We wanted to focus on creating a project improving accessibility in the day to day for everyone. One of our teammates during the brainstorming session told us of situation dealing with a love one and we felt we could truly create something to help. "My Grandmother keeps heading to the basement in her house. Unfortunately she doesn't have the strength to get back up the stairs. We saw options like nest but they don't have any alarm systems built into their system. Also Nest costs way to much for something that does way too little" Alistair said. We wanted to take a hardware approach to the problem before us. Not to make something that we think is neat and only from our point of view but for the benefit of the users and their point of views. Deciding to use Arduinos along with different compatible sensors to improve what we saw as a discrepancy with other IOT devices. By adding sensors to different modules as well as adding a buzzer that generates a sound to alert the user of potential danger or undesired situation.
What it does
Using 2 different Arduinos (1xUNO, 1xMega), we attached one that measures distance and temperature (ex. this unit could be used for a kitchen like a stove top) . The second Arduino we attached an accelerator, buzzer, and light sensor (ex. this unit could be placed on door leading to a hazardous area. Both have a NodeMCU that is connected to the local WiFi, in order to communicate with a Twilio server we prepared for this project. If one of the alarms is triggered (on either device), a message is sent to the desired number (love one/caretaker), saying that the alarm has been triggered so that further action can be taken. Our devices can be tailored to a variety of scenarios/needs of the users. At a fraction of the price of a Nest camera to DIY and additional monitoring of its surroundings, SAL E's Box is a clear winner.
How we built it
For our demonstration the Arduino Mega is controlling the ultrasonic senor and temperature sensor while the UNO we used for the accelerator and buzzer combo. Both Arduinos are wired through breadboards, along side connected to the breadboards are the two NodeMCU and that connects to the server which connects to Twilio to deliver the alert message to the requested number. Keeping Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in mind throughout the project, we want to set up as much as possible so that its as easy as plug and play.
Challenges we ran into
The hardest challenge during the past 24 hours we faced, was ensuring that all the data being collected by SAL E's box was first correct and not just false positives because it needed to be reliable .Then keeping track of all the data it was collecting and where to store them became an issue because we wanted to incorporate log that we could then used to continue to adjust the devices propelling us evermore closer to the smallest margin of error.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Tackling a very specific problem, to not only coming up with a solution but then continuing to expand on accessibility for all users in a variety and constantly evolving situations. That state of mind alone was easily our top accomplishment.
What we learned
Some of our members had very little hardware experience, so teaching some one else truly helps you better understand the material ourselves.
What's next for SAL E's box
Designing a final version of the casing is definitely our top priority, then we would like to create a mobile app that allows the users to adjust the configuration as they so please.