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Tag: instructables

Humana Health by Design Challenge – HALO Project Results

by on Feb.09, 2011, under technoPHILE

The results were published, and I am honored to have won the Assistive Tech Grand Prize.  I would like to thank everyone for voting at www.instructables.com.  I would like to say a big thank you to Humana for hosting the competition, and congratulations to everyone else who entered.  There were some spectacular entries, especially in the area of Autism.  Right in line with my interests, both high and low tech demonstrated innovative thinking.

Excerpt from Post:

“The Grand Prize for Assistive Technology went to Steve Struebing from Annandale, Va., for his Haptic Assisted Locating of Obstacles, or Project HALO. Struebing used simple sensors and vibrating motors to help people with reduced vision identify and avoid obstacles, and navigate the world more safely.”

“Humana is thrilled with the responses of so many individuals who offered well-being innovations on Instructables.com,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief innovation and marketing officer for Humana. “The many entries we received were excellent examples of how individual ingenuity can enhance health and well-being for people facing challenges.”

Thank you to the judges of the competition, who are as follows:

  • Saul Griffith, PhD – 2007 MacArthur Award recipient, winner of multiple inventor awards
  • Matt Herper – senior editor at Forbes magazine, covering medicine and science
  • Joan Kellydirector of well-being and innovation, Humana
  • Quinn Norton – freelance journalist covering science, technology and medicine
  • Aaron Rulseh, MD – editor at Medgadget.com
  • Kelly Traver, MD – founder, Healthiest You; author; former medical director, Google
  • Tyghe Trimble – online editor, Popular Mechanics
  • Eric Wilhelm, PhD – winner of multiple inventor awards, founder/CEO of Instructables

BusinessWire Humana Post

Instructables.com Contest Page

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HALO – Haptic Feedback System for Blind/Visually Impaired

by on Dec.12, 2010, under technoPHILE

Mols takes the Halo for a spin.

Complete Build Instructions:

Please visit www.instructables.com for the complete build instructions and story.

Highlights/Features

– Approximate 4 feet of range

– Variable haptic sensation (frequency and intensity of vibrations increase as range decreases)

– Just over 180 degree field of view from 5 Parallax Ping))) Ultrasonic Rangefinders

Background

I have recently been introduced to some new and interesting people with passions for ideas and a belief that our power to be creative with technologies can really make a difference in the world.  I used this as a springboard to create the H.A.L.O. This stands for Haptic (meaning touch) Assisted Location of Obstacles.  I had watched an episode of “Superhumans” which featured a blind man who used a series of clicks, like a bat, to echo locate his surroundings. I got to thinking about other blind people and their ability to navigate freely – perhaps without the use of a guide dog or cane.

The solution uses a series of rangefinders that take input from sensors and output feedback to pulse vibration motors placed on a person’s head. As a person gets closer to an object the intensity and frequency of the vibration increases – it’s directly proportional to the distance of an object. If a region was lacking feedback, then it is safe to proceed in that direction.

Perhaps this can be useful for the visually impaired to have the freedom to possibly move about hands-free without the assistance of a cane or seeing eye dog, or serve as a complementary enhancement to those solutions. Technology has undoubtedly made our daily lives better. By using a few inexpensive components and sensors, I’ve made a device that will allow the blind to navigate their surroundings and avoid collisions.

Great posts and comments over at:

http://hackaday.com/2010/12/17/haptic-feedback-for-the-blind/#comments

http://walyou.com/haptic-assistance-for-the-blind/

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/12/project_halo_helps_you_navigate_wit.html

Photos

HALO and Haptic Headband, with the control package displayed

Wearing the HALO without the Haptic Headband

Wearing the Haptic Headband without the HALO

Arduino Mega 2560, breadboard, LED field, power section, and wiring

The lab in full swing. HALO, microcontroller, and a rats nest of wires.

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Motion Feedback MP3 Trigger

by on Apr.07, 2010, under technoPHILE

I posted over at Instructables a project that uses the Parallax PIR Motion Sensor (yes, it IS that same I used in the Halloween Hack, ye of the clan Observant) to encourage me to be working out. If I am, then I am rewarded with some tunes to keep moving along. However, if I am lazy and take a breather…well….. “No Snoop For You!”

The Parts List:

  • SparkFun MP3 Trigger
  • IO-204 Control Module
  • Parallax PIR Motion Sensor
  • PC Speakers
  • Coffee Tin
  • Drill
  • 6xMachine Screws, and 12xNuts

  • Key objectives here:

  • Try out the SparkFun MP3 Trigger
  • Finally get a project into an enclosure that I think will be good for other people’s projects (this could be the next Altoids contender?)
  • Delve into “Onboard Rules” functions of the IO-204 while offline
  • Assembled parts used in Motion Feedback MP3 project

    Assembled parts used in Motion Feedback MP3 project

    If you want more details, head over to the Instructables post.

    Here is the project enclosure. Admit it, you love you some Maker’s Notebook, too, don’t you? The MP3 Trigger sits snug as a bug in a rug with the machine screws and nuts anchoring it in place. 2 additional ones hold the PIR Motion Sensor to the front of the tin. Getting the larger hole in the front and back was tricky because I did not have a great pair of snips around. I’ll know for next time! I did manage to wear through several Dremmel bit tips in my stubbornness of using the wrong tool for the job.

    New project enclosure idea

    New project enclosure idea

    Here she be all wired up. Note, she AIN’T wired to the LAN, so this is using the “Onboard Rules” feature. If I did want to datalog the session, I would have to plug in to my router (which in this case really is not more than 10 feet away).

    Top View of MP3 Motion Feedback MP3 Player

    Top View of MP3 Motion Feedback MP3 Player

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    This Just In: The World Loves Beer

    by on Mar.19, 2009, under technoPHILE

    Serv O’Beer has found some interest online through being covered at Instructables, Engadget, Gizmodo, Make, and others.  Of particular interest is its inclusion in the How 2.0 section of Popular Science April 2009 edition, and PopSci Online.  Yeah, the 100,000 YouTube views are eyebrow-raising as well.   We really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions, and those who laughed along with us at the “usefulness” of a machine that can pour us a REAL beer using an iPhone.    

    Serv O'Beer in Popular Science

    Serv O'Beer in Popular Science

    You can see that the v 2.0 Serv O’Beer has been plated for ridigity, and some additional braces added to provide for a more smooth pour.  Also a high torque servo has been added to allow it to serve as a brake, rather than just a pushing arm, and then a brake (hence the high volume of head in the beer).  

    Again, thanks to everyone who has laughed, sat confused, rolled your eyes, or said “Dude, that is sweet.  You need a better outlet for your spare time”.  Mostly, the latter.  Just a closing note: The servo and the ioBridge do the work, I just get to use my Construx for something again, and drink 3-4 beers trying to calibrate this sucker.  Sounds like a win-win to me.  

    Check out the article in the April Issue of Popular Science.

    PopSci April 2009 Issue

    PopSci April 2009 Issue

    Thanks again, everyone.   I’ll pour one for you!

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    Serv O’Beer

    by on Dec.31, 2008, under technoPHILE

    With New Years fast approaching, I wanted to make a project that allows for the perfect pour and take out all of that physical work. Using Construx as the mechanical platform, a servo driving the action, and ioBridge controlling the system, I was to achieve “the perfect pour” controlled with the turning of my iPhone (using the accelerometer feedback determing the screen orientation). We’ve all seen the iBeer application on the iPhone, and now I can actually enjoy the IPA rather than just virtually pouring!

    UPDATE:

    The information about this project can be found at Instructables.com including steps to make it. Also, you will see the project was picked up at Gizmodo, Engadget, ioBridge Projects, and the fine folks over at MAKE.

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