Welcome to week 22 of the Design Challenge series here at Element14! This week is all about the Make Life Accessible Design Challenge which is in its fifth week of competition. There is a lot of progress being made across several projects, and it’s still anyone’s guess on who may emerge as an early frontrunner. If you have not had the chance to check out the challengers and their projects,  head over to the official landing page for a listing of each!


Make Life Accessible




Before I get into this week's updates, let's take a moment and talk about the this new challenge, and what it's all about. The Make Life Accessible Design Challenge is the first official design challenge of 2016, and challenges its contestants, and anyone else who wishes to participate to showcase your skills to give people freedom from physical limitations. The challenge is based around contestants creating a motor control inspired solutions that will bring benefits to people who are disabled or considered vulnerable, enabling them to live well with their conditions as a result of your solution; remaining independent, confident, active, safe and socially involved.


Thirteen projects were chosen to participate, with their creators receiving an official challenger kit that contains the sponsored hardware that must be used to create their projects. The challenge is not limited to these thirteen people though, and anyone can enter their project into the challenge, but you will need to use NXP's FRDM-KV31 Freedom Development PlatformNXP's FRDM-KV31 Freedom Development Platform and FRDM-MC-LVPMSM Low-Voltage Motor Control KitFRDM-MC-LVPMSM Low-Voltage Motor Control Kit in your design. More information can be found in the challenge’s terms and conditions which can be found here.



The challengers are competing to win an awesome assortment of prizes, including the winning project being featured on The Ben Heck Show. Other prizes include an Oculus Rift, GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition, Go Pro Hero Session, and a pretty nice pair of earbuds being given to all who complete the challenge. More information on the prizes can be found here.


This week's progress.


If you are unfamiliar with how these summaries work, all projects that received an update post between Monday to Sunday of the previous week are listed below. Each listing contains a link to the project’s creator, as well as a link the the project’s blog. I try to get these summaries posted on Monday of each week, but sometimes I get stuck posting on Tuesdays if life gets in the way.


Recently I have received messages asking about featuring a specific blog post here in the summary, or asking why I have not featured specific post here. The reality of this is that I simply feature the two to three of the best project updates from the past week. I am not biased in the blogs I chose, and solely chose them based on the quality of the post. If you have a well laid out project, include lots of source code, images, video, and links, then you have a very high chance of being featured here. I do consider all project updates, regardless, and in the end, it is all based on what I feel was the best few post from the past week.


This week, Element14 announced that the deadline for project completion has been extended to July 4, 2016! The extension was necessary to allow challengers to received their official challenger kit late, to have a fair amount of time to work on their projects.


In the past seven days (May 16 - May 22) we have seen a total of three updates post made to a total of two projects, with one of those projects being new! Below is a listing of those projects with a link to their main blog page.



This Week’s Top Updates



With just two projects updated in the past seven days, I have chosen to feature just one update this week.


GPS Voice Controlled Guiding Stick for Blind people #1: Introduction




Project GPS Voice Controlled Guiding Stick - by Mocanu Andreea Catalina (abug) saw its first project update this week in the form of a  project introduction post. While the post lacked any technical details about the forthcoming project, I did learn a great deal about the history of navigation canes for the blind. One fun fact is that most canes used by the blind are white because it makes the cane more visible when when crossing a blacktop street. Judging from the title, I am assuming that this project will aim to create a GPS enabled navigation cane for the blind that receives audible prompts, and then uses voice navigation to guide the blind person to their destination. Head over to the link above to read Mocanu’s historical summary of how these canes came to be.


A Quick Note To The Challengers:


I want to commend everyone on their hard work, and awesome progress. I would like to ask that all challengers begin putting their project name in the title of their blog post. It helps me, as well as the readers at home quickly identify the project, and helps to keep things organized. Below is an example of what I consider to be a good title.


Project: “Project Name Here” - “Post # Here” - “Post Title Here”



That is going to wrap things up for this installment of the Design Challenge Weekly Summary here at Element14. The submission process has closed for the PIoT Design Challenge that is sponsored by Duratool, and The Raspberry Pi foundation. Head over to its official landing page for more information on this exciting upcoming challenge. As always, I will be back next week with another installment, until then remember to Hack The World, and Make Awesome!