A course for students dedicated to the Internet of Things and aimed at looking for solutions to the problems that ordinary users are facing took place on the premises of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SKOLTECH) with participation of the BHSAD. The goal of the course was to add practical aspect to the principles of design thinking while identifying actual demands of people, analyzing their behavior, and in solving various tasks using “smart things”.
Over the two weeks, the participants went a long way from coming up with an idea to creating prototypes for future products. Key functions of the prototypes worked in demo mode, while they could be tested in real applications. The course comprised theoretical and practical parts, included engineering and design modules. Students gained practical knowledge of fast prototyping, including skills in 3D printing, lazed cutting, working with milling equipment and mechatronics zone; the course ended with defending projects and testing them.
BHSAD tutors Marina Turlay, Alisa Minkina, Stepan Pyanykh and Dmitry Karpov gave lectures on “How to perform consumer demands study”, “How tonprepare a storyboard”, “How to evaluate user experience from the project”. Graduates of BA (Hons) Product Design Ekaterina Krotenko, Yulia Kamalova, Nikita Lukyanchikov and Nikita Kolyadin also took part in the project.
The final projects presented to the jury turned out to be quite versatile, reflecting the whole spectrum of demands from the users: from solving the problems related to keeping in order one’s garden by the country house to a control system based on gestures, to be used in loud places. We would like to note specifically the following projects:
Smart Chicken House — a system for monitoring the amount of eggs each chicken lays depending on external parameters, and early prevention of diseases.
Smart Window (MAUNA) — a system for automatic closing and opening of windows depending of user preferences (temperature, humidity and CO2 level).
Gesture for pleasure — gestures-based control system.
Care Baby — wearable device for kids that monitors key health parameters and general condition of a baby.
Insole pass — a system for entering secure areas without badges, keys and cards.
This course was the first time that SKOLTECH and BHSAD worked together in interdisciplinary teams consisting of designers and engineers working on the same task.