How to gain better monitoring over our bodies and environment in an intuitive and easy way?
Edited BY: Wenyu Fang
Edit Date: 2019-08-12 12:20:22

PBL Assignment Design


Explanation about the choice of the idea

The topic was chosen to provide a solution to a question - how to gain better monitoring and control over our bodies and environment sensing new levels of useful data. That includes UV, air quality parameters, different allergens, humidity, magnetic fields, heart beats, wifi strength, etc. 

The goal of the project is to encourage students to research the topic and propose solutions for the problem. Students are supposed to integrate engineering and design, tackle the problem and progress in their knowledge and skills. 

Our topic is focused on receiving more relevant and real-time information regarding our health and our surroundings. Guiding question : How to extend your senses in an intuitive and easy way? The problem defined in a wide perspective in order to enable the students to try and find different solutions.

Designing the assignment

Background of the topic:

Nowadays, Modern people care about their health and the environment around them more and more. But the information people get online is not precise enough because the environment conditions could be various in different places on the map. This information is not always relevant - meaning for example that the monitoring facility/ device does not have the same conditions if it is not exactly at the same location as you. Plus it is hard to find real time measurements. So, it’s necessary for people to have methods to know the conditions around them in real time, accurate and intuitive.

In the market, there are several partial solutions not exactly meeting our demands. Such as wearable devices like sport bands and smart watches. They’re small enough, but they pack many sensors inside of the device, which means customers can’t customize the sensors they want and the data is not very easily accessible. Besides, there are medical devices which can measure different measurements precisely. But they are too big and too professional - with many different functionalities and great amount of data available (not all relevant). Such devices are complicated to be used in daily life. 

That’s why students need to find a possible practical solution for the defined need.

 Now, please start inventing!



  1. You will be divided into groups of 3-4 students each.

  2. Every group need to do market research first and decide the functions you want to put in your solution.

  3. Brainstorm your ideas and combine few disciplines together to come up with more creative and relevant solution.

  4. Discuss how to make the functions practical through using different technologies.

  5. Decide on the design of your product and document the plan of your product.

  6. Design, and build a model prototype or several prototypes of your product.

  7. Prepare to present your product to the classmates and be ready for the questions from them. The presentation time should be less than 10 minutes.

All of these works should be done in 1 month. Please remember to submit your assignment progress every week online.


Our expectation from you

  1. Scientific knowledge: materials science; electronics; biology; computer science; product design; environmental sciences. 

  2. Skills: teamwork; project management; time management; interpersonal communication including with instructors, industry experts and peers; critical and creative thinking; presentation skills; market analysis; information gathering and processing; execution; literacy ;


The work on the project consists of 4 stages:

  • A. PBL design - Discussing the problem among peers in small groups. documenting ideas.

- Defining and analyzing scientific, engineering, and social aspects of the problem.

- What could be the uses and applications of a solution to this problem.

- Market research.

- Choosing a solution all team members agree on as the best option.

  • B. Project implementation - design, preparation and construction of a model / prototype.

- In teams evaluate the different ideas by innovation taxonomy.

- Dividing the implementation to different tasks, discussing about dividing the tasks and the cooperation of team members on different tasks.

- Monitoring the progress and managing time according to deadlines.

- Writing drafts and refining the solution, gathering and using resources.

  • C. Assessment - provide comments and feedback to 2 peers’ projects.

-Revise your project according to the feedback given by your peers and improve the product. 

  • D. Project presentation - present the goal, design, innovative aspects and outcomes of your project in a visualized way by the use of multimedia and demonstration to your instructor and peers.

-Summarize the competences and skills you have learned from the PBL.


Assignments and stages of the project

1. Researching the problem and writing the findings, what challenges does the project present? Brainstorm for the possible implications if a solution to this problem existed.


2. Evaluating each idea proposed by group members, selecting ONE idea that is most innovative and explaining why.


3. Conducting a market research report based on the most innovative idea your group selected, analyzing current situation of similar products and the competitiveness of the device or product your group is going to design.


4. Designing and building a prototype, focusing on the different functionalities of your product.


5. Providing assessments to the products of two other groups.


6. Optimizing your product according to assessment from instructors and peers and give a final version of your tangible product.


7. Presenting the projects via PPT, short video, website, or other multimedia approaches.



Description (Our Solution)

The basic idea is using daily accessories such as bracelets, necklace and watch to notice people what status their bodies are and the environment index is. There are different types of sports bands and smart watches existing on the market now, of which few are multi-functional and customized. The design of our product takes more health aspects into consideration. In fact, we want to create some smart accessories which have more functions rather than just decoration function and we can get information directly from color change or brightness change, or pattern etc .


Idea:  Customize Sensory Jewelry 

1. You can choose what kinds of sensors ( nanosensors ) you want to have on your device, like sensors of body temperature, UV, air quality, allergens, humidity, heart beats, WiFi strength,etc.

2. The device can be in form of bracelet, necklace, ring, strips on watch, belt, earrings, etc. to make it fashionable.

3. The device will change color according to the scale of the measured data. 

4. The device will connect to your smart phone to provide past readings of the sensor and graphs according to time/ location.

3. The device can also be designed to detect some gestures, in order to enable the device to do some actions, like a certain hand gesture could mean ‘turning on the light’ with the sensors inside the device.


How does it work?

Stage 1: On our website you can customly choose the sensors you want to use in daily life.

Stage 2: Choose the design of your choice for wearable item or items - bracelet, beads, band on you watch or more.

Stage 3: Choose a color pattern of each sensor output

Stage 3: The items are safely delivered to your house 


Two possible solutions

Either to use pixels to coat the beads/ bracelets, and to program the beads according to the request of the costomer

Or to use smart materials with chromism property - they react with color change to change in different attributes for example :


This is a UV light sensor

Other types of nanosensors, including quantum dots and gold nanoparticles, are currently being developed to detect pollutants and toxins in the environment. 

Chemical sensors are useful for analyzing odors from food samples and detecting atmospheric gases.

Gesture sensor can be used for recognizing your gestures once you move your hand over it.

Nomembrane made from indium zinc oxide using a chemical processing approach allows people to tune the material’s texture and surface properties. It could be applied to human skin to capture various types of physical data for better health monitoring and early disease detection.


Communication with your smart device: 

There is only one WiFi module in the whole system. It’s like a hub of the whole system that process the information coming from different sensors and aggregate them before sending it to our phone. The WiFi module and other sensors communicate through the wire which is also used as the lace and in the inner part of the beads.

Each bracelet will have a small wifi transmitter of its own.

Question Created By: Wenyu Fang
Creation Date: 2019-08-12 12:16:05
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