Project Status Update–Ben, Shomit, Justin and Daisy.  

Our project is using the excess waste materials from brewing and distilling alcohol to build buildings and imagine futures where this is actualized. We want to use the grains mixed with other organic substances like coffee grounds to form bricks then grow root systems in them to strengthen them. The roots will act like a binding agent.

We do not have code to implement at this time, but we do have the above pictures of sketches and designs for our prototype we are currently implementing. We are creating mock ups of different brick structures and how they interact with the plants. We also have our shared google slide presentation that we have previously shared in class and our google document.

Until the Showcase deadline Daisy and Justin will be fabricating these example models and trying to create a real living plant model. Shomit will be polishing the presentation format, and Ben will be focusing on code.

Jinlong, Ruipeng, Shanshan, Zhenping-Look, ask, learn, try

Our group project is about to avoid back pain while in long distant ridding and try to apply a new technology that the suit can absorb the sweat to power up the product. In order to know if this concept is feasible, we decided to interview our classmate who is call Heartin and he is a fan of cycling. We met him at his home.



We found that he has three bikes at his home and he told us that he will trying to do a long distant cycling after this semester.



Our team: what do you think of this concept?

Heartin: The idea is great! Back pain is a common ailment in long distant cycling. I have back pain, which is very uncomfortable during cycling. Also, the suit is very cool, absorbing sweat to power up the device.

Our team: Do you have question about this idea?

Heartin: Here is a one thing I care about. Since the device will be included in the suit, so it has to be flexible and very small. So, how long this device can be used? Usually, if I plan to do long distant cycling, it will take five to seven hours. I am wondering if this product can be used at least five to seven hours.

Our team: Do you have any suggestion to this product?

Heartin: Normally, there are two reasons to cause back pain. The first is the wrong ridding posture. The second is that cyclist have to take a rest if they ride too long. Even though this device can help you to keep a appropriate ridding posture, you have to consider to add a timer to remind cyclist they need to have a rest.



 In order to have a deeper understanding of the project. We asked him to show us the wrong ridding posture in long distant cycling. What’s more, we also consider to place our product in back of the suit. Thus, we asked him to try which part and what kind of shape will be the best place for the product.


Here is an opportunity that we found during the interview. We found that sometimes he will lean to left or right while cycling. He said that a lot of people have this problem in long distant cycling. It is also not good for your back. Thus, we can apply three bend sensors in the device, one of straight, two for left and right. If people lean to left or right side, the bend sensors will detect the cyclist in the wrong posture, then the device will vibrate to remind them.


Project Update – Jennifer, Michael, Damon, Will

After looking over a lot of the feedback that we received on our mycelium island project our group came to the conclusion, with the help of others from the class, that the idea overall is not feasible/believable. And so, we have chosen to focus more on the idea of mycelium eating plastic in a smaller scale project. We are looking to make either a new form of recyclable trash can made of mycelium, or some sort of instillation that mimics the general idea. For the deliverable, we are thinking of making a silicon mold from a simple waste basket, and from there grow mycelium from it. Since we don’t have an actual strain of mycelium that eats plastic, we were thinking of making a stop motion video showing our mycelium trash can eating plastic or something along those lines. If chosen for the challenge, we would try to design a 3D printed version of the mold and grow the mycelium from that.

Project Update: Hazardous and Safety Conditions Wearable. Geran, Terrence & Kyle.

Final Deliverable:

The final deliverable for the class based on the feedback we have received, the resources we have and the timeline that we are working with will mainly consist of research, a digitally produced prototype and video documentation of a mock up system using the tools we have.  With the eMotiv and Google Glasses (if we can incorporate them) and maybe a few other sensors we can demonstrate a proof of concept while still projecting our idea into the future as a more reasonable and less intrusive wearable. We would digitally design a device that serves our intended purpose, but demonstrate how or what we would record and use as far as data with the eMotiv and other devices.  If time allows, we would also begin the AR/VR portion of the proposal as an extension of the mock-up system, but we are not sure if we’ll have the time. A potential ‘mock-up’ mock-up might be in order just to show what that part of the project would look like.


Class Feedback:


-I like that this helps people.

-I like the concept of helping people during natural disasters.

-I like the idea of wearables for emergency response.

-I like the prior research you have done for this project.  The networking part is strong.

-I like that they have a physical deliverable for a potential VR simulation.  Also having a video to demonstrate is a good idea as well.

-I like that this idea could be implemented in already existing technologies (wearables).

-I like the idea of applying wearable technologies to improve safety and humanitarian efforts.

-I like the concept and implementation.

-I like the overall idea of a better wearable.

-I like the idea of networking and crowdsourcing.

-I like the idea and the technology involved.

-I like the focus on public safety.

-Cool idea, could keep people safe (yup).

-I like the focus on creating a better disaster response system.

-I like the idea of faster first response.


General Liked Themes:

-Natural Disasters & First Response / Safety

-Video & Physical Deliverable / Technology Involved




-I don’t like how this seems glasses-unfriendly, what about people with glasses.

-I wish they elaborated more on the physical aspect / design concepts.

-I wish you addressed potential privacy data concerns with broadcasting health data to the cloud.

-I with this engaged with broader issues around biotech, what is the vision for biotechnology here?

-I wish they had possible solutions for making it waterproof.

-Someone said something about police being unethical.

-I wish the exact application for the technology was more well-defined.

-I wish you would explain which government systems would use this device.

-I wish the wearable was designed for a more specific group of people.

-I wish I had a better idea of the specific application for your device.

-I wish you mentioned example data or information you would like to use in the system.

-I wish we could see a working prototype.

-I wish the group thought more about how to interconnect users.

-I wish there was a better way to transfer data other than the ‘cloud’ (dont think thats possible?).


General Disliked Themes:


-Lots of Concern About Data

-More Niche of a Market

-Technology Involved and Relation to Biotech


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