Week 10: The Beginning Of The End
Welcome again to another week of my Senior Project. This week consisted of writing my outline and working on my ultrasonic cane project. I did not attend any lectures this week because the classes ended last week.
At the beginning of the week, I focused on building a new MVP (minimum viable product) for my cane based on information I gathered about the canes used by blind users. In particular, the MVP consisted of various components built onto a broomstick. I drilled various holes into the broomstick to attach the ultrasonic sensor and Arduino. In addition, I created a hole in a tennis ball and attached it to the bottom of the cane. The weight of the tennis ball allows for the cane to be more easily moved by blind users. In addition, I attached a wooden handle to the top of the cane using nails and tape, so the user can easily grip the cane. (Attached below is a picture of the cane.) The experience of building the cane taught me a lot about using tools, like hammers, nails, and drills.
Later, the MVP was used to conduct various tests on how it worked. When the cane was placed on ground level at a height of 42.5 cm and an angle of 53.5 degrees, the average distance from the sensor was 110.622419 cm ± 1.27166051 cm. The same device was tested 30 cm away from the stairs, which gave the results of 58.33492863 cm ± 2.688158602 cm. The data from 30 cm made it clear that this cane was detecting upward-facing stairs because the distance from the sensor was drastically less when it was facing the stairs due to the stairs blocking the sensors from reaching the ground. When the ultrasonic sensor was 60 cm away, the data became inaccurate and showed lots of fluctuating values. When I tested the ultrasonic sensor against downward-facing stairs (with a distance of 30 cm away), the average data was 133.5571284 cm ± 44.5331608 cm. This clear result indicates that the ultrasonic sensor was unable to detect the downward-facing stairs because the data is very sporadic. Therefore, these results indicate to me that an angle of 53.5 degrees is too small to accurately detect data.
For my lab, I continued to monitor the hippocampal cells. I spent the first part of my time observing the cells under a microscope to determine whether any contamination may have occurred. Thankfully, there was no contamination for any of the cells. Afterward, I waited a long time to reheat the medium (a solution that provides essential nutrients for the cells to grow), because it was in the fridge. Afterward, I got started on removing 300 mL of the old medium from each petri dish, and I added 400 mL of the new medium to each petri dish. I continued to hone my skills in using the pipette, and I became a lot faster at absorbing and dispensing liquids. Next week, I will be testing the electrical activity of these Petri dishes and how the cells react to various drugs.
For my paper, I focused this week by combining my previous notes about articles into distinct topics. For example, some of the topics for the first part of the paper focus on defining emotions, brain components, and how different emotions occur. Therefore, I split my notes into each section, and I used these sections to create an outline for the first part of my paper. This outline includes more of my voice and ideas that are substantiated by the evidence from other articles. I am planning on focusing on writing the first part of my draft about background information on emotions before I move on to discuss drugs and neurodegenerative diseases. This will provide me sufficient time to focus on one part of the essay before I move on to another. In addition, the central thesis of my argument is that changes in emotions are the result of modification in neuronal pathways due to stimuli, drugs, and neurodegenerative diseases. I hope to share more progress on other sections of my essay next week.