March 7, 2017

Welcome back everyone,
This past month has been crazy! We successfully had our Mid-Grant Technical Review, presented a presentation at our local Lions Club meeting and have gotten a lot of progress on our device.

We spent this past month planning out our MGTR and we are proud to say that it was a huge success! Parents, family, members of the press, and school officials all gathered excitedly to see the passions, goals, and creations of the team. The event began with a presentation from each of the subteam leads and our educator supervisor, Mr. Stansbury. This was followed by a table breakout session, where attendees had hands-on experiences interacting with different parts of our prototypes, seeing the limitations of using current technologies on the market and reading through media articles and our monthly blog posts. We even had a table where people should attempt to identify bills while blindfolded. At the conclusion of the event, they provided us with some valuable feedback that we plan to take action on in the near future.

Kartik showing off our sorting mechanism

Various scenes from out MGTR



A video of our MGTR

We were also able to present our idea to the Monocacy Lions Club, a local chapter of the organization Lions Clubs International, earlier this month. We were graciously incorporated to their agenda, and we started our presentation after enjoying the nice food. One of the main objectives of the Lions Club is to serve their community in philanthropic ways. They helped us find contacts for sponsorships and we might be presenting our invention to other Lion Clubs.

Moving on to the more technical side of things, we have decided upon a final sorting mechanism which will fit our needs. The basic design involves two slabs, that the bill goes through, with one motor changing the angle of the slot depending on the denomination of the paper bill. After the adjustment has been made, the bill will be pushed through with another motor into its respective slot. We decided that this design would be the easiest to produce and would be more efficient than the other designs that we had been considering. Most of the components in our device will be 3D printed with environment safe filament. 

A mock sorting mechanism 

Our 3D printer used to print our parts 


Additionally, our technical team was successfully able to identify a UV strip. UV lights from underneath shine through the bill and when the strip hits the lights, the sensor is programmed to turn on a light. This in conjunction with photogates will track the length of the bill that has gone through and will be able to successfully identify the bill. 

Our sensors identifying a bill


When it comes to the device’s interactions with the user, since we already decided on having the primary feedback be auditory, we decided to focus on ways we could implement this. In order to obtain the right type of information, we would like to have a set of distinguishable buttons that will change the “mode” for the device. One would provide feedback on the total amount of a stack of bills inserted at one time while the other would relay the denomination of each bill within the stack.


Overall, we’ve made a great amount of progress this month. Our final product is finally within our sights. After passing our half-way milestone, it’s all uphill from here. We look forward to the coming months! Things are getting exciting!

Meanwhile, follow us on Twitter, and check out our newly updated website!

-The Poolesville High School InvenTeam