Lately:

As we are learning more within our design process, we have started finalizing our idea of our final prototype. After deciding we wanted to work with the Camshaft idea, we narrowed down and decided we wanted to make an upside down CamShaft that connects to the socket of a prosthesis. Camshafts can be hard to work with in our situation because the CamShaft might not being long enough to reach the bike’s pedals. So, we thought of using an egg-shaped object at the bottom that could potentially fix this problem because if the object attached was a perfect circle, then it would not function properly. It wouldn’t touch the pedal at all times due to its shape which is a problem since it interferes with our design goals. We are now 3D designing on Tinkercad so that we can eventually print our 3D model by the end of the month!

Workings of Camshaft Brainstorming

Halfway Reflection

  • What have you been learning so far? Give a brief summary. 

Personally, I have learned that through our process, even the smallest pieces of insight can go a long way. After finishing up our brainstorming process and a good amount of interviews, new questions have risen that will most likely impact our design a lot. I also learned that after the “brainstorming” process, you have to brainstorm a design which tells me how many aspects that need to be considered when entering the engineering design process. We are now at the point where we think we know what our final design will be.

  • What has stirred your emotions?  Anything delightful, intriguing, frustrating, shocking?

One thing that has “stirred” my emotions throughout our independent study is probably thinking outside of the box when it comes to trying to work around obstacles. Even the brainstorming process, where both Neta and I tried to come up with 5 potential designs was frustrating because we had to try and fit our design with our ultimate goals.

  • What new questions do you have about this topic?

I still question how we are supposed to know what factor in our design process should we consider the most or adjust to the most. Is getting on the bike a bigger problem than being able to balance on the bike?

  • What are you learning about your learning process? 

I definitely answered this question more i the first question, but I would say I am learning how to be patient and careful with my decisions. Even though we may be stuck sometimes in the same place for 2 weeks, we continue to push forward and make more progress. We can not rush into anything since this is, afterall, a learning experience.

  • Review your blog posts so far. Have they opened up conversations or led to new learning? 

I, personally, am continuing to work on my blog posts. I think when Neta and I write things down and think them through within our blog posts, we lay out our ideas that could potentially lead to a discovery within our process. It is also nice to see the connections we both make and the similarities and differences within our thoughts even though we are doing the same study together.

  • What has been the most helpful thing that has come from meetings with your content advisor?

I think weekly check-ins just help in general because there have definitely been moments where we think we are going to go one path, but then meet with our content advisor and completely shift our ideas and path we want to take.

  • What do you need to change?

I think in terms of our study, we are on a good path and we have good timing. Perosnally, I want to post more on my blog instead of dumping al my ideas out every 3 weeks. That would work way better and everything would be more organized.

  • Do you need any help that you’re not currently receiving?

Nope, we are on the right track. Neta and I are looking forward to finishing this independent study with a design that was worth the process 🙂

Redirection

A lot has happened regarding who we have met and the types of advice both neta and I have received about our study. We conducted interviews and met with people such as Mr. Adair, Dr. Katherine Saul, and of course our advisor, Ms. Starling. During the envision process of what we might want to come up with in the end, Neta and I were unsure of what our device would look like or even function like. We both knew in the beginning that we were leaning more towards designing a prosthesis because that was ultimately our goal. The problem with this was that we were not thinking outside of the box. We ignored important factors and did not ask “Is this realistically going to happen?” “Is this feasible?” or “Does this vision take into account our large audience?” which limited our view of what we wanted our final device to be. So, we met with Dr. Saul. We presented our ideas on how we want to approach the brainstorming process. We presented the conflict of a prosthesis even being plausible, and she gave us the great idea of attaching/incorporating a widget device onto the bike so there is a larger chance of usability increasing since a functional leg is no longer needed. This was great because it meant less costs and more functionality/accessibility.

LDC’s & Bikes/Cycling

After a good amount of research, we found that cycling is the most effective form of exercise in terms of getting heart rate up. While researching the limitations cyclists with amputations have, we came to the realization that not everyone uses bikes for exercise. In our AP Human Geography class, we learned that bikes are actually essential to lesser developed countries’ (LDCs’) economy. Bikes are used to get people places (jobs +more) in order to fulfill their basic standards of living. They are not just used as a form of casual exercise because not everyone is fortunate in every country. Not everyone has the luxury to just buy a 50,000 prosthesis. This is where our second point arose. Money is a HUGE factor in determining whether to get a prosthesis or not. Accessibility is important. Not everyone everywhere has the luxury to just by a prosthetic knee when they need one which is mainly due to accessibility and the price of prosthetics. We started thinking about what makes prosthetics so expensive. We were thinking that if there is one factor that makes prosthetics so expensive between people, it might be possible to make a change. The major reason AK prosthetics are expensive is because they have to be adjustable to the specific person they are providing for. If we can make one form of the same prosthetic and make that one prosthetic adjustable to fit each person’s need, it will limit costs by a major amount.

First Observation

The first week of our independent study we narrowed down on a specific type of prosthesis: above knee (AK) prosthesis. With this idea in our minds, we researched throughout the week solely based on AK prosthetics. Since we want to focus on limitations of physical activity within people with amputations, we began searching for specific exercises that have the greatest affect on personal health because that could be what we base our end design prosthetic on. Neta and I have been meeting with our faculty advisor for the independent study, Ms. Starling. She provided us with some great insight. She brought up the question of whether the prosthetic we potentially want to design will have to look like a knee, or just function like a knee. We realized that this is again, based on who our audience is.