It is not uncommon for individuals to forget to set an alarm for napping, or it may be inconvenient to do so as the individual is very exhausted and tired.
As per a study done by the American Sleep Association,
🔶 170.7 million or 51.8% of Americans nap at work
🔶 37.9% unintentionally fall asleep during the day
Furthermore, busy students and working adults are prone to unintentionally falling asleep for hours, causing:
🔸 Unaffordable shifts in their tight schedules
🔸 Absences to important events such as meetings and appointments
🔸 A waste of time which could be incorporated into other mandatory activities such as learning new required skills or working on projects
These are just a handful of inconveniences and problems caused by accidental naps and oversleeping.
We were inspired by issues we have run into firsthand in our daily lives. As university students, we have hectic schedules which include balancing classes, study time, degree-related interests outside of our program (such as QHacks), personal time, family time, and more. We all have accidentally overslept when recharging our energy during a nap at a certain point.
Although it is possible to use our smartphones or ask an electronic assistant to set an alarm, these simple actions become very inconvenient when we are in great need of a nap.
Significant obstacles when tired:
1️⃣ The brightness of the smartphone screen is a nuisance when setting an alarm
2️⃣ Raising and repeating our voices to be recognizable by our electronic assistants is inconvenient.
3️⃣ Forgetting to set an alarm
Therefore, we created the ALNA that automatically sets a timer by sensing that we have fallen asleep in our beds. ALNA allows the user to have scheduled naps without manually or verbally setting a timer.
The octagonal shell design of ALNA was inspired by hexagonal faces found on the HC-SR501 PIR Sensor.
What It Does
When the user lays on their bed, ALNA senses their movement. Once the person has been detected in bed for a minute, ALNA automatically starts a nap timer based on a pre-set user input. After the timer reaches zero, the alarm buzzer sounds.
An add on would also play music through your speakers, but this function currently does not work.
How We Built It
The ALNA device was built around an Arduino Nano board. The programming was done in Arduino IDE and the shell design was created in Solidworks and then 3d-printed.
Challenges We Ran Into
Most of us were beginners to Arduino, so we were learning while developing the ALNA. Despite previous coding experience in other languages, it was still challenging to understand all the new libraries, methods, and functions in such a short amount of time.
To combat this challenge, we made sure to ask questions and help each other during roadblocks. We constantly collaborated by discussing ideas on solving specific issues in the code or by sharing different solutions and choosing the most efficient one.
Furthermore, the Arduino with MP3 Module which we programmed did not work as intended and we could not fix it in the short time of the hackathon.
Another challenge was with teammate selection. One of our original teammates did not show up when the hackathon started, so we needed a replacement, who thankfully turned out to be hard working. Another teammate dropped out after the first couple of hours, leaving us with 3 out of the 4 maximum team members.
Accomplishments That We're Proud Of
✅ Successfully making a physical prototype
✅ Clickable buttons on the physical prototype
✅ Code functions for a minimum viable product
✅ Device costs 5-10 CAD to make in the prototyping phase using parts ordered from Aliexpress.
What We learned
Henry: I learned how to lead a team while building a project. I own a 3D printer and the Arduino kits that we used for ALNA, so I kept my teammates updated with the physical prototype progress and learned how to convey my knowledge and experience in Arduino. I also learned how to use a couple of new modules, such as the PIR and HW-069 display.
Roles: Project Lead, Solidworks CAD, Programming, Wiring & Soldering, Logo Design & Branding, Product Design, 3d-Printing, Video, Writeup, and Presentation
Vid: Although I had a bit of prior knowledge regarding Arduinos, it was insignificant. Despite that, I quickly grasped how to program various tasks for the ALNA. My programming background mainly involves C++/C and Java, and although .ino files are technically C++, the number of new libraries to work with was incredible. I also learned how to interact with and send byte by byte commands to an MP3 module. Furthermore, I also learned how to program several Arduino elements such as a clock function, button interactions, and calculated timing. Finally, I also learned how to apply my graphic design and presentation skills successfully.
Roles: Programming, Writeup, Presentation.
Hanana: I learned a lot while working with my team members since this was the first time I worked with Arduino. I learned many methods, functions, and libraries used in Arduino and learned how to use them to make an Arduino Clock that displays the time, such as millis(). My knowledge in C++ and VHDL was helpful as I have worked with seven segment displays using VHDL. I transferred this knowledge to the clock function with guidance from my team members. Furthermore, in the past, when I worked with VHDL, I did not take console delays into account as I worked virtually on Quartus II. Since we were using Arduino, I got exposure to the uncertainties present in physical projects and learned how to account for this in the code. Due to my virtual Quartus II experience with VHDL, I had never experienced seeing the seven-segment display light up. Seeing it work for ALNA was terrific because I used to analyze the universal waveforms on Quartus II to see if the segment was on or off.
Roles: Programming, Writeup, Presentation.
What Is Next For ALNA
◼️ Integrating another Arduino to send a signal to it so any song chosen by the user will be uploaded to that SD card.
◼️ Explore the possibilities of integrating a wifi module. We attempted this, but the Alexa app could not discover our ALNA prototype. In the short amount of time of the hackathon, we could not fix this issue. But for the future, ALNA's compatibility with other devices would be a very convenient feature.
◼️ The shell design is a temporary prototype without mounting points for the Arduino. All other components are mounted. Elements of the shell design were also designed for quick a 3d printed prototype, so changes in design will have to be made to be in line with industry standards for manufacturing. Gaps and fitting needs improvement.
◼️ Check for overflow issues after 50 days
◼️ Other forms of implementing the ALNA alarm.