Our inspiration came after hearing a story from one of our group members falling during a flag football practice and not being able to make friends easily during high school. They were doing manoeuver drills and had fallen after tripping over something which was out of their field of vision. They broke their leg and they were hospitalized for 1 night and they had to wear crutches for 4 months. Seeing that one of our challenges was to increase accessibility and break down barriers, we decided to address problems people who are visually impaired face, the lack of clear awareness of their surroundings. These people do not have the same quality of life as us all because of a disability. They live in the same buildings as us and walk the same streets as us. If that group member still had clear vision and still had problems socially and physically, we cannot imagine how hard the visually impaired have it. This is why we addressed this problem.
What it does
This cane has a variety of purposes for the visually impaired, particularly emphasizing their safety and security. One of its key features is its ability to measure distances and alert the user when in dangerous situations. For instance, using a gyroscopic sensor, when a sudden drop is detected, the cane emits a loud beeping noise which notifies the user and the people around them that the holder of that cane has fallen. Another key feature is its ability to detect bodies of water. When the cane touches a body of liquid, it will detect it and notify the user with a loud beep. This helps the user take precaution and to divert direction, or else they will drown. It also notifies the people around them.
How we built it
We built it using a combination of hardware, software, and a household item. The materials we utilized were: Arduino UNO, a protoshield, a buzzer, several jumper wires, a gyro sensor, a soil humidity sensor, 2 X batteries, plastic case, tapes, and laptop The software we used was Arduino C. We also used a broomstick.
Challenges we ran into
Some challenges we ran into happened mainly during the testing and evaluation stage of developing our project. After implementing each module and testing its functions. Sometimes, the software would query the data found, but it would display an improper format or provide discrepancies in calculations. We would also encounter frequent syntax, logic, and run-time errors in the software which would delay our finish time. Through perseverance and hard work, we were able to fight these challenges and come up with solutions on the spot.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of being able to work together efficiently as a team. All of us did not know each other prior to Thursday, and given how far we have come and how much work we have put in, we all worked hard to provide a purposeful product that addresses the needs of many people around the world.
What we learned
We learned a combination of hard skills and soft skills. Some of the people in our group were able to learn University level mathematics and physics from our Post-Secondary teammates to make the product work. As a software lover, I was able to greatly expand my learning about hardware and electronics. We also learned more efficient processes such as identifying the M.V.P. of our product, which helped us make our production more efficient.
What's next for UnCane-y
We wish to use better materials, more software integration and more testing to ensure our product's capabilities for the market. We also wish to get some user feedback from testing and evaluation, so that we can continue making any necessary improvements to the product. Hopefully we can distribute these to places like hospitals and big companies like Walmart in order to take advantage of the market. We can also take advantage of the e-market as well.