This week our group finished making a box that contains our device. It fit perfectly and has a hole for the speaker, sensor, and mini-usb to give our device power. It has an open top so that we can easily take the device in and out and also so that people can look at the device more easily. We also got our entire device to work every time when it tries to sense a hand, but when we put it up to water it didn’t always work. When the water was coming out too fast and it turned foamy and white, the sensor couldn’t detect the water, but when we only let out a little bit of water the sensor could sense it and would start beeping. We also presented our device to many people in the gym. Everyone seemed to like our idea and were giving us suggestions and asking us questions about our future steps. We are thinking about making a smaller version that can attach to the actually faucet. Today (Friday) we started brainstorming ideas for our group video.
Posted by Will
This week our group 3D printed a box that will hold our device. The box was too small so then we decided to print out another one that is slightly bigger, but then, something wonky happened and the box we printed out the second time was the same one we printed the first time. We are going to fix this problem and then print out a better box. Our little bits device also stopped making sound when the motion sensor was triggered. We also started making our poster.
-Posted by WIll
This past week our group has primarily focused on creating our solution. We started by using a coding program called hummingbird but had some difficulties with a sensor that we were using (that would be used to sense the running water). The circuit board was also a little bulky and not realistically a device that can easily be put on a faucet. So then we decided to use little bits, a much smaller/convenient way to create our device. The little bits has a motion trigger, and a buzzer that is attached to a battery (See image below). When the motion trigger senses motion around it the buzzer goes off. One problem with this is that when we were testing out the device the buzzer was constantly because there was so much motion around it. We are going to design and 3D print a box around it to cancel out any excess motion but still leave holes for the motion trigger so it can sense motion and the buzzer so you can hear the noise.
Our group also wants to start taking data on how much water we are going to save and how many people would actually want to use our solution. Since we won’t be able to make many prototypes we will test them out at our houses or a friend’s. To figure out how much water we use on average before and after using the device will require having to look at a water bill. We want to make form for students in our grade to fill out to see whether they would use use our device or not.
Posted By Samantha
Our day with the faculty went really well. We got a lot of great feedback that improved our solution. We were asked about the design of our solution. One of the faculty members recommended that we build a clamp to attach to the head of the sink. We loved this idea because it would fit on every sink head. Many sink heads are different sizes so this idea made perfect sense. Another great idea was to make this clamp waterproof. This was something that we had not thought of. This way if water gets on it it will not break. We needed to modify the time limit choice that we gave. We learned that to sell this we needed to explain to people that this will lower their water bill and that they are helping the environment.
Now that we have made modifications we know a lot more about the design of our solution. It will be a device that attaches to the head of the sink with a clamp. For this project we are working within our school community.
Our solution will have a positive impact on the people who use it. It will have a positive solution because it will decrease there water bill. They will be paying less for water each month. The faucet is 15% of indoor water use. Our goal is to get this percent to decrease. This will be a very valuable product because it is cheap and it saves money.
This will have a positive impact on our community because this device won’t only help in the home that it is in. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy that encourages people to change their bad habits. This form of therapy is used mainly with people who have OCD. People who use our device will get used to the beeping and they will start to turn off the water sooner because they are anticipating the sound of the beeping. If they are using the sink somewhere where they do not have this device they will still anticipate the beeping and be more careful with the sink. This is because there bad habits have changed. To collect data we are going to measure the average amount of water wasted per minute in LA and then find the difference. If we have time to test our solution we will reach out to people who will put this device in their homes and record how much water they saved. We are expecting the result of this device to be that the percent of water used from sinks will decrease.
Posted by Lilly
Throughout the last week our group has made a lot of progress. When the week started we had just decided that we wanted to focus on water running in sinks. We decided this because of a conversation we had with someone from an organization that installs devices in homes that help to save water. He explained that when the sink runs, often times it runs for too long. He told us that sinks waste one of the greatest percentages of water in homes. When we heard this we were surprised. We were surprised because it while it seems so easy to turn off the tap many people forget or don’t realize the water that they are wasting.
This week we have also been brainstorming solutions. The solution that we decided on is a device that beeps loudly after a certain amount of time of the bathroom sink running. The sound will only stop when the water is turned off. The only solution that is already in place for our problem is low flow faucet aerators. Low flow faucet aerators are effective but. A common complaint by people using them is that while using them it takes a longer period of time for the water to heat. We feel that our solution would be effective because of the people that we interviewed. They all told us that they would like this device in there home because it would positively impact their water bill. We also got negative feedback. Our initial idea was to have the device start beeping the second that the water was turned on but after we got feedback explaining that it would be a better idea to have it start beeping after a certain amount of time.
Posted by: Lilly
Since our last blog post, our group has narrowed down our topic from the broad idea of water waste, to leaving water running while doing household chores. Daily tasks such as turning the tap off when someone is brushing their teeth, washing their hands, or doing the dishes, can waste hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water per person. In our research we have found additional details about droughts and how we can stop them. For example, leaving water running while your brushing teeth can use about 5 gallons of water, you can save up to 650 gallons of water a month by washing dishes by hand without leaving the water running, and that avoiding rinsing frozen food or vegetables can save up to 250 gallons a month. We also learned about the different ways that are being used to save water when contacting people in our community. We reached out to people including landscape architects, non profit organizations, and drought researchers in California. These people showed expertise in their knowledge of droughts or ways to try and end droughts. After many efforts calling different organizations, we reached one called LEED. The person who we were speaking to was not only polite but gave us some useful information. We were told that leaving water running and taking long showers wasted the most water in homes and that the most effective way to save water was to reuse it. This call has helped guide us in narrowing down our topic and gave us ideas on what we are actually going to do to save water.
Jonathan Rincon’s Story
People all around the world are being affected by droughts. In the small city, Watsonville, California, Jonathan Rincon tells his story. He explains how Watsonville is an agricultural community and is surrounded by farmland. His whole family, including himself, works on their farm and he is worried about what will happen to them, “I don’t know what the consequences will be that will effect a great majority of residents here in Watsonville. It might go as far as to effect my family…” Like many other farms, Jonathan’s family might have to find new jobs and even resort to moving out of the state because they don’t have enough water to maintain their farm. He is devastated to know that his family is struggling in this situation. “I does make me think about my sisters...Family is very important to me and I want to do whatever I can to protect my family.”
Posted by Samantha
Our group is Lilly, Samantha, and Will, and we will be helping to solve the problem of water waste. As we are living in a world that is slowly being impacted by waste, we hear about the impacts on our environment. From climate change that is causing natural disasters to droughts that have not only caused damage to our communities but to people all over the world. Each of us felt that it would be important to give back and make a change. We live in an area suffering from a drought so we thought it would only be fitting to research water waste. We have each started to study how we can save water, how water is used, which areas use the most water, innovative ideas that are already being used, and more. Water waste is one of the most major issues in the world that we have yet to solve while there are so many ways that we can help solve this problem.
Posted by Samantha