ABC Assistive Technologies specializes in making the world more accessible to people with disabilities. In the past, ABC focused on hearing aids and personal emergency response systems. ABC would like to start providing new products that can be controlled via actions of the face and head. As ABC’s newest electrical engineer, you have been asked to explore using eye blinks to turn on and off devices.
Your primary tool for detecting a blink will be the Vernier EKG Sensor. An EKG sensor is normally used to record the electrical activity of the heart, but it can also record other electrical changes in your body, such as an eye blink. When the nerves fire to activate the muscles that produce a blink, they produce an electrical signal that can be detected with the EKG’s electrodes. Closing the eyelids produces a positive voltage pulse and reopening the eyes produces a negative pulse.
You may choose from a variety of output devices to activate with eye blinks. At this point in product development, ABC simply wants a “proof of concept,” a device that can demonstrate that the proposed technology is feasible.
Your job is to create a prototype of a blink-activated device using a Vernier EKG Sensor, Logger Pro software or a standalone LabQuest 2, and a variety of output devices shown in the Materials list.
- Supplement classroom instruction of the body’s electrical activity and its effects with a hands-on engineering application.
- Control devices (e.g., LED or buzzers) based on input from measured physical quantities (e.g., EKG trace).
Sensors and Equipment
- DC buzzer
- DC/120 mA lamp
- green LED (with resistor)
- red LED (with resistor)
- duct tape
- felt sheets
- colored markers
The download includes student instructions, DCU tips, teacher information, and examples in PDF and Microsoft® Word® formats.
About Engineering Extension Activities
Engineering Extension Activities provide a way to add an engineering component to a Vernier science experiment. Use sensor data and Logger Pro software (or LabQuest 2) to help solve an engineering problem.
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