37 children each year, on average, die from heat stroke after becoming locked in vehicles, either accidentally or intentionally, causing almost 700 child deaths since 1998. The number of children and pets each year that become seriously ill, in some cases succumbing to such long term illnesses as blindness, after contracting hyperthermia in this situation is exponentially higher.This is because the interior of a car left in 80-degree heat with the windows rolled up can reach 120 degrees in less than an hour, causing for small kids to succumb to heatstroke when the body's internal temperature reaches just 104 degrees. As pet owners and older siblings, our team felt it was our obligation to help make a hack that would help save our loved one's lives.

What it does

This hack uses an arduino to read sensor outputs from both a force and thermal sensor. The driver turns on the thermal sensor through a push button addition to the driver's right arm rest. This would be ideal for pet or child caregivers who are walking away from their vehicles temporarily, and are unable to bring their dependent due to logistical complications. It would allow for them to get phone notifications, through an android app. which feeds them with automatic real time temperature alerts, prompting caregivers to rescue their endangered dependent. For a child, this systems becomes independent, without the need for a push button prompt. Instead, the Arduino and app become activated through the application of an appropriate weight applied to a force sensor, which is located in a special padded car seat cushion.

How I built it

We used the arduino hard ware and software to initialize the system. We also utilized bluetooth, so that the readings could be transmitted from the arduino to the app. We utilized a javascript backed android app developer to develop our app. We also partly utilized 3D printing, alongside adapting our scrap card board, to compose our arduino housing. We also utilized a drink carrier to form a make shift car seat, a pennapps pillow to act as a seat cushioned, fashioned with a force sensor, and a sewed on sponsor shirt, to form the entire car seat system. The force sensor is connected to the arduino through a long connecting wire, which travels alongside the bottom of the backseat of the vehicle, to the middle of the cabin, where the arduino is housed. On the arduino, there is a push button to activate the pet mode of the temperature sensor, and a green LED which illuminates when the system is running, thus alerting the driver that the system is currently running. The signals from the temperature sensor are sent to the android application through the use of BlueFruit LESPI and coded UART communications via bluetooth. Android Studio was utilized to create the app.

Challenges I ran into

The primary challenge was getting the temperature signals from the arduino to be converted to bluetooth, so that they could be read by the android app. This was due to both minor electrical design errors, and the difficulty in utilizing the BlueFruit LESPI program. However, we resolved it through mentor assistance. Also, we developed a number of CAD designs for 3D printing, most of which required longer than 2 hours to print, even in their most simplified forms. As such, we were unable to simplify to their required minimums before the 3D printing deadline, causing for our team to improvise creating the arduino housing system and car seat, using materials such as paper plates and cardboard cup carriers we found around the center, alongside a single 3D printed component.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Overcoming initial problems with bluetooth connections. The ability to create a system which has the potential to save human and animal lives. Completing a project in which no team member had a large amount of experience.

What I learned

We learned how to best connect bluetooth to arduino. We learned how to utilize FreeCAD software and 3D print. We learned how to create an android app (something which only one member had minimal experience in) and make it become live. We learned how to integrate force and thermal sensors in arduino. We also learned how to best improvise when creating a hardware centric hack, without the use of some very important machine tools.

What's next for Heat Wave

We plan on creating full integration of multiple bluetooth sources, and better integrate the force sensor in a second module. We would want to increase customize-ability in the application, including such parameters as integrating car's alarm and OneStart systems. We also plan to create a more user friendly app.

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