Problem

Residents of Lambs Farm, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities, complain of sleeplessness as they age. Their case managers need a more accurate and convenient means to log the times a person is awake and asleep during overnight hours.

Solution

The Bedside Button Buddy

The Bedside Button Buddy is a simple and easy method for case managers to record residents’ sleep patterns. It is a device containing an illuminated button residents can push when they wake. Upon pushing the device’s button, a time stamp is added to a data log on a removable SD card that case managers can read as a text file.



Development Process

  1. The Bedside Button Buddy team.The design team met with their client to understand the recurring complaints of sleeplessness by residents at Lambs Farm.
  2. The team visited case managers and residents of Lambs Farm to further understand the problem and recognize its constraints.
  3. After brainstorming potential solutions, the team decided that the solution called for creating a simple method for users to register time stamps, potentially on a device that utilized circuitry.
  4. The team visited the Mechatronics Design Lab at Segal to see if this type of solution would be feasible.
  5. The design team considered different ways for users to register a signal to a device that used mechatronics, including push buttons and pulley handles. Simple mockups of these alternatives were constructed.
  6. Mockups were tested with users at Lambs Farm, and residents expressed a preference for the push-button concept. Additionally, users liked mockups that indicated they had successfully activated the device, either by an audible or light signal.
  7. The students developed a push-button that illuminated and produced a clicking sound when pressed. For the prototype, a store-bought push-button light was reprogrammed with Arduino circuit boards to control the light timing and luminosity.
  8. The team presented their design to their client.