Design story

Please Empower this project:
[Total: 22 Average: 5]

Empathies - STEAM Challange

During the empathize stage, we understood that we must first recognize where the problem lies to proceed and act to help solve it. Through research, we discovered that environmental sustainability is a growing global issue, issues such as poaching leading to extinction, climate change, environmental disasters like wildfires, and human-caused disasters like habitat destruction. If issues like this were not to be addressed, it would lead to thousands of species extinction, and we have already seen a high number of extinct species with thousands more currently endangered.

As a growing company, we recognize the importance of technology within our daily lives. The growth of technology has evolved for it to be used in everyday tasks, and so we believe that the use of advanced technology is the best solution to deal with these global environmental sustainability issues.

We also understand the four essential needs to provide our consumers, being a fair price, good service, good product and feeling valued, which we will provide through our product and services.

Define - Use Case

During the define stage, as a team we all decided that the more efficient and effective way to solve these environmental sustainability issues is to create a device that will monitor these hazards and conditions within the environment, while also keeping track and monitoring the population of endangered species, environmental and human-made disasters and climate change by taking pictures when the motion of an animal is detected, and then taken pictures would be sent and displayed on a website for analysis. We decided to call it Bird For The Word because monitoring birds was our first priority.

Ideate - Solutions

During the ideate stage, we brainstormed through many ideas to help these environmental sustainability issues before ultimately deciding to create the Bird For the Word, such as a game that teaches the player the importance of taking care of the environment. We got help from our mentors and upper years with advice like the features we could implement on our device such as a thermal camera and using 3D printing to create a case. We were inspired by various wildlife organizations such as RSPB, WWF, and The Wildfire Trusts as their ideals were similar to ours in helping endangered species, and perhaps in the future, we could even work with these organizations. Through this, we fully understood a problem we were passionate about to help solving.

Prototype - Application

Initially, our product would include an infrared camera as well as its regular camera, so we device would be able to capture pictures even at night, however, we did not include it in our final prototype because we did not want to overcomplicate our device with too many features since we already had a lot of components with one camera being enough.

Firstly, we installed the raspberry pi operating system onto an SD card and loaded it from the raspberry pi to display on a monitor. We connected all the components to the raspberry pi such as the two LED’s, PIR sensor, camera, and servo, then we used the raspberry pi operating system to test if the configured components functioned with basic test code before actually programming their features.

The first component we programmed was the servo to move 180 degrees using the keyboards arrow keys, the left arrow-key to turn the servo left, the right-arrow key to turn the servo right and the up-arrow key to turn the servo straight back to the middle.

Then we proceeded to code the camera and PIR sensor together so when the monitor sensor is triggered an image is captured and saved as a .JPG file that will be later sent and displayed on the website. Next, we coded one of the LEDs to turn on when the PIR sensor is triggered and another LED to show that the device is on.

One of our upperclassmen helped up 3D print a black plastic front plate for our camera that we glued on to protect the device and make it look more professional, then we also glued the camera onto the servo so the camera would move when the servo moved. One of our upperclassmen also helped us 3D print a transparent acrylic case for our device that supports the camera’s 180-degree motion with a hole at the top where the camera would fit, we wanted our device to be camouflaged so it did not harm the environment from a visual point of view, so we collected and glued leaves and sticks onto it making it camouflaged.

Since we finished everything on our device in terms of hardware and software, we thoroughly tested each hardware component with their code before proceeding to attach the raspberry pi to the case, we glued it at the bottom of the case with the LED’s, the camera and servo at the top and the PIR sensor at the front. After the raspberry pi with all its components where glues on the case we tested them again and everything worked correctly.

The website was created with HTML, CSS and PHP to link the website with the raspberry pi so the captured images from the device would be sent and displayed on the website in real-time, it will showcase all previous and following captured images like a gallery. This took us a while to complete because we got many issues when trying to link the website to the raspberry pi but in the end, we fully got this working.

Prototype 2


Final Prototype


Test - Results

We toughly tested our device in terms of hardware and software to make sure it worked with all the different components and features we added, such as the camera and PIR sensor working together as well as the servo and LED’s. In terms of hardware, everything worked correctly but in terms of software, we had a lot of issues making the website link to the raspberry pi, but we finally got it working at the end through trial and error. We finally tested our website if it functioned with the raspberry pi so the captured images the device took were sent and displayed onto the website and it did. So in conclusion throughout our testing, everything functioned accordingly in terms of hardware and software.