When I first learned of the Makey Makey, I found it intriguing and wanted to learn more about it. For those of you who wish to learn more click on the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joylabs/makey-makey-an-invention-kit-for-everyone
The link takes you to the kickstarter for the product and shows a video of the demonstration on how it works. With a Makey Makey, one could connect household items and those items can become keyboard keys. You can connect items such as bananas, pennies, scissors, play-doh, lemos, paint, and many moe things. Overall it’s a very clever product and something new.
In the picture one could see what the actual Makey Makey kit contains, which is the Makey Makey circuit board itself, which had two sides to it, it also contains a USB cord that connects the Makey Makey to the computer, and it has some alligator clips which connect to the different parts on the circuit board, which then connect to which ever items you chose.
With the Makey Makey, I along with my partner MFlores wish to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to use the computer. We decided to focus on people that had pain in their hands and arms to where it’s easier for them to use their feet. We stumbled upon a couple of disabilities such as: Amputations, Arthritis, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple- Sclerosis and many more. We research those further, but then wished to focus more on children and found Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. At first, I though Arthritis was something that affected older people, but I was wrong. JIA affects kids under the age of 16 and can have arthritis in one or more joints. For it to be considered JIA, a child mist have swelling and pain for at least six weeks; that’s a lot of time to actually be feeling pain in your hands.
The diagram shows the difference between a child with normal joints and a child who had Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
Therefore with this disability in mind, we plan on using household items like play-doh and set up a model that kids can test out and be able to play a game online using their feet instead of their hands.
During the Maker Fair we want to set up the Makey Makey and connect it to a game such as Pac man and have the students play it and test out how it works. I believe this will be a new and enjoyable experience that will in the long run something that kids can benefit from.
Hello Loraine: Personally in the begin of your blog post I did not really understand what your project was about but I figured you had discussed with our teachers about it so you did not have to elaborate on it. But after watching the video I completely fell in love with your project. I smell deep passion behind it. I think it is super exciting because although it will take a lot of work it will be easier for you guys since there isn’t any coding. But then again y’all in the engineer pathway so y’all have some coding knowledge unlike the majority of our team. Well I think it is a great idea not only to help those in need but like it says in the video but for fun, which will be great for our school to participate in. I also think it would be cool for you and MFlores to stay in touch with JSalazar’s team and look into the differences between both of y’all’s project since theirs involves coding and y’all’s don’t as the video said.
So I looked up for “instructions” to help you both so maybe check it out? https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/makey-makey-advanced-guide
Best of luck Loraine!!
This sounds really cool, and I can definitely see your passion in this project! My mom is a pediatric physical therapist, so I always got to play with the new “toys” she was arranging for her clients with fancy sensors. I think that it is amazing that these sensors and alternative ways to play are so accessible and affordable! Would you focus on using play dough to help play a simple game (I like the idea of Pac Man) or navigate the internet for more complex projects? I imagine that games would be an easier place to start, maybe you can work from there if your time constraints allow. I think that this is a really great meld of the Biomedical and Engineering pathways. I’d never heard of Juvenile Arthritis, and I think that your project will be a good way to raise awareness for Juvenile Arthritis as well as to educate the general public about the technology available to them! How are you going to test your product to account for the varying severity of arthritis? Do you have sample patients with arthritis? Again, I think that this is an amazing and fun idea, and I wish you the best of luck!
— Anjali Mani