Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Sewing Experts Help Others

Today in class we started putting together our "How to Sew" video. All of the filming was done and we are now editing it to make it professional. We can feel it getting close to the end because we have several tasks such as finalizing the video, creating more bags, progress reports, and fundraising to be completed in a small amount of time. By next class we will have the video complete. We are awaiting the supplies we ordered for our bags to get here so we can get them together and done.

Prototypes and Videos

As always, we are working on refining our prototype. We have changed the shape of our armrest, making it more comfortable, and able to fit more sizes of arms. To accommodate for this we created a new mold for the bending of the piece and a new tracer so we can easily copy the shape to another piece of plastic. In addition to this we have created a video demonstrating the proper method of bending plastic, using the mold, and finding the correct temperature to achieve the best results. We are now editing the video and will have it finalized by next class.

Rubric Results

As we have gotten into using the rubric, Computer2torials has had its share of challenges and new opportunities. Sifting through numerous YouTube videos with the rubric is tedious, and of the 12 videos we have investigated so far, only 2 have been approved. We did, however, find the opportunity to apply our expertise in video production to the other groups. As our whole class explores representing aspects of their projects through videos, the video tutorial rubric will be the criteria they follow. Not only will we be progressing with the new rubric approach on our own website, we’ll share this as a contribution to the class as a whole.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lights, Camera……….Sewing

Today in class we began working on our script for our tutorial video of how to sew. Eric and Brian were busy at  making the script and finding where they would be shooting the scene. Seth also began working on another tutorial video which has to do with using the Autodesk Sheet Metal program. He was able to test out his presenting skills on Mr. Katz so he has a feel for what he should do in the video to make it flawless. The remaining group members continuing on cutting out the panels of material so another First Wave backpack can be made. We continue to make progress and we are excited to get to use our creative skills to make this video.

Bending Plastic for Dummies

In class, members of our team worked on our second prototype. As of right now, there are only a few more parts to tweak before it is finished. Other members of our team met to come up with an informational video on how to bend plastic. This video was recorded the next day and is now being edited. In the next few days, the How to Bend Plastic video will be completely edited and ready to be attached to our progress report. In addition to this, we should have our second prototype done and ready to be tested.

Behind the Scenes at Computer2torials

We are making a video to show what goes on to make a video for our website. It is showing the process that we go through and the materials that we need to make the videos. The videos are often less than five minutes but there is hours of work that go into making each one. This video will give insight for anyone who is looking to make a tutorial video on how they can go about making a high quality video.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

About Us

We have started viewing videos online and grading them with our rubric. Our team has gone through several videos in search of good ones that can be on our site. In addition to video searching we have added an 'About us' section to the website. It is for potential users of the site to see what our site is about and how we intend to help them. We also want to make sure credit is given to the various sources we use videos from. The 'About us' page will make sure that we are completely honest to our viewers and show that we are not taking videos from others, but rather sharing them to help.

It's All Coming Together

Today in class the PivoRest members put pieces together and figured out the connection points for the current design.  We have decided to use an L-bracket to attach the armrest to the extension piece connected to the ball and socket.  We have bought new screws with flat heads so we can use them on the armrest without irritating the patients arm.  We are in the making of a new mold using one piece of thick wood rather than two pieces of wood nailed together to get the right thickness.  We are also refining the distance of the extension piece and cutting it down to the correct distance.  We hope to finish the current prototype this weekend and test the design next week!

Today in class, the First Wave group made progress in multiple areas. Tom worked on and completed the progress report due next week. After reading it over, the group is definitely getting work done and moving in a positive direction. Meanwhile, Connor and Eric worked on cutting out templates for our next bag. With Connor leaving on a two week vacation, a lot of the sewing will be on Eric. And finally, Seth and Alex worked on testing how strong the bag is by loading it up with some the heaviest stuff we could find and walked around with. So far the bag has held up to all the tests. 

Monday, March 18, 2013


Today we set up the user registration page with a captcha so that we will no longer be getting spam accounts that are not actually people. This will lower the maintenance of the website as we have just been deleting these fake accounts for a while now. With the completion of the video rubric, video picking has begun. Now all that we need to do is find the videos, create the steps, and then post them to our website. This should allow us to output more content quickly. 

Unexpected Seamstress

Happy Monday from Team PivoRest! Today in class, business went along as usual, with us continuing to work on our design. From the attached picture, you can see Dylan standing proudly with one of the hand pieces we made, which he sewed together all by himself. We are meeting after school today to run to the hardware store to pick up some more materials, since we plan on meeting with a prospective patient on Thursday who is willing to test out our design. So, needless to say, we have a lot of work to do this week! Along with this, we have progress reports due next week, so we need to understand what we said we would have done, and make sure everything is progressing like we expected it to.

Maine Testing

Two of our team members, Brian and Seth, went to Presque Isle, Maine, for Eastern State High School Championships for Nordic skiing. This was the perfect opportunity to test our latest prototype design. They brought the new design and actually used it for a race day bag, putting their boots and equipment in it and testing the bag in the field. The bag held up to the use and abuse that is a ski trip. However we have found some flaws to fix, such as a stiffer back panel.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Prototype Round 2

Nearing the end of the school year we are finally starting to see what we've been working on for a year come together. With our second prototypes on their way we are able to fine tune our product. After this batch of backpacks we will decide whether to create a new design or polish our current one. After we complete one more round of bags we will work out a series of tests.

New Connections

photo.JPGAs Team PivoRest progresses further with prototyping, we ran into a small problem on one of the connection points.  This connection point is between the hand piece and the actual rest.  What we had designed was awkward and not adjustable for all arm lengths.  So to fix this problem, we created a single bar that attaches underneath the arm part and can slide back and forth, allowing the total arm rest to be as long or short as desired.  

Increasing the Video Count

With the creation of our video rubric, we are increasing the number of videos that we are putting on our website. We are checking the videos for their quality to make sure that they address the problem. They also need to fit the level of professionalism that we are trying to achieve on our website. We will also be creating steps for the video if they are not already made so that if someone does not want to watch the video or has a slow connection they are able to read how to fix their problem.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Preparing for the Next Stage

The website is continuing its progression as we move ahead steadily toward the testing phase. But the video count has remained idle as we prepare to apply our video rubric to locating the best among videos we did not produce. The rubric, although it is a vital component of our upcoming testing procedures, will not suffice as our only test. We have begun compiling a table of testing procedures, organizing them according to video and web tests, and specifying what exactly they test for. Finding adequate tests beyond the bounds of user feedback will be a challenge, but we will stay thoughtful on the topic as the testing stage of our product approaches. Our video rubric will also be refined as we put it into use and determine how to make it as precise as possible. 

On the Right Path

First Wave Pack is on our way to finishing our next prototypes. We have been testing our old prototypes at the same time to figure out strength and what we need to improve on. We are trying to add some different elements to the backpack to make it better then it was. We are making the overall bag smaller and a lot less bulky. We are also adding an inner layer to the bag to make it more durable and more tough so you can just throw everything in your bag and go. We are going to finish the bags this week and can't wait to test them out and take another step towards our final project.Today, we continued to cut out pieces for our new backpack design. We got some new one inch white buckles in the other day so we put them to good use on a section of the backpack that helps evenly distribute the weight of the roller skis. Another thing we talked about was the best method of attaching the bar to the bag. Hopefully, we will have a finished backpack with our modified design by the end of the week. 

New Hand Piece Design

In the last couple of days, we've been working on improving the hand piece. Our new design will be lighter, stronger and more user-friendly. Instead of having the rest fixed, now it will be one bar, which slides along the bottom of the arm rest to accommodate for different arm lengths. Also, there will be different diameter tubes which slide on and are pinned on to the bar for different sized hands or different angles. We are currently working on sketching the idea on Inventor and will begin to implement it in the design while working in the next couple of days.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fabrication is Key

Team PivoRest is hard at work making our second prototype. Today in class, we made a new mold to bend the plastic around once heated and designed a way to distribute the weight of the armrest on the pivot point. This will decrease the torque and put less pressure on this crucial piece. Moving forward, we will continue to work on our prototype. We will be meeting over the weekend to fabricate the piece to distribute weight.

Unbiased Feedback

To be able to have a website that truly meets the needs of people not familiar with computers, we needed to find somebody who has had trouble with computers and does not know us. To accomplish this task we went to a local supermarket and asked everybody coming out of the 
store. After a while we were able to find someone who was willing to help us. We sent this man an email to further explain what our class is really about, and we hope to gain constructive feedback from him in the future.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Improving the Designs

Today in class we continued to cut out the redesigned backpack. We decided that we need multiple layers to increase the strength of the backpack. Also we will include a water bottle pocket that was not put into our original prototypes. This design was added due to the fact that most backpacks have one. Our first prototypes are being put through many trials to find out what it takes until the bag reaches its breaking point. Tests include amount of weight it can hold and how the bag feels to the user when the weight is applied. These tests will help improve the backpack and make it function better. 

Video Searching

We have began making the switch to using already made YouTube videos. We are making a rubric to grade various videos we find online. This will be important for us in determining whether or not we have to make a video for the tutorial or not. The videos will be judged in video and audio quality, clarity of the message or lesson, length and pace of the video, content, and professionalism. We have to make sure that our potential users will agree with us in judging the usefulness of each video. Each member of our team will search for good videos that can be on our website over the next few weeks. We are looking to fill our site with as many useful tutorials as possible.

Looking Towards the Future

The PivoRest members have been working hard on completing the second prototype as well as plan for the future and the final product.  In class today, we were able to begin the build of the mold to be used for the final armrest design.  This mold will take the place of our original framework that needed minor modifications.  We also were able to create a testing rubric for when we have patients try out our armrest and to receive feedback on how effective it is.  We will finish the testable second prototype soon.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Functionality And Form

Today the First Wave pack met with local Nordic skier and Coach Dave Paarlberg-Kvam. Dave is not only the coach at a local high school but also organizes a citizen’s team in the area. All in all, Dave has been skiing for 16 years and has been roller skiing for 8. He is the perfect person to review our bag. When asked how he carries his equipment, Dave said he usually throws everything he can into multiple bags. He sees kids having more of a problem with this because they don’t know what kind of bag to get that will be able to hold all the equipment. According to Dave, Some features to look for in choosing a bag to use is it has to be big enough, and it has to hold skis, boots and a change of cloths for after. On a typical training session Dave uses at least three bags. After being introduced to our prototype Dave made the following suggestions: we should put something on the bottom to hold the skis down from wiggling all over the place. He thinks if you ever needed to travel with ski equipment, this would be the bag to use. He suggested we make sure the connections are tight. You don’t want everything to be flopping around. Tight and compact is the way to go. Dave is not only a skier but an artist, so we asked him how he thought the bag looked. His comments were “I like the pattern and material changes. You used some snazzy materials.” he said we should try to blend in the schools athletic mascot into the design. The Blue Streak is a symbol of motion and that’s what we are trying to get at with the bag. He then gave us some techniques to try to get that “Blue Streak” look into our bag. The team is thankful Dave was able to make it in to see our work in progress and give us feed back. It’s always good to have a fresh set of eyes look at our work and give us their thoughts.

Keep It Simple

Today's Skype meeting with Matt left us thinking. We now have a lot more things to consider, such as maybe just finding the best YouTube videos and using those videos instead of making our own. We also need to make the website much more user friendly. Matt gave us an idea of making the text bigger and he also found it hard to find the videos. These are things that we most certainly have to fix as our client base is not going to be as tech savvy as our skyper was today. He wanted the website to be very simple, of course that makes our job easier and will hopefully make our website more useful. He complained about never getting a response from an admin for the account he created, we never intended for anyone to make an account so we need to convey that message very clearly and will probably end up hiding the log in screen until people want to make a request. What he did say of the videos we created was good, he said the quality was nice and that they were to the point.

Meetings, Metal, and Making Schedules Work

In class today, we were unable to work on our project since we had two different meetings with the First Wave and Computer Tutorials groups regarding their progress. Nonetheless, we were able to get together last week and work on the attachment method to the chair of our current prototype. We used u-bolts to attach the ball-and-socket joint and now have a sturdy metal frame to insert into the wheelchair instead of PVC pipe. Also, we attached the foam to the new arm and elbow rests, and rounded out the attachment piece at the elbow to get rid of excess bulk. Our new prototype is already looking much better than our first, and is almost 3 times as light, which was a large focus that needed improving. We are planning on working in class and after school as much as our schedules will allow us to this week, to continue with our progress. We will also be taking a look at our progress report and will get a sense of what we must get accomplished by next month, including a new prototype and getting our design out to someone for a trial testing.