I haven’t blogged much about the freshman design seminar lately. So far, I’ve had the students take the training to use the drill press and scroll saw in the (rather limited) Baskin School of Engineering Fab Lab, and had them look for projects they might be interested in doing. At one point, before the quarter started, I looked into using the Neptune software from Boston University (which I found out about at the iGEM Jamboree) for designing and building low-cost microfluidic systems, but the software was nowhere near ready for use by freshmen, and I did not have the time get all the pieces figured out and working with the somewhat different hardware tools we had available. So, as in previous years, I’ll be counting on the students to come up with a couple of projects that they are interested in and capable of making a good start on. This is only a 2-unit class, so they only have 6 hours a week on it, 3 of which are in class.
I assigned them the task of finding interesting projects they would want to work on and providing links to web pages about the projects. I think that they may have been overly influenced by an example I brought up in class, but there seems to be a fairly large group interested in an EMG-controlled prosthesis. That’s a bit ambitious for a 2-unit freshman course, but we could do an EMG, we could do some simple programming for servo motors (I think that more sophisticated motor control would take more time than we have), and we could probably get an already designed hand printed or laser-cut.
Here are some of the project ideas they’ve come up with, grouped by student, in their own words—I’ve not even fixed the typos:
Vernier has a simple (but kind of expensive) EKG sensor that records the electrical events happening within the heart. This sensor uses a digital control unit as well as an EKG sensor. Also, we would need some additional software help.
I thought this website was interesting as they have links to interesting DIY lab equipment such as the micro centrifuge.
This website was has a large amount of open source hardware for science and also 3D printed equipment
From that website, I found
which was a DIY microscope
for a DIY Bioprinter
This website was has a large amount of open source experiments and DIYs
A free 3d printable prosthetic hand off of thingiverse. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1741448
I’m interested in building nerve controlled prosthetic limb.(EMG)
exiii HACKberry http://exiii-hackberry.com/
for this project, I want to work on making a functional mechanic hand.
I would like to make a foot-glove massager with an insert in between the big toe and the second toe using some of the concepts found at these links: