Thursday, February 28, 2013

Revisiting our Goals

We made design specifications for our website. The design specifications will give us a check to make sure that we are accomplishing our goals. For example, we want a professionally designed website that does not require an account with a strong video base of 50 videos for the users to browse through. Our website will also be a mobile app that can be used to fix both problems on your computer or your smartphone.

The Briefing Session

Today in class, Team PivoRest created a design brief of our armrest. This outlines the objectives we will discuss in our presentation in June.  Included in this brief is all the features of our desired arm rest. In addition to this, we have focused more upon the hand piece and how we are going to make it interchangeable. It will be interchangeable using different diameters suited for the needs of different patients.  This is a nice example of ergonomics playing a role into our hand piece. As the rest of our prototype comes along, refinement for new ones is becoming easier.  We plan to start the next one within a week or so.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Prototypes Here We Come

During class today we mainly talked about what we did over break and what we had to do next with our bag. We have a new ski bar made so we will put that on one of the prototypes we already have made and make new bars for the new prototypes we will start making. We will be cutting out all of the material and pinning it together next class when we have all of the material together and make sure its what we want to do with our bag. This time around we plan on putting them together faster so we can look at them and see the results faster. During class we also bounced some fundraising ideas off each other because with the cost of the new laser cutter we are a bit behind of where we wanted to be. One of the fundraising ideas we came up with was something for graduation where graduation is filmed and we would sell copies of it. Its called

Taking Care of Some Details

With our finished logo updated to the intros and outros of all our videos, we have began uploading our current collection of twenty tutorial videos to YouTube. From there, we will embed them onto our website where they will be viewed. We have also added a working search bar that will make it easy to find videos based on keywords. To make the website appear more professional, we adjusted the logo design to fit the whole name of our website and made that the main logo on the home page. We will be exploring the search bar's appearance and function and uploading our first videos to this version of the website. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Who Needs a Break?

Though our school is off on our winter break, team PivoRest has been hard at work building our second prototype. We have been incorporating the feedback we received in our meeting with Heather Theobald. In addition to prototyping, members of our group have been researching the leading manufacturers of wheelchairs and the standard dimensions. This is to ensure our armrest will fit most, if not all, standard wheelchairs. Our research will be complete in the next few days and our prototype will be done by the end of next week.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Working Over Break

Over break we have continued editing and improving our website. We have re-implemented our send request feature and have played with the look of the website. Now that our videos have been edited with the new introductions and conclusions we have begun to post the videos on the site. Over break we have not been able to film more videos since part of our team is away on vacation, but we hope to get right back to work and filming new videos as soon as we can.

Upgrading the Pack

After some more research, Tom fashioned a new ski bar out of steel instead of the original brass. Hopefully this will not only be stronger than the original, but will also look better with the backpack. This time around the webbing will be more secure around the bar than the last one. Seth also took a look at the backpack design and reworked it to fix some of the problems we found when we inspected the prototype. The new template was also cut out and is ready to be sewn.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Break from School, but not Work

The members of PivoRest eagerly await the upcoming break and the extra time that comes along with it.  We are meeting almost everyday on our days off in order to finish the second prototype and come closer to a final product.  We have purchased another ball-and-socket joint that will be implemented in future designs.  We are also looking to buy a goniometer that can be used with the armrest to make the nurse's and physical therapist's lives easier.  Meanwhile, we are continuously researching standard wheelchairs and wheelchair products to familiarize ourselves with the subject area and refine certain dimensions to adjust to most products.  We are coming close to a final product and anticipate an exciting future!

Recording Smartphone Videos

After many failed attempts, we have figured out how to display an iPhone onto the computer. Because of this emulation, we can finally record and create tutorial videos for people having problems with their smartphones. We have also been implementing a favicon icon into the URL link. The pictures on the slide show for Drupal have been edited and our own pictures placed in place of the default pictures.

Two Bags Down

As a group we were able to make two prototype version's of our backpack. The product was sewn together fairly well but that skill will only improve with practice. Once we had a tangible version of our product it made design flaws very easy to spot out. So during class we made a pro's and con's list of what we liked about the backpack and what we didn't like. Overall a lot of positives came out of this experience and we can only make our product better because of it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Almost Done with Number One

We have been working on prototype backpacks the past couple weeks and now we are nearing the end of our first prototypes. We face challenges such as designing a way to construct the backpack in an efficient manner and we are figuring our design flaws along the way. Such as the backpack being too big in general. Over break we should be able to test the prototypes and figure out what we have to do next time around.

Measurements and Muscle Tone

Today in class, research was a main objective for our team. We learned more about how muscle tone affects a person's arm mobility, as well as the measurements for the most widely used standard wheelchair in the US. We also ordered a new ball and socket joint, but this time we are using one that is meant for a camera tripod, in hopes that it will be able to hold up more weight than our current one does. Outside of school today, we will bend our next piece of plastic for the second prototype, and continue building the separate components, all while keeping the improvements that need to be made in mind. By next week, we will have our second prototype completed, and will bring it in to the therapists at Wesley to critique. We are looking forward to getting a lot completed during our break next week, and will be moving forward and coming closer to our final goal of a completed product.

Editing and Finishing

Our group has just finished re-editing all previous videos with the new intros and outros and can now start new video production. We are also in the progress of getting an iPhone on the computer so that we can record actions made on it. This will be used to create tutorial videos for iPhone users. The website is coming back together nicely. We have a slideshow of pictures that link to different videos on the homepage. Once we get all the images re-sized the slideshow will improve the site greatly. We also have a great method of receiving requests, all the information is organized by a module in Drupal. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making the Best of What is Around

As Team PivoRest continues working on the second prototype with modifications being put into place, we are trying to use different resources to see what will work best.  For the hand piece, we are researching the use of a toilet paper holder with material around it so that it will be easily removable and comfortable.  Also, adjustments have been made as far as the size of the actual arm rest and the cushioning.  With all this going on, members have also been looking into leading manufacturers of wheelchairs and standard sizes so we can create the most universal arm rest possible. With winter break quickly approaching, we aim to have the second prototype done and onto the third.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Next Device

After our work with PC and Macintosh computers, we’re ready to add iPhone to the tutorial list. We’re looking into two methods of capturing an iPhone screen, both of which have some difficulties. We have a program that allows an iPhone to connect to the computer and open in its own window, but since it was designed for the iPhone 4 and the model we’re using is an iPhone 5, the bottom of the screen gets cut off. The connection between computer and iPhone also appears to be unreliable. We also have a simulator used for App development which runs smoother and shows the whole screen, but this does not have the App store available. This means that any tutorial involving the App store cannot be done unless we fix the problems with the first program. While we work out these issues, the website is approaching its state before it crashed. By the time we make a few iPhone tutorials, we should have the website ready for videos to be added.

The More the Merrier

Today in class, the First Wave group cut out more design templates and taped them together to get a better understanding of what the bag will look like. Unfortunately, the team is in a little bit of a slump. After having worked really hard to get the right materials and design the bag so it’s not only functional but aesthetically pleasing, we sent the bag to our sewing members and now have to wait for the bag to be sewn. Once we have the first prototype we will start running tests and finding ways to improve it and eliminate problems.

One Prototype Down, Many More to Come!

Today, Team PivoRest got the chance to talk with an occupational therapist about the finished first prototype of the armrest. The feedback showed that we are headed in the right direction, but certainly still have some obstacles to overcome. The range of motion of our device is good, and it would provide most patients with a comfortable way to keep their arm in the rest. Also, the accessibility of having it functional on both sides of the wheelchair would help therapists with their job. One of the major obstacles that was pointed out was the need for the right, locking ball and socket joint. We have looked at some possibilities for this, and keep exploring other options, to ultimately find the best one. Lastly, we have looked at our first model, identified it's flaws,and have started improving it in a second, more refined design. One which will fit the needs of patients better, and is one step closer to out final design.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Finalizing High Quality

After many trials and errors, the video production team was able to create HD tutorial videos. Until now, each video was watched in terrible quality and information in the tutorial was becoming unrecognizable. Since this problem is now fixed through Camtasia, we can continue to create HD tutorial videos. We have also gotten positive feedback from our tutorial videos, from a few subjects who took the initial survey in the beginning of the year. An outside potential customer is being brought in via Skype meeting to test out our videos and give us feedback on what we need to fix or add.

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Step For Team PivoRest

Upon the completion of our first prototype, we began to find its flaws. By creating a list, we were able to see what we need to add and change in the near future. Today in class we started working on our second prototype, a lighter and sturdier version of the first. While we started cutting the plastic, one PivoRest member compiled the questions we will be asking Heather Theobald about her patients and feedback. By Thursday, we will have bent the new plastic and began the rest of the prototype. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rebuilding and Restoring

We have began to restore our website back to what it was before the crash. We are working on the home page currently, getting our logo and color scheme back to what it was. In addition we have reworked the layout and pages to better suit the needs of the user. Using Drupal, our website is coming back together faster than it was built in the first place. It will not be long before we are back to where we were and even exceeding our previous design. As for the videos we have been finishing up the intros and outros of the previous videos and will get back to making new ones soon.

New Materials and New Tasks

Our new shipment finally came in after a few weeks. Everything we ordered was what we wanted, however, we will need wider elastic webbing next time we order as the current size is too narrow. Everyone is hard at work trying to get the pieces put together or track down the last few parts that we weren't able to order. A new supplier has been found so we can get our backpack materials faster and hopefully at a cheaper price than the old distributor. Our first official prototype should be done next week, and from there we can do field testing and analysis.