Yes, there is a group of Capstone students working on various microcontroller projects. Still awaiting on a group to submit a project for Gadget Freak. May have an opportunity with high school students at a local Center of Technology high school.
You bring up an interesting point about limited dexterity in the elderly. Developing gesture based controls is perfect for the elderly because of the natural deterioriation of muscles and bones making it difficult to grip objects. I see a potential market here besides the CAD and gaming industry for gesture based controls. Very good observation Nadine J :)
The project build for my gadgets will be non-enclosure, open electronic circuit breadboards. The smarts for the gadgets will consist of rapid development tools like the Arduino, Cypress PSoC, and the Raspberry Pi. The theme of my gadgets is graphics and animation interaction using Physical Computing controls. The objective behind these gadgets is to demonstrate the ease in which new product concepts can be sketch using microcontrollers and discrete I/O electronic circut interfaces for human interaction. Also, the open design approach is to stimulate readers to enhance the gadget based on their own personal requirements.
Using the full hand as a control has to healthier than what we use now. Many people have limited dexterity as they age. Using our hands in large, natural gestures could help prevent that. It's certainly better than gripping a mouse or remote control.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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