working on a concept for a project that would benefit from built in eye tracking. Ambrogio’s code examples, and thorough explanations of how each small piece of the puzzle worked was just the jump start I needed to begin to better understand how DIY eye tracking systems worked. I have yet to build my own, but you may see something from me in 2017. Head over to the project’s main blog page to read through the entire project.

 

 

Project: DIY Drum Kit by Carmelito Andrade (carmelito)

 

 

DIY Drum Kit was one of those projects that really brought out the maker in me. The code examples, schematics, and documentation was just so good, but what really solidified this as one of my top three favorite projects was the second version of the kit that Carmelito debuted near the end. The pocket version of the DIY Drum Kit was pretty cool, but Carmelito stepped it up another notch with a second design that utilized a hand-shaped, 3D printed form that houses coins that act as capacitive sensors. Called BB Drum Fingers, this version of the project is aimed at those who want to create some cool projects with their friends at maker spaces. This is a very cool version of the project, and I am working out something similar use with the YoungMakers class I teach, to help them learn more about digital music creation.

 

 

 

 

Design Challenge 2017 Teaser

 

 

 

The element14 Community is pleased to introduce the‘Safe Sound Design Challenge featuring the Texas Instruments  https://www.element14.com/community/view-product.jspa?fsku=2473128&nsku=41Y9541&COM=noscriptMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad. Members are invited to use this https://www.element14.com/community/view-product.jspa?fsku=2473128&nsku=41Y9541&COM=noscriptMSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad to create a wearable that could protect you from risk, monitor your health or protect your personal property.

This LaunchPad enables you to develop high performance applications that benefit from low power operation. It features the MSP432P401R – which includes a 48MHz ARM Cortex M4F, 95uA/MHz active power and 850nA RTC operation, 14-bit 1MSPS differential SAR ADC and AES256 accelerator.

 

Enroll today to take part in the Safe & Sound Design Challenge; entries open until 23:59 GMT on January 27th 2017.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

If the 2017 Design Challenge Series is anything like 2016 was, we are in store for an awesome year! A lot of you have messaged me about when the next design challenge will start, and will I be back to cover the series every week. The first question was answered above, and the answer to the second question is, yes. I will be back covering the Design Challenges on a weekly basis with my usual weekly update post, as well as summarizing many of the projects as they progress. I will also be around in other areas of the site, building projects, and writing articles about interesting happenings in the electrical engineering and maker communities. With that said, I am going to wrap this one up. I hope you enjoyed the 2016 Design Challenge series as much as I did. For now, that is it for me, but I will see you in 2017 and remember to Hack The World, and Make Awesome!

Welcome to a new series I am calling The Design Challenge Project Summaries: My Favorites. Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing some of my favorite projects from Design Challenges of the past. The article format will be slightly different than my traditional project summary post, and will not follow a strict chronological recap of the projects I feature here. Instead, I will highlight several of the best post from that project, and will offer my commentary on why I felt that the article’s featured project was so good. Some of these projects may be challenge winners, while some might not have even completely finished. I simply want to highlight some of the past work by our amazing community members, and hope that this series will help spark innovation in someone’s future project.

 

I love the more lighthearted design challenges here at Element14 such as the Hats Off, and Enchanted Object’s Challenges, but it’s the more serious ones that intrigue me the most. As a professional maker, and content creator, the projects I often design and build are the more light-hearted type, and I think that is why I am so captivated by these more serious challenges. The subject of this week's summary is Project: Pollen & Allergen Sensing by Dragan Knežević (tomaja)from the In the Air Design Challenge, which is a perfect example of the more serious design challenges. This challenge tasked its competitors to build an IoT connected device, that was able to sense different metrics the air around us. was sponsored by some of the biggest names in electrical engineering, which was impressive, but not as impressive as some of the project’s its challengers designed.

 

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In his intro post, Dragan said that he will be focusing on creating a device that is capable of detecting specific allergens that might be floating around in the air. Naturally, he chose to focus on Pollen as the main allergen to detect. He said that he would build the prototype using development boards, and then build a compact, battery powered version that is easily connected to a typical home network.

 

“ My plan for this challenge is to come up with a simple enough solution for allergen detection. I suffer from allergies caused by a couple of different allergens, pollen is one of them - so my choice for this challenge was natural. Sensing pollen will probably be the most difficult part of this project, since I have no experience with such sensors but I expect to learn a lot...”

 

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In the project’s first update, Dragan  clues readers in on his options for a pollen detector, and the pros and cons of each. He says that if he were to go with a DIY pollen sensor, he would have to focus more on the hardware, which would mean less time for software development. The other option is to go with a commercial unit, and focus more on software development. Unfortunately, Dragan was sort of forced to go the DIY route, after his search for a commercial pollen detector only produced one unit that was designed for pollen found only in Japan. The  real problem with going the DIY route is the complexity of building such a precise assembly that particle sensors require.

 

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Update number two focused on prepping some software packages for the Beaglebone BlackBeaglebone Black, and  a few remote clients. After deciding to use the QT framework as the foundation of the project, Dragan mentions that he will also utilize Paho MQTT, and the AnalogWidgets libraries for communications and the user interface. “BeagleBone Black will serve as a central house unit that’s responsible for communication with AirVantage cloud service and on the other side for communication with CC3200 LaunchPadCC3200 LaunchPad. It will also serve as a system dashboard – I ordered a 4.3” resistive touch screen for BeagleBone Black to be used for that role,” he said.

 

Update three started off with some bad news from Dragan about some issues he was having with Airvantage MQTT and sensors publishing data. Thankfully after some help from community members, he was able to get everything sorted out and working. " At first, I was trying to subscribe to a topic on AirVantage MQTT and receive messages whenever BBB publishes new sensor values. I tried with a couple of different test clients and a couple of topics but no success. I tried using MQTT wildcards (# and +) but still - nothing arrived from AirVantage. I read some AirVantage docs and find out that I could use REST API to read published data but I was under impression that I should only use MQTT (for some strange reason ). After a few hours of failed attempts I posted a question (Subscription to AirVantage MQTT topic) and soon I got a couple of replies. Some of them were from dlahay who was kind enough to answer all my questions and soon I got my app working," he said.

 

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Updates four and five focused on designing a custom PCB in Eagle that will serve as the power supply for the project. The board has three requirements including: Solar Cell powered battery charging circuit, and both a 3.3v and 5v power rails, which will be regulated by a TPS61291TPS61291, and TPS61200TPS61200 respectively. Dragan shipped the board design off to WE Direkt for fabrication and shared the design files at the end of the post.

 

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In update number six, Dragan finally received his challenge kit, and the TI HDC1000EVM - Temperature and Humidity sensor evaluation boardTI HDC1000EVM - Temperature and Humidity sensor evaluation board he had been waiting on, and this allowed him to move forward with software development. Unfortunately some documentation on the serial communication between the on board I2C temperature sensor and the USB interface was missing so he ended up using a Bus Pirate to decode the communication packets himself. This post is a decent resource if you are interested in decoding serial communications with a logic sniffer, and it helped me better understand the process myself.

 

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A special package arrived in update number seven that included the Power PCB that Dragan designed a few post back. There were some silkscreen mistakes, but the board turned out great for someone’s second attempt at custom PCB design. Along with supplying the PCB manufacturing, Wurth Electronics also supplied a capacitor sampler kit for Dragan to use when he populates the PCB.

 

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After a brief break from the project while Dragan moved to a new home, he published the project’s eighth update, and showcased the QT framework based mobile app that will display the sensor data to its users. The app looks good, but those with a keen eye will notice that it is missing data for pollen count. Unfortunately, that is because there was no time to develop the pollen sensor after the move to a new home. This is one of the main reasons that I wanted to add this project to my list of favorites. I wanted to showcase the fact that sometimes we are unable to complete the projects we envisioned. We often jump into a project with very high ambitions, only to later learn how time consuming certain aspects of a project can be, or how difficult some ideas are to bring to life. Even though Dragan was unable to finish this project, he still gained a lot of knowledge that he was able to share with all of us. I definitely took more than one thing away from this project, and I am sure that most who read it learned a thing or two themselves. If you are interested in where the project stood at the end of the challenge, Dragan posted a final update that detailed where each component of the project was in terms of completion. 

 

That is going to conclude this summary. If you want to reread this project from its beginning, head over to the final update I listed above for a listing of each blog post. I want to know what some of your favorite projects here at Element14 were. Leave a comment below with a link to some of your favorite Design Challenge Projects, or any project from the past that was posted here at Element14, and you might see one of them in an upcoming summary post! Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I will see you next week with a new Design Challenge Project Summary, until then, remember to hack the world and make awesome!

Welcome to a new series I am calling The Design Challenge Project Summaries: My Favorites. Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing some of my favorite projects from Design Challenges of the past. The article format will be slightly different than my traditional project summary post, and will not follow a strict chronological recap of the projects I feature here. Instead, I will highlight several of the best post from that project, and will offer my commentary on why I felt that the article’s featured project was so good. Some of these projects may be challenge winners, while some might not have even completely finished. I simply want to highlight some of the past work by our amazing community members, and hope that this series will help spark innovation in someone’s future project.

 

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The subject of this week's summary is Project: Coachman's Navigational Top Hat by David Crittenden  (synaesdav) from the Hats Off Design Challenge. This is the second time I have featured a project from this challenge, and I may feature a third in the future. I have a weird affinity for wearable projects, and I am not sure why. This project was one of the first completed by a community member who was not an official challenger, and it actually won an honorable mention at the challenges end. David planned to build a top hat that could double as a compass, and still look dapper. It quickly became a favorite of mine when he mentioned in the project's intro that he would be building the top hat from scratch before adding its electronics.

 

I was not chosen to be one of the finalists, but I have decided to participate anyway. The hat that I want to build is essentially a top hat that functions like a compass and has a fancy cockade on the side with a Neopixel ring and some fiber optic sprays bundled onto the thru hole type of Neopixel. To do this I plan to use the Flora accelerometer magnetometer breakout board with the Gemma.

 

 

In the project’s second update David  started the build process by showcasing the different wooden forms that are used to progressively shape a sheet of felt into a top hat. He went on to explain that the top hat is not made completely out of felt, but also utilizes a thin sheet of HDPE and a product called “AltraForm” to help different elements of the hat hold their shape. The post concluded with David posting a short demo video of some of the electronics that will be used on the exterior of the hat.

 

 

Update three was quite impressive, with David showing off his Millinery skills with a video detailing the process of adding the brim-ring to the first piece of felt. He says that this ring is what determines the hat’s size, and its diameter is equal to the hat’s owner’s head circumference plus ⅝-inch. The extra space accounts for the felt’s thickness, as well as the sweat band that will be placed inside later.

 

 

Work continued on the top hat’s construction in update four with David working on the structure of the hat’s side band. Instead of wooden forms like we saw in the example photos that were shared in update two, David uses several different forms that he hand carved from blue taxidermist foam using hand saws, rasps, and sandpaper. The foam form is then covered in aluminum foil, and then wrapped in the AltraForm material, which is then heat set to shape in a bath of extremely hot water.

 

 

David’s next two updates continued down the path of hat completion, with update five focusing on the design aspect of the hat’s “flair.” He decided that the magnetometer would have to be placed in the hat’s top so that it would remain parallel with the ground during use, while the Adafruit Gemma Adafruit Gemma will be featured externally at the center of an organza ribbon. Update number six centered around getting the fiber-optic feather designed and tested.

 

 

The Coachman’s top hat really began taking shape in the project’s seventh update, and to say it’s quite impressive is an understatement. After working to dry fit the electronics and feather into place, David began wrapping the hat in felt, and sewing in the pocket that will hold the battery that powers everything. Moving on to update eight, we saw the hat’s brim get some snazzy ribbed faille fabric added to its underside, so make sure you head over the full post to watch the demo video.

 

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Update nine was where all of the magic began to happen. David switched over from hat construction, to getting the code written that would control the hat’s light show. He mentions that while he is a competent hat maker, his coding skills are much less polished, and that he is approaching the coding process for this project in several different steps akin to how a patchwork quilt is made. Using a mock-up, David was able to determine the magnetometer’s min and max values for the X, Y, and Z axis, and wrote some code that allowed him to map the data to a specific NeoPixelNeoPixel on the hat’s exterior. This post is full of source code, and would be very helpful for someone who is trying to understand how to work your way through the coding process one step at a time.

 

 

Work resumed on the top hat in update ten with David teaching us how to properly swirl the fibers on a textured synthetic velvet piece of fabric. This swirl is designed to accent the top of the hat, and provides a cool visual effect when viewed at different angles. This post also included an update to the code that we saw in the previous update. With the code working, David began sewing the NeoPixelNeoPixel into place in update eleven.

 

 

Update number twelve was a major milestone for the project, and saw David finish up the hats brim as well as him selecting a translucent white opal jewel to cover each of the NeoPixels with. With the jewels sorted out, david placed the hat onto a hat stretcher and sized it to perfectly fit his head, before using heat to set the hat to its permanent size. I have actually seen this process in person at a western hat store before, and it’s quite interesting at how the felt really locks into place once it has cooled down.

 

 

With the top hat set to its final size, David was eager to finish up the rest of the hat. In update thirteen he added in the elements that truly transform an already impressive project, to being a work of art. After sewing the organza ribbon into shape, and attaching the Adafruit GemmaAdafruit Gemma to its center, he added the fiber-optic feather to the hats side-band. If that was not enough, David topped off the hat’s flair with a wide hat band made out of reflective ribbon in a custom weaved pattern to finish off this second to last update.

 

 

The top hat was finalized in update number fourteen, with David permanently sewing the crown to the brim, and then powering everything up. Unfortunately the through-hole NeoPixelsthrough-hole NeoPixels that David used on the fiber-optics did not turn on when the power was connected. He suspects that it may be a power issue, but was not totally sure. He said that he was out of time, and that he would have to fix this issue after the challenge wraps up. Nonetheless, the project turned out amazing, and for his hard work, David was awarded an honorable mention from the challenge’s judges. I must say that I was beyond impressed with this project, and I hope to see David return to a future design challenge.


That is going to conclude this summary. If you want to reread this project from its beginning, head over to David’s own project summary for a listing of each blog post, and a short recap video. I want to know what some of your favorite projects here at Element14 were. Leave a comment below with a link to some of your favorite Design Challenge Projects, or any project from the past that was posted here at Element14, and you might see one of them in an upcoming summary post! Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I will see you next week with a new Design Challenge Project Summary, until then, remember to hack the world and make awesome!