April Showers Bring May... HANDLs?
Forget the beach, there’s no better place to spend Spring Break than the InvenTeam Laboratory -just ask our engineers (thank you Kepler and Justin!) In this time, they identified the correct angle for the laser mount, leading to a pretty big innovation for our laser group. Although our printer has been giving us some trouble, the engineers have a working laser mount in the device, and after mounting the printed part into our project box, our engineers were finally able to solder the wires from old HANDL device into our new casing. Justin has also led the charge in working on springs to help HANDL work properly. This is fundamental in the usability of our device and we are waiting to implement this system into our new casing from Bekum America.
Speaking of casing, Kepler has been working with Bekum on the design of our housing. We recently sent a design to the engineers to be placed on the production line. Hopefully, we should have a housing made and tested by the end of next month! Our camera group has also made progress, specifically by reaching out to a graduate student from MSU who agreed to work with us on our OCR project. He’s helped us program the RaspberryPi to recognize zero’s location, which works by programming base images of zero and not zero. The camera then compares these images to the live feed of the camera in the HANDL device. When the base images of zero match the live feed the device will be able to orient to zero on the dial.
On the sustainability side of things, HANDL is now outfitted with a switch to turn on the device and a button to start the program. Not only does this make the device easier to use, but also more efficient in saving battery power. In addition, our casing is made of aluminum, making nearly all of HANDL’s components (the battery, boards, wires, and casing) recyclable and reusable.
Anna and Sarah have continued working tirelessly on planning our trip to Boston (less than two months out!) So far, we are planning on checking out the Skywalk Observatory, the Freedom Trail, the JFK museum, Codzilla, whale watching, and a Red Sox game. Needless to say, we are super excited for this trip. Of course, we’ve also been preparing and organizing for EurekaFest, from medical forms to selecting presenters to the impending deadline keeping our engineers on their toes :)
In continuing to share our project, the team presented to the East Lansing Chapter of the Kiwanis Club on the 19th. It is awesome to branch out to the surrounding communities to share Project HANDL. Next week, the team will present to over 250 people, our biggest crowd yet, at the START Conference hosted at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. The START program focuses on working with the schools, friends, and family to help kids with autism take part in their community. START also created Peer to Peer, the program in our high school that initially introduced us to the problem of students being unable to open their lockers. Without START, HANDL would not exist, so it is way cool to be able to present our project at this conference.
And in some final exciting news… the Williamston InvenTeam was selected to be featured on “Got Milk” posters that will be sent to high schools across Michigan. Celebrity status?? But, seriously, this is a pretty exciting honor for our team. Stay posted for pics -you won’t want to miss these!
On to May… thanks for reading :)