InventTeam 2022-23 - Building the Smart Walker
Rolling Robots InvenTeam aims to solve a problem in our community.
On Kids Inventors’ Day in 2023, we congratulate the Rolling Robots InvenTeam - one of the 2023 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams - on receiving the grant of $7,500! The team will develop their invention, the Smart Walker, and present their work at the Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest 2023 at MIT! Rolling Robots InvenTeam is one of ten teams across the United States this year to win this grant.
The 2022-23 Rolling Robots’ Inventeam consists of fifteen high school students with diverse backgrounds coming from multiple schools over the south bay area and Los Angeles area. The team came together with one goal — to create an invention to solve a real-world problem in our community.
The team began their journey brainstorming about problems affecting our community and ideas on how to solve these problems. They narrowed their ideas to a few and over weeks of research, the team decided to further pursue the “smart walker”. In their investigation, the team learned that thousands of falls can be prevented if seniors had better access to their walking device. The team visited several local assisted living centers and interviewed multiple seniors to get ideas on how they could design a smart walker. They hope the smart walker will enable seniors to be safer, and lead a more independent life. Using the feedback they received, the team wrote a proposal with background research documents and computer-aided designs for the smart walker that enables seniors to access their walker with a reduced possibility of falling.
Upon receiving the grant in November 2022, the team started working on creating a prototype of the smart walker. They will also receive the year-long support by the Rolling Robots’ mentors, the SpaceX engineers, the Lemelson-MIT team, and community resources such as City of Rolling Hills, Frank Yang - CEO of simplehuman, and Helen Greiner - CEO of Tertill Corporation. In February 2023, the team will present their progress in the mid-grant tech review organized by Lemelson-MIT and supported by the Singleton Foundation. For this review, the team will share the status of their prototype and receive feedback from the Lemelson-MIT team and the audience members in the review. The team will complete their prototype and final report for this invention, share the results and celebrate the learning through their invention at the Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest in June.
Most of the students participating in the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam have been active participants in the Rolling Robots Robotics and Invent programs. Through their years of dedication, they have gained hands-on, minds-on experience enabling them to be active participants in problem-solving and inventing for real-world projects. When applying to college, moreover, the experiences they have accumulated through the Invent and Robotics program sets them apart from many other engineering aspiring students. The Invent and Robotics programs equip the Rolling Robots students with tangible experiences and apprenticeships that are unique and have real-world applications.
Rolling Robots Outreach, a 501(3)(c) organization with the mission of promoting STEM education in youth, has developed the “Inventor Studio” style engineering lab facilities. The Inventor Studio is equipped with the state of the art digital manufacturing equipment, electronics test equipment, and hand tools. Students attend the inventor workshops and are trained and supported to be apprentices in engineering.
Students can begin this program as early as middle school in the Junior Inventors programs. Through this program, students are introduced to electronic product design projects. The program is designed for students with great curiosity and focus but, no experience is required.
For middle school students with some experience, there is the program "Edison Hackers" for them to join. Thomas Edison once said, "in order to invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk". Our Edison Hackers will learn how to reverse-engineer and create projects using the pile of “junk” such as old 3D printers and robotics systems.
The next step in the Invent program is the JV Invent Team. The JV InvenTeam utilizes a curriculum developed by the Lemelson-MIT foundation. This curriculum provides an opportunity for exceptional STEM students to move beyond the classroom and beyond the robotics team to develop the skills to solve real-world problems using their creative minds. There are a series of modules for students to learn science, engineering, and techniques of invention. The modules involve topics such as Heat transfer, Modeling and Molding, Electronic Textiles, Green Chemistry, and Hydroponic Gardening.
As a capstone, Rolling Robot’s top high school students are invited to participate on a self-directed team. The students propose and develop an idea for submission to the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam competition as well as other programs. The InvenTeam® initiative by the Lemelson-MIT program has worked with almost 3000 students since 2003. Once their proposal is funded by the Lemelson-MIT program, the InvenTeam is born.
In 2018, a group of Rolling Robots high school students received the InvenTeam grant for their Sleep improvement Device for Teens. That team won the Beaver Works InvenTeam Award at the EurekaFest 2019. Today is the Kid Inventors’ Day when we celebrate the birth anniversary of the respected child inventor, polymath, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States Benjamin Franklin. While all the members of this team are studying at top universities across the county, a special milestone has been achieved - the US patent No. 11,553,875 is issued to this team for their invention!