Some highlights from this week include:

  • We welcomed Adam Brandenburger , Director of the NYU Shanghai Program on Creativity + Innovation, to explore our basecamp at HAX and experience the speed of Shenzhen. One of his major take-aways: Shenzhen’s speed is contagious.
  • IoT Information
  • Wrapped up our research on the supplier ecosystem in Shenzhen.
  • Continued to research, design and prototype our ‘smart’ trashcan, including Q+A with Ayi and others involved in the waste management processes around the 华强北 electronics markets.

Special Guest

Zona Liu is the Business Development Director at HAX / SOSV. Her job is to attract potential investors to the space and help match these investors with teams at HAX. Before HAX / SOSV she worked at Goldmach Sachs and will be heading to Boston in the Fall to pursue her MBA at MIT Sloan. She has been a key figure in welcoming and integrating our team into the space. We were so lucky to have the chance to interview her this week (while riding a NineBot no less!).

This week, we added a few fun components to our video editing process. In addition to conducting the interview in 中文 as well as in English, we added subtitles, experimented with a new path (while avoiding lots of drone interference) and invited someone from outside of the NYU crowd to participate in an interview.

Future Hardware: Scrappee — The Smart Trashcan

Our engineering and technical prototype is almost complete. We were able to build an incredible accurate scale from a strain gauge (hat tip: Tom Igoe) and integrate our sensor data and a connected microcontroller into the mechanical subsystem. In addition, we can now successfully send telemetry data to a server and visualize it in real time. Take a look at the video documentation below to see the connected sensor and software system in action!

Design Detail: Liquid Collection

Our interviews this week yielded a very surprising insight. We interviewed a number people connected to the waste management process, and were told one of the most time-consuming and frustrating aspects of the process the following:

The half-full containers of liquid in the trash are not the problem. The problem is when trash collectors take the liquids, pour them on the floor, and take the plastic.

The 阿姨 (cleaners) and 叔叔 (cleaners) in Huangqiangbei told us, “the left over coke, the bubble tea, and other liquid that people throw into the trash bin cause one of the biggest problems for us.

These people are the ones who help to actually recycle the bottles. And it’s also these people that take out the bottle and open it, pour whatever is inside into the trash bin or simply just pour it on the floor. Later on, the cleaners have to spend a lot of time cleaning the floor otherwise the sugar will make the the floor sticky and smelly. And use a lot of water.

Below is on of our team’s early attempts to solve this problem.

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The water wheel is the indicator that people can pour liquid into the collector, and ultimately the liquid bin.

“It’s a simple action. Compared to cleaning the floor because of the liquid waste.” The cleaner laughed and told us.

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Our early ‘learning’ prototype. This is drawing quite a few looks already.

HQBase: Accelerate Early Hardware Manufacturing

This week, the HQBase team wrapped up user interviews with some HAX alumni teams and started implementing the HQBase design into our AWS cloud service. Translating human centered design into code has been challenging but fruitful. The process of building the supplier relationship management platform has also educated us on the Shenzhen supply chain and innovation ecosystem as well as cemented our understanding of the importance of interpersonal relationships for doing business in China. Below is a short graphic illustrating the user login and dynamic search system.

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Functional prototype of the HQBase platform

Next Week

Next week is our final week in Shenzhen. Besides continuing to work on our research, case writing and prototyping, we are hosting a series of talks and a dynamic panel of industry professionals and academics to discuss the various stages of entrepreneurship within the Shenzhen ecosystem, using our month in Shenzhen, personal stories and research to identify the unique opportunities and challenges presented in Shenzhen.

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Written by

A joint project between Hax and The Program on Creativity + Innovation at NYU Shanghai. June 1 - June 30, 2018, Shenzhen China

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