This project evolved from this year’s First Lego league theme – Senior Solutions. The teams were challenged with creating an innovative solution to improve life for seniors by helping them be more independent, engaged and connected in their communities.
The kids came up with several suggestions – a wheelchair line follower that would maneuver itself through smaller doorways than a person could, a hospital bot, a wearable airbag, and a creative game that would help seniors to play games or exercise competitively or cooperatively over a skype-like interface. They chose the game and pitched it to a group of seniors at the Lakeside Retirement Community. The reaction was ‘That’s all very nice, but I don’t need it. I just need you to help me FIND. MY. STUFF!!! I keep on losing my stuff!’ And thus, the Sherlook Homz (PATENT PENDING!) was borne…
The Sherlook Homz is a package consisting of RFID chips, RFID readers with associated cameras, and a mobile app that would run on a tablet. The kids suggest that the tablet be attached to a wall so that it doesn’t get lost (you don’t want to have to buy 2 tablets and tag them both :-))
The readers are strategically placed at various locations in the house, a minimum of one in every room. Items get entered into the mobile database – each item is photographed, labelled, and an rfid chip is scanned and attached to the item. That completes the setup.
When item is lost at a later stage, the senior can either click the image of the lost item or use voice recognition to say ‘Sherlook Homz – find my keys’. The tablet sends a message to the readers over wifi, and each reader responds with a message indicating at what strength (if any) it sees the item. The tablet triangulates the results, and requests the closest reader to take a picture in the general area of the item. The tablet displays the image to the user, with an arrow pointing to the area of triangulation.
Note: placement of the readers is important, and we suggest that they are placed back to back on walls where the lost item could be on either side of the wall.
The kids are excited and enthusiastic. They’ve developed a prototype of the front-end using Windows Visual Studio C#.net. We have it running on a very old windows phone. They’d love the opportunity to get it to interact with real rfid readers on a real tablet, and once they’ve got it working they’d like to go on TV and tell the world about it, so that when you see the Sherlook Homz (it may be called SureLook Homz then) in BestBuy you’ll say – ‘Hey! Those are the kids I saw on TV!’
This is their executable.
Sherlook Homz exe SherLookHomez