People who are “locked in” by paralysis may have lots to say but no way to say it. Assistive communications devices can create a communications channel from the slightest remaining ability for expressing intent: the blink of an eye, the twitch of a muscle. New designs for assistive technologies was the whole point of a recent two-day “makeathon” at Brown University.
On March 19th, 2014 20 RISD and Brown students convened in the Brown Design Workshop at Brown University for a day of rapid prototyping and making. The group was lucky to be joined by two visiting designers from IDEO for the daylong workshop, Prat Ganapathy and Bill Stewart. The event, titled ‘from the bottom of my fuel cell’, centered around developing ideas for wearable devices.
On November 9, the Brown University STEAM Initiative hosted a "Pointless Machines" Workshop in the Prince Lab Makerspace. The workshop involved an introduction to Arduino through the exploration and creation of "pointless machines" taught by Gavin Atkinson.
I am sitting across the table from my thesis advisor. We stare at one another in silence, our faces reflecting equal levels of frustration. After a 15-minute debate on the differences between a parameter and a constraint, it has become apparent my advisor is an engineer, and I am not. My advisor and I meet weekly to discuss my research. Each week we inevitably hit a wall; expressing the same words, but interpreting them in entirely different ways. With a background in biology and design, my definition of details often do not align with an engineer’s. However, we both know the objectives of my thesis, and both want to work towards that goal (and diploma)
During A Better World by Design, a three-day conference at Brown University and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) that cultivates a global community of socially-conscious and passionate innovators, Motorola conducted three, tw0-hour workshops where students developed new products in the Prince Lab Makerspace. Check out the results on YouTube below.