Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Making Head Way

Our group has divided into smaller groups so that people can work on becoming experts in a certain field. For example, two of us have been working really hard on becoming experts at sewing, while other's have been working with the Autodesk Inventor program to create a model of our backpack. Also all of our materials have been arriving with the exception of what we ordered today which was samples of canvas and zippers. Overall our group is moving in the right direction and we will continue to keep up the good work.

Pickin up the Pace!

As work continues on our prototype armrest, more behind the scenes work has been completed.  We have ordered materials that will be used for the cushioning like memory foam, fabric, and elastics.  Half of the group has been focusing upon the actual arm rest while the other half has been sewing and playing around with ideas for the cushioning.  In the next few days, we will be meeting with someone who is going to help us mold plastic, more specifically acrylic.  Things are coming along well, but much more work still needs to be completed.

Learning PHP

We have began learning and implementing code from the PHP language. This will be useful and make it easier in web layout and design. PHP will also be used in coding the search function for the site. We have also started to write scripts and film videos for the website. In the next few days we will have videos up on the website and we will have learned the necessary PHP code. We are looking to have a functional website with good videos up in a month or so.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Next Steps

Pivorest is starting to conclude the larger portions of research, and is now moving onto some building. We have found the clamp we think we will use, and are getting a few to try out. Also, we placed an order for some of the materials we will need for the build, like the memory foam, to cushion the armrest. Finally, we have been working on a rough wooden prototype of the device, and sent several members of our group to start learning about injection molding. The next step for us is to finish the wooden prototype, and get more people into the workshop to learn about the molding process by the end of the week.

Our group is using to host our website and we are uploading our prototypes to see how they will look all put together. We are going to have several layouts uploaded before next class. We are also recording a couple videos this week just to test drive everything. A couple members of our group have been working on the script and general layout of our videos. These will all be tested in these first couple videos. 

Deeper Learning and Sewing Faster

Today. we continued work on our project in its different aspects. Brian, Alex and Seth continued on creating the Autodesk drawings and renderings of what the backpack should turn out to be. We felt that the best way to present and form what we wanted to build was in an Autodesk sheet metal design. Other members of the group  went off to sew in the Family and Consumer Science teacher’s room. There they started the different kinds of Lama bags that were ordered. Currently they are working on the sports tote and the drawstring backpack. They both expect the bags to be finished in a couple of days

Friday, October 26, 2012

We've Gone Viral!

Today in class we got accomplished many things. We have a website made with 4 web pages and a design applied. We bought our domain name at so that we can start testing our website online and see how it behaves when it is on different computers as well as different browsers for compatibility.  The survey is continually being refined so that we can get the best results as possible when we give out the survey. We want to be able to give the people visiting our site the best experience as possible when they go to our site and use it’s features.  We plan to find a good way to get out our survey and plan to improve upon the current website design so that is is easy to use and visually appealing to the user.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Today, our group started prototyping! We began making a wooden model of what the armrest should look like and how it will function. In addition to this, we decided on the materials for our cover and bought a yard of fabric to practice on. Our team now has access to two differently sized wheelchairs to test our product on. This will help us make our armrest more universal. Before next class, we will be meeting with a consultant on how to work with plastics and will be working with one of the home and career teachers to learn how to sew.

We Broke it Down to Build Better

Today in class we 
dissected a backpack and took it apart seam by seam. We did this to get a template of what we needed to base our backpack off of. We broke each piece down to determine what fabric it was made out of and what stitching was used. Straight stitching was used to sew the multiple layers together. We saw the different aspects of the backpack such as the zippers and the pockets.  As well as this, Autodesk Inventor drawings of what we expect the backpack to look like were started. Our group has greatly increased in our sewing skills from staying after every Wednesday to sew with the Family and Consumer Science teacher. First Wave getting closer to its goal one stitch at a time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let the Prototyping Begin!

After the creation of various sketches and ideas, the PivoRest group will begin prototyping their armrest design next class.
  This is one big step to a finalized product.  While some members prototype, others will continue researching for the best materials possible for the design.  The group has scheduled an upcoming appointment to learn how to mold and work with plastic, as well as a few appointments to learn how to sew. We hope to have the basics of our prototype finished soon.

Our Secret Weapon

Today in class, First Wave got some helpful incite from the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. After running into her during a fire drill, we invited her back to the class to show her the fabric we had bought a few classes prior. While visiting our class, Mrs. Battesh gave us many good ideas about how to make the back pack, what fabric we still need to buy, what kinds of zippers we should be looking at, and what kind of thread is appropriate for the job. Mrs. Battesh has been a valuable resource to First Wave. She is always offering great advice to us and is willing to help out when she can. First Wave can’t express enough how thankful we are to have such a knowledgeable partner.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Developing the Best Approach

We have started to work on the format of the video tutorials we’ll be making. We are discussing the significance of a consistent intro and outro for every video and establishing standards for each video to follow. By researching how the best video tutorials are created, we are learning how to make ours as professional as possible. In addition to working on the format of our videos, we have moved a step closer to finalizing our survey and are considering the best ways to release it. Also, the Yeti USB microphone we ordered has arrived. With a group meeting scheduled, we plan to officially develop a standard approach to making the tutorials as well as work on a logo design for our group. The website itself is also in development and we hope to register a domain name as soon as possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capture the Money!

Today in class each team presented an idea for fundraising in order to accumulate more money for our projects. For the PivoRest group, we researched a way to have a school-wide capture the flag tournament. We decided it would be an event that students wound enjoy, and would be relatively easy to set up. As far as one that specifically pertains to our project, the rehabilitation center that we have visited a few times said that we can do a bake sale there.We are also working on ordering materials and setting up a meeting with the man who is going to teach us about plastic and the possibility of using injection molding for the PivoRest. We are also preparing to have our elevator pitches recorded and be put up on YouTube, and brainstorming the idea of a separate website for our product so we can get sponsors and sell advertisement space on the site for another fundraising idea.

Finalizing Fundraising

We were given the task in groups to each come up with a fundraiser idea for the class. We need fundraising to be able to pay for the design and creation of our ideas. After we presented our ideas, Connor, being the treasurer, is going to be in charge of choosing an idea and organizing most of it. We then got back into our group and talked about what we needed to do. The online survey is a priority so that we can start making videos about what problems need solutions. Then we need to finalize the website and add the videos. A lot of work is still needed but we will be able to succeed as long as we continue to work. We decided to meet as a group outside of class on Monday to finalize the survey. 

Fundraising and Sewing

On Thursday we started kicking around more fundraiser ideas to try to narrow them down so we could present. Our two main ideas became a 5k run and a Kan Jam competition  We're also going to start selling the things we make when we practice sewing so we ordered a few different bag kits to try to get the hang of it. The idea of making scarves was also considered and we are currently looking into finding good fabrics and patterns for that. Learning to sew is coming along well, but all of us agreed the process is going too slow. We may meet up at some one's house next weekend to try to progress the learning process more. We've also considered getting an embroiderer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Path Continues..

Over the past two days, the PivoRest group members have continued working on elevator pitches.  We have been gathering some facts and statistics that make the pitch more interesting and catchy.  After developing the pitch thoroughly, we stood in front of our other classmates and practiced pitching it.  Constructive criticism is always helpful.  A few group members also joined the First Wave Pack after school and learned to sew with the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher.  Sewing will be vital to make the cushion for our arm rest. This is another step towards the right path of beginning to prototyping which is our next major goal.

First Purchase Arrival

Our previous class was spent purchasing some of the fabric that we wanted, and it has finally arrived. We bought about two yards each of blue, black and white fabric. The fabric was quite high quality and we were all pleased. Another thing that our group has been working on was learning how to sew. Today after school our group went to one of the family and consumer sciences teachers and she helped us with sewing. Our group learned how to thread a bobbin which is a very big step for us. Our next lesson with the teacher will be next Wednesday and we will actually be learning how to sew on fabric. Overall our group is moving in the right direction and we will continue to keep up the good work.

Refining and Planning

After learning the art of the elevator pitch and developing a general approach, our group split up to work on the details of our pitches individually. Using statistical data and a persuasive argument, two of our members presented theirs in class. Some great points were made about citing statistics, giving specific facts, showing enthusiasm, and being as clear and concise as possible. We recorded the valuable constructive criticism of our peers in order to optimize our pitch for the video to be put on YouTube. We also scheduled a time to discuss releasing our survey and developing a fundraiser to present next class. It is important that we get the survey out as soon as possible so that we can improve our elevator pitch as well as move a step closer to making the actual tutorial videos. The fundraiser will be vital for reimbursing our hardware and software purchases and contributing to the class as a whole.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anything women can do..Men can do too!

These last few classes we have ordered a sample variety pack of fabrics that we can experiment with. We have also started to attend some open sewing labs to learn to sew. Brian went to a local sewing shop to check out what we can order from them. We were pointed towards the Juki Tl-98E, a mix between a standard machine and an industrial sewing machine in the fact that it is a little bit more heavy duty and it comes with more attachments. The teacher helping us learn to sew in the labs gave a great review of this machine and said it has everything we need. We hope to make the final decision on the purchase soon.

Elevator Pitch

Today in class, our project manager taught us about "elevator pitches."  An elevator pitch is a pitch about something that can be explained in about a minute or two, the amount of time someone might spend in an elevator with another person. These pitches are very useful to get information out quickly and efficiently.  In that minute, someone can pitch a problem, a solution to the problem, and how the might go about completing the solution.  After learning about elevator pitches, the class split up into our groups and began experimenting.  By the end of the class all 3 groups had an idea of what to say.  By the end of the week we hope to have one person from each group recorded and put on YouTube pitching their groups project.


The survey that our group has been designing has gone through many stages but it has now been finalized. However, we are still stuck with how we are going to distribute these surveys. Our group was thinking that we could use an email and link people to our online survey and gather the results that way. This would be the preferred method as it would be the easiest to gather the data necessary to move on with our project. We have purchased the Yeti microphone to record our voices that will be used  guide our users through the video tutorials. We are also discussing the layout of our website. We feel that we have gathered enough knowledge to start building the website. What we build now is only to learn and discover.   

Familiar Faces at Wesley

This past Friday, three members of our team went to the Wesley Health Care Center again with a list of questions. The occupational therapists answered a variety of questions about range of motion, elevation, comfort, and current problems. We found that all patients complain of pain in their arm due to the unnatural position of the standard armrest. In addition to the visit, our team worked to improve the sketches we presented last class. We designed a new way to clamp the armrest to the chair without having to slide it on and off. This would make the armrest easier to move out of the way when needed. In the near future, we should be visiting Sunnyview  Rehabilitation Hospital with more questions, learning how to mold low-density polyethylene, and order our materials.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sewing and Purchasing

On Wednesday after school our group got together to meet with the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Mrs. Battesh. There she began to teach us the fundamentals of sewing. Of course with no one in the group knowing how to sew it was more of a trial and error teaching session. Towards the end we all knew how to operate the sewing machine correctly. Then during class the next day we began to order fabric. We ordered sample fabrics so we can use them as a starting off point in which we can use to find what sewing machine that we will purchase.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Questions on Sketches on More Questions!

Wheelchair 3D Model

Today in class, Pivorest worked on several aspects of our project. A couple of group members started working with Autodesk Inventor CAD software, drawing up ideas for the armrest. The ideas drawn are the ones thought to be the best at this point. Also, in preparation for the next trip to the Wesley nursing home, we compiled questions for wheelchair patients. The questions are going to be asked at the nursing home to get a better idea of what the armrest needs to best suit the patients. In the next few days, we are going to collect equipment necessary to attach the device.

Brainstormed Solutions

We came up with three prototypes for our problem, which is that people have problems with their computer and do not know how to fix it or find a solution. The first was to have online classes that teach people about different applications on the computer. Online classes would not provide a quick solution to the problem that the user is having but would allow people to fix more problems by themselves. The second was to make a website to act as a reference to search their problem and find a solution in a text or video format. The third was to have a texting service that would answer technology related problems, but the problem with that is that people who have problems with technology would probably not use a phone to text and find the answer. We are continuing with a website because it most directly answers the problem that people experience with a quick solution.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Wave Pack

Last class the roller ski back pack decided on a group name; First Wave Pack. We chose this name because in big ski races the field is usual split up into different waves, letting only the best and most elite start in the first wave. Also last class, the group did some prototyping and presented to the class. After hearing some good constructive criticism by our classmates the group got together and decided on some new designs to test out. By next class the each person in the group has to test how well they know how to sew so each person has to bring in a backpack they made on there own. The results should be interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This weekend, as a group we met at the library to continue working. We contacted several companies asking about educational discounts and we have our research narrowed down to two softwares and one microphone. The price for Adobe Captivate 6 is in total $598, while the price for TechSmith's Captivate 6 is in total $254. The Microphone we will be using is the BlueMic Yeti. We do not meet the criteria required for educational discounts for this mic so the price will remain $150. We also have a temporary name for our product, "TechTutes". We do not need to choose a web hosting site or an apps builder site yet but that will be another task to complete in the near future. 

Possible Solutions Overview

Today in class, our group presented the sketches we came up with for possible designs for the PivoRest. There are three different versions, each with specifications that make them unique. The first includes an arm that has two parts which are connected by a joint so that both can pivot and give the user a relatively large range of motion. It has bumpers on the sides of the attachment so that the arm will not fall off, and near the wrist would be an elevation device to allow for the hand to be at a comfortable angle to reduce swelling and, ultimately, improve comfort. The next design involves a three part attachment that would allow a range of motion via pivoting, as well as a track system to shift the arm outward or inward based on the comfort level of the patient. The last design implemented the use of a "Lazy Susan" device to serve as the point of rotation. Using a pin, a person is able to spin the arm into the desired position, then lock it into place. Each of these designs has unique aspects that help them stand out, so now our next goal is to hone in on what works and what doesn't with each solution. From there, we can begin to gather the materials needed to build our first prototype. For now, we are creating the designs on Autodesk Inventor to get a better visual of their components and how they work. In the future, we plan on visiting the Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital to get another perspective on what people want in a new design of the arm of a wheelchair.

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Brainstorming

The members of Pivorest have been hard at work over the long weekend.  Group members have been researching competitive technologies and trying to see how we can improve upon them.  Other group members have been researching and weighing out the pros and cons of different materials.  All members have been drawing up a variety of sketches to come up with different ideas.  We have recently contacted Sunnyview Hospital and set up an appointment to visit with the patients and ask questions.


A Monkey that Helps

We applied the brainstorm activity from the previous class to our own project. After meeting together as a group with a list of our own individual lists of ideas, we compiled and expanded the list. In our list, we thought of different ideas on how to get feedback and collect research in order to know what topics our videos should cover. One of the ideas we considered was to write an online survey using SurveyMonkey, for which a test survey has been created. We also brainstormed possible names for the website and checked for available domain names. An unclaimed domain name still needs to be found, and we also need to have three different approaches to our project prepared for the next class.

Ski Pack Divides and Conquers

                                                         on pack side.jpeg
We are still working on our product name and logo over the weekend and we should have an idea of what we want by this coming week. Over the weekend we also worked on backpack ideas. We have split into three pairs and each group is coming up with a separate backpack design and prototype. After all the groups finish their design we will have to get together to see what designs we like and what is going to work or not work and combine all the ideas we like into one pack. Also on Monday we have bought sewing materials and part of our group is going to Brian’s house and we are going to start learning how to sew.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Research Continues...

Our group has been working to finalize a few details such as what equipment will be required and how exactly to approach the problem of helping the less technologically savvy. The brainstorming activity done in class has stirred some thoughts around and we are rethinking our strategy for how to convey our information. We are still finalizing some details about what software to get, what microphone, and the official name of our website. We are also working out the kinks of Central Desktop. Hopefully everyone will know how to use it by next class and we can use that for communication. More research is definitely needed before we make any permanent decisions. We are still looking for a good place to distribute the surveys asking questions about what kind of problems they encounter while using a computer. 

A Brainstorm hits EDD!

Yesterday in class we did an exercise trying to brainstorm the many uses of a paper clip.  First we brainstormed on our own, then in groups, and finally as the whole class.  Each time the sample size grew, the possibilities increased.  In order to come up with any solution to a problem, brainstorming is an extremely important step.  It helps to expand ideas to resolve the problem at hand.  With this being said, a homework assignment for each group member is to generate a list of possible solutions to our problem.  Being in the wheelchair group, we need to generate lists of other ways we can improve upon the wheelchair or maybe even brainstorm a complete new one.  The options are endless.  In future classes I hope some of these ideas can expand the existing solution we want to pursue. 

Outside the Box

Currently our group is trying to come up with crazy and "outside the box" ideas for our design. The logic behind this is that if one of the ideas doesn't sound good by itself it might lead another person in the group to another idea that never would have been thought of. It is also forcing our group to get away from one set idea. As a whole the original idea for our backpack was thought up fairly quickly and everyone pictured it the same way. Some may think that's good that everyone was on the same page but in reality we don't want to have tunnel vision. Also the group has been trying to come up with a logo for the product. Our group leader Brian, has an uncle in the field of graphic design so we will be getting in touch with him for possibilities Overall i think that the group is moving in a good direction and we will continue to keep up the good work.