Hello world! It's me again, Sammy. For those of you who don't know, I'm Administrative Lead for the Rolling Robots InvenTeam, and I also write blog posts and the like. For this post, I'm trying something new: GUEST BLOGGERS. They'll pop in throughout this blog entry—we've got entries from Matthew and Nolan today! 

Currently, the walker is in the build phase—we're working on creating a physical concept out of aluminum tubing and various parts we've found lying around the workshop. You can see the walker in Figure 1. 

Figure 1

As we have been building, we’ve tested a lot of different design ideas—currently, we're modeling our walker's expansion after a fold-up table. The process is pretty simple: it opens up, then snaps into place. Here for a guest presentation on how exactly this part works, the one and only MATTHEW!!! (Build Team member). YAAAAAAY!!!!

Now that you're all sufficiently hyped, I'll turn it over to Matthew, the Communications Lead, who is also a MECHANICAL WIZARD. Matt, take it away!

Figure 2

MATTHEW: The walker unfolds through the usage of electrically powered *secret* to slide the lower bar of a *secret* past the spring-loaded slide lock, thus securing the walker into an upright position with minimal risk of collapsing accidentally. From there, the armrests can be extended by simply pulling them up into their proper position, perpendicular to the main portion of the walker. Upon being placed in that position, the armrests will, as with the main portion of the walker, be locked into place through the use of *secret*. In order to release the locking mechanism and collapse the walker, one must press on the top of the slide locks for the armrests’ locking brackets, thus allowing the armrests to slide into their resting position, directly parallel to and in contact with the main portion of the walker. From there, the step-bar linking the two locking brackets for the walker’s main portion can be depressed to allow the *secret* to retract, hence enabling the walker to fold down with minimal effort, resulting in a convenient and, more importantly, safe walker experience.

Sammy again. As per usual, a clear, detailed, and eloquent explanation. Thank you, Matthew, for your insightful contribution. 

Now, onto the software behind our robot. After careful discussion with the rest of the team, I've decided that it's okay to reveal *some* of our secret plans. To understand things most effectively, I want you to imagine that you are a 80-year-old with mobility challenges, and you want to be next to your dog.

When you want to be near your dog in another room, you have two ways to do this. Option one: you could walk the distance over to your dog, maybe falling and hurting yourself along the way. Option two: you could summon your dog, maybe yelling "COME" or tapping the space next to you. 

Figure 3

Which is easier? Safer? More comfortable? There's a clear answer: Option 2. Being able to summon the dog to you is much better in every way, especially for people with mobility challenges. With our walker, we're trying to create a similar situation: it's much easier to summon your walker to you, as opposed to walking a potentially dangerous distance to get to it. Therefore, we're working to create a Summon feature for our walker, with which we can have people press a button and summon their walker. Here to detail our progress on one aspect of the Summon Feature, the one and only NOLAN!!!

NOLAN: So essentially, we will use the strength of *secret* signals to calculate our walker’s heading. We plan to design a special enclosure that would result in a rough idea of our walker’s heading relative to the user. Then, with a combination of these sensors placed on different sides of the walker, we will also be able to use a basic triangulation method to get our robot's relative distance from the user. 

Figure 4

Back to Sammy again. Hi all. Incredible, Nolan, simply incredible. I appreciate your hard work and look forward to seeing how this all turns out. 

There's plenty of other stuff which the team is doing—working on electronics for our walker, getting input from more seniors, improving our walker designs, getting a (possibly excessive) amount of boba and pizza, and preparing for our Mid-Grant Technical Review (MGTR), which is coming up in late February. However, our time in this blog has come to a close, so this is the end. 

I'll write again at some point in the near future, updating you people on all the amazing progress we've made with our invention. You should look forward to more guest appearances, incredible diagrams, and awesome commentary in our next blog. 

Hope y'all enjoyed this one. See you at the MGTR!