Prototyping

Planning the squence of events in the prototype

I was given the problem that children who were learning to cook would leave the food unattended, which could result in multiple safety hazards and burning the food. So, I designed a low fidelity to demonstrate a way to keep kids from leaving their food unattended.

To build our low fidelity, we used a product called LittleBits. This was my first time being exposed to the product, so there was a learning curve to the product. To get acquainted I built a flashlight by connecting a power source, a button, and a light. After building a few different iterations of a flashlight, ie using a temperature sensor instead of a button, I began work on the prototype. Practicing with the temperature sensor on the flashlight helped with my prototype because I learned how to incorporate it into my prototype by making it the primary source for the power to go through because it created a ‘true’ input that also supplied electricity to the entire prototype.

The prototype

My prototype worked by connecting power to a temperature sensor, light, button, timer, and buzzer, in that order. When the temperature reached a certain threshold, it would turn on a light that told the user it was activated. This then also turned on the timer. When the timer reached it’s limit it would set off the buzzer. The timer and buzzer could then be manually reset with a push of the button. One flaw of this prototype was the fact that you couldn’t reset the timer until after the buzzer went off. That means that if the user were to hit the button because they had come to check on their food already, then they would have to wait for the buzzer to go off before they could reset the timer.

Close up of the prototype

While this prototype is feasible and usable, it may not be very desirable. What might make this prototype desirable? One way might be to make it so that it’s portable, and doesn’t have to be mounted to anything. So a kid could simply place it in on their oven or any other cooking appliance and not need to worry about setting timers.

Here is a link to a Youtube video describing my prototype: https://youtu.be/mIwP_D51hMk

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