Final Project Proposal

LightLamp Walking Prototype.PNGLisette Borja

Landon Austill

Gabby Nacion

Hannah Wheeler

Final Project Proposal

Problem: Most of the energy we produce currently still comes from the nonrenewable resource of burning fossil fuels. We know this in problematic for a variety of reason such as the fact that fossil fuels won’t last forever and it adds to air pollution. We want to create a new kind of renewable energy resource generated from the movement of people.

Our idea is to create a prototype of a piezoelectric generator that lights up a structure. This would be a representation of a much larger scale idea that we envision being placed into largely populated areas. This would allow people to generate electricity by walking, running, moving over these areas. The energy would be stored and then utilized by a nearby structure.

There are examples of piezoelectric generators being used in a small scale, we want to build upon this and create something larger.

The project would kick start more conversation about how we can incorporate human movement into energy in a renewable way. It would take advantage of the growing population that is only continuing to grow.

We want to build a small-scale representation. For right now, we are thinking a project the size of a tetherball court. Inside there would be a lamp that would be powered by the pressure under the people walking around.

Materials list – (very loose) piezo elements, some kind of mat, lightbulb(s), probably an Arduino, lamp.

Project Pitch and Proposal- Justin Maroney, Daisy Nolz, Shomit Barua, Ben Nandin


There are many motivations that inspired us to pursue this project. Our initial motivation was to determine a use for the solid waste created in the brewing process. After some research, we decided to pursue the idea of implementing this waste in the creation of a new, sustainable building material. This idea snowballed as we pushed ourselves to imagine more novel, innovative applications for our proposed material. We pulled inspiration from a number of other pre-existing projects and experiments to expand on our project and speculate on how we could combine all of these isolated ideas into a single, real-world vision for the future.

Related Work:

Green Roofs:

Brewing Waste as a Base for Clay Aggregates in Green Roofs:

Self-Healing Concrete:

Density-Sensing Pycnometer: referenced in the Brewing waste aggregate report

Living Root Bridges:

Our Idea:

Our proposed product is an organic construction material made from the waste material that results from the brewing process which uses the natural tensile strength of root systems as an adhesive. This material would be implemented in tangent with an embedded density-sensing technology that would allow for detection of wear and fatigue in the material. This data, along with the natural growth process of the root structures would allow for a completely automated preventive maintenance system. We speculate initially implementing this technology to build a brewery which uses its own waste products to sustain the building. Our long-term vision is to implement this technology on a larger scale in both urban and rural construction. Many of these same ideas have been explored separately in previous projects and technologies, but our project would bring all of these ideas together into a single technology with a tangible real-world application.


We see our project having a possibly large impact. Environmentally, instead of dumping waste into our naturally occurring resources and changing or ruining them, the effect we envision is re-using that material to enrich buildings they come from thus attempting to actualize a self sustaining system. The goal is to switch engaging with the leftover material from waste to building materials for other uses. Ethically, the challenge will be convincing people that using what was once deemed “waste material” to construct or create new things is safe.

The impact on people will be a good one in that a system like this offers more jobs in the facility. It also creates a cleaner, more sustained environment for people to live in. Culturally, we are aware that the US still is not fully as accepting of drinking culture and alcohol has a stigma to some groups. The fact that people don’t agree with it does not change the fact that producers and consumers need to be responsible for the waste and impact it creates.


We are planning to do hands on work, attempting to separate the spent materials and use them on a smaller scale to prototype our designs. We also intend to speculate a larger model, right now the plan is to design the plan for a sustaining brewery that both produces and uses the spent grains used in its construction. We also intend to speculate various systems like government tax breaks for companies who use this strategy to be more environmentally conscious.  

Parts List*:

Plants (seeds and pregrown) 

Pots or trays to keep the experiment on.

One big bucket to try and purify water with evaporation (because its green).

Something that can compress our materials, or access to one.

*This is a rough list. Some more research is needed into our methods before we can solidify a more specific final materials list (See Timeline- Week 1)


Week 1(Apr 1-7): Finish experimental methods research, obtain necessary materials for starting construction, experimentation

Major Milestone: Have a clearly defined plan for experimentation process

Week 2(Apr 8-14): Start material construction/ experimentation

Major Milestone: Have samples of our material constructed

Week 3(Apr 15-21): Continue material construction/ experimentation, Start density sensing experimentation

Major Milestone: Have tangible result data for our preliminary testing

Week 4(Apr 22-28): Create final deliverable artifact, organize experimentation data

Major Milestone: Have our final deliverable completed and presentation-ready visualization of our experimentation data

Project Proposal – Geran, Terrence, Kyle

Motivation: Our motivation is lower the casualties per natural disaster, physical ailments or hazardous conditions and find a way to help first response teams communicate.  Social media has been a big help during natural disasters but we plan to help take it a step further.

Related work: Polar Team Pro shirt –

This shirt tracks motion and heart rate metrics real time.  

Owlet smart sock 2 –

This sock monitors your baby’s heart rate and oxygen while they sleep.


Project Ella – Through Black Fence Solutions


Wearables that track vitals nowadays are usually used in the area of sports to track motion vitals, location etc.  Our idea involves using this concept to save lives during hectic times. Our concept is designing a wearable that people will be able to use in the midst of natural disasters.  The product will be able to track the vitals of team members of search and rescue teams to ensure that they are doing ok. The team would be connected via bluetooth. Each sector of a team would have their own cloud server so there  would be no confusion. A version of this would also be released for the general population, each household would have their own server. In turn they’re location and vitals would be able to ping their vitals and current situation to authorities.


Ethical Impact: There could possibly be concern involving accuracy and The main issue won’t be with the natural disaster teams but with the general population.  People will be very concerned by the price, that will be covered by their insurance company. Privacy will also be a very big concern, people will have the option as to whether or not they want to turn the product on.  Even if the product is on they still have the option to ping their situation to the authorities. Families can just use the product within themselves. Overall this product will help make natural disaster rescue operations easier for both parties.  


Implementation: Video / Wearable Product Display Concept / AR HUD Concept


Parts List:

eMotiv (have)

Google Glasses (have)

VR Helmet?

Other sensors?



  1. Documentation and video creation.(Focus)
  2. R&D for eMotiv and Google Glasses.
  3. Project organization.(Focus)
  4. Possibly create a VR or AR experience demonstrating the prototype.


  1. Assisting in creating wearable HUD and notification paradigms.(Focus)
  2. Potential product design concepts and drafts.
  3. Possibly create a VR or AR experience demonstrating the prototype.(Focus)



  1. R&D for eMotiv and Google Glasses implementation for this particular project.(Focus)
  2. Potential product design concepts and drafts
  3. Direction in creating video, gathering documentation and providing some data visualization.



March 26th – March 30th: Finalize concept

March 31st – April 7th:  Concept art mockup/ Implementation research

April 8th – April 15th: Begin Prototype design

April 16th – 23rd: Prototype design cont./ Finalized

April 23rd – May 1st: Prepare for presentation

Project Proposal – Jennifer, Damon, Will, Michael

FullSizeRender 2

  • Our Idea

We propose to use mycelium to transform the large quantities of plastic waste in the ocean into biodegradable material. Specifically, we propose to grow a mycelium island on top of the giant trash pile of predominantly plastic waste located in the Pacific Ocean. There is existing research on using mycelium to degrade plastic, but previous work does not specifically focus on the plastic that is currently in the ocean, nor has any of the previous work proposed to deploy mycelium on this scale. Current attempts to reduce plastic waste in the ocean focus on filtering and removing plastic, whereas our approach would seek to transform the plastic into a non-harmful material.

  • Discussion About Contributing Factors

The overall goal of our project is to have a positive effect on the environment by reducing the amount of non-biodegradable plastic in the ocean. Before deploying the mycelium, we would need to determine exactly what the mycelium will turn the plastic into and what effects mycelium and its byproducts will have on the ecosystem. However, most of the concerns we would have about mycelium (such as any ecological problems associated with having a large amount of floating material in the ocean), are already being caused by the existing plastic garbage. In order to balance the O2 absorbed by and CO2 produced by the fungus, we would suggest growing plants on the mycelium island. Certain plants, such as bamboo, could also add increased physical stability to the island.

Our mycelium island could potentially grow large and stable enough to support human habitation, which opens the possibility of additional benefits to our project. The mycelium island could potentially serve many functions to human inhabitants, such as 1) serving as an isolated biological research space free of established ecosystems or invasive species, 2) a destination vacation spot, the profits of which could be used to continue the ocean cleaning efforts, or3) a potential home for refugees fleeing ecological disasters, particularly island nations and cultures that are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels.

  • Time Line

Week of March 26th – April 1st

Wednesday, March 28th – Project Pitch & Proposal

End goal: Be solid on subject and do research to learn as much as possible about mycelium

Week of April 2nd – April 8th

Wednest day, April 4th – Look, Ask, Learn, Try

End goal: begin sketches of actual island/start envisioning prototype|art instillation.

Week of April 9th – April 15th

End goal: start making presentation with final sketches | figure out how to present the information

Week of April 16th – April 22nd

Monday, April 16th – Project Update/Presentation

End goal: Be finished with art instillation and close to finish with presentation

Week of April 23rd – April 29th

End goal: Finish up all loose ends

Week of April 30th – May 6th

May 1st: turn in final documentation

  • Parts List

Computers, Drawings, Software, Mycelium, Art Supplies, Pictures, Video

  • Implementation

The way we plan on implementing our idea into the world is through building a floatable form mycelium that we can then place on the coast of California. We hope that we can place it into the environment and have it live on its own while it travels the coast collecting destroying the plastic waste that has now become part of the ocean. The island will become self sustaining, leaving it to slowly become part of the ocean and hopefully become a earth friendly replacement of the plastic island that lives out there now.     

  • Motivation

Our project will try and motivate people to see that cleaning up our oceans for a healthier planet is not an impossible feat. We can show this by making an all organic island that is self sustaining. This project is also an opportunity to talk about the ethics of building your own island and placing it near countries and whether world governments would be accepting of this idea. We will also cover the effects of the mycelium island on the oceanic ecosystem. Our project also may cover on finding a solution to world hunger considering that the excess waste from the island may be edible.

  • Similar Projects

-There are two projects that are close to ours but not quite the same. One of them is called the waste shark. Waste Shark, or otherwise known as the Wall-E of water, is an automatic ocean cleaner. It has a camera that pin points trash and swims to it for collection.

– Another project simialr to ours is a project from a kid named Boyan Slat. He has raised $320 million in funding in order to make a large scale garbage-collecting coastline in the water. These massive floating booms will sit on top of the water and collect trash much like a beach.

Project pitch and proposal

In this assignment you will finalize your project idea. This is a 2-part assignment: you will post your project proposal to the blog, and you will pitch your idea in class.

Project pitch (4 minutes in class)
You will have four minutes to pitch your idea to the class. You can use any format you want (slides, skit, poster, video, etc.). Your goal is to convince the class that your project is a good idea. Since you only have 4 minutes, you have to succinctly explain:

  • The project narrative, the big vision, problem or opportunity (one of your storyboards might be a starting point for this)
  • Why your idea is original (show similar work and explain why yours is different)
  • What impact your project will have on people, ethics, environment, culture
  • Your proposed prototype (what you plan to build)

Project proposal
In addition to the pitch, write a more detailed project proposal for the class blog. At the very least, include the following:

  • motivation (similar to the pitch, describe what problem, research question, or opportunity your project addresses)
  • related work (do a quick search to see if other projects have tried to address a similar topic; find 2-3 similar projects)
  • your idea (what you plan to build, who will use it, where it will be used, and why it’s different from existing work)
  • a discussion of the impact your project will have on people, ethics, environment, culture (1-2 paragraphs)
  • implementation (how you plan to implement your idea)
  • parts list (a tentative list of components you might use for this project)
  • timeline and responsibilities of each group member. The timeline must include what milestones you hope to meet each week leading up to the deadline.

Post your project proposal on the class blog under the “project proposal” category.

The proposal posted on the blog is worth 6 points
1 point for describing your project  motivation
1 point for describing related work
1 point for describing your project idea
1 point for including a parts list and implementation details in your proposal
1 point for the the discussion of your project impact
1 point for project timeline and group responsibilities

The in-class pitch is worth 4 points and counts towards your final project grade
4 points for clearly presenting your idea in class