Two teams of students gave a joint presentation about the DIY version of the Lightupcane. They have made it suitable for the blind. When the light comes on, or goes out, the blind user receives a vibrating and sound signal. If the cane falls it will beep until it is picked up. If it needs to be charged, we will receive a signal.
The intention is that second-year students of electrical engineering make the electronics smaller, so that the electronics should fit into any handle.
Members of the Executive Board and education managers met yesterday during Knowledge network meeting Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie) ZorgTech010
In a short workshop they brainstormed about improvements to our Lightup cane. In this way they could experience a little how students approach it. Then Jasper, one of the students, gave a presentation of what they have improved so far. Very promising!
The first Make Health Open Evening took place on November 14 in the Waag Amsterdam. More than 10 technicians accepted the challenge of improving the Marchena Lightupcane in one evening. Surprising ideas came out. On the Photos you can see a small impression of a successful evening.
Debby showing the Lightupcanes at Dutch Design Week
Debby presented her light emitting white canes at the Embassy of Health at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at the Waag stand. The responses were positive. Everyone thinks these canes should have been around for a long time!
The design process is also going very fast by now with all those contributions from Hogeschool Rotterdam and other schools.
Due to cheap copyers, factories do not invest in making industrial designs with all the certification that is needed to bring (renewed) aids to the market.
So Debby starts to raise to funds again to have the design made with all certification, to offer the Open Source Design with al the required certifications to all producers on behalf of all backers. After all, we need the good Lightupcanes. The sooner the better!
The students of Windesheim initiated a very interesting innovation for the Marchena Blind Cane Project. The students investigated how the VIP can alert other road users in the most striking way, without having a Christmas tree effect, that they will make the crossing.
The innovation is a kind of “Knight Rider Blind Cane tip. This enhancement makes it possible for the VIP to alert other road users that they want to cross the road with a kind of “indicator signal”, much like in modern cars.
The Marchena Light-up cane team picked up the idea and made a prototype based on the 4017 chip with 10 LEDs and one trigger RGB LED. The purpose of the prototype is to get an idea of the form factor, weight, user controls and operation.
The first lab tests are encouraging, the prototype can be seen well in the evening and the weight gain is acceptable. The prototype is not optimized and is already light now. We think so, now the VIPs have to give their opinion on this, there is plenty of feedback on how things can be improved. 🙂
The prototype LED’s fit in a transparent acrylic tube as well as in the regular glass fiber tube of the standard Marchena Light up cane.
The disadvantage of the solution applied to the regular lightupcane tube is that the light from the handle flashlight does not pass the signal LEDs, so the team must investigate to what extent this influences the visibility of the Blind Cane and come up with improvements.
The really nice thing about this enhancement is that it is also suitable for regular blind Canes. So the team will put their minds to that as well.
The prototype: It is still a jumble of wires, but the 1.0 version is a neat printed circuit board (PCB) that everyone can buy through Amazon.
The new version boasts a 4017 chip and a 555 chip for a more stable operation. The speed can be adjusted, which is useful for testing purposes. When the formfactor for the PCB is ready, it will also be available for Marchena Lightup Cane owners and for regular canes.
This is what the prototype and new print looks like;
Debby visited a trade fair in Germany to network, get new ideas and find interested parties for her Marchena Cane. Once in Berlin she visited the interesting sites as well and made quite a show with her cane.
She’ll be back!