Senior Project: Runaway Alarm Clock

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I never experienced Senior Projects in my high school (my wife did) but I wish I had. The opportunity to  receive professional feedback and receive credit for work you have always wanted to do is something I had to wait a long time to do. For a semester, I worked with 2 of my graduating robotics students as their mentor and although I am biased I think their projects are incredibly cool.

In this post, I share Amanda's Run Away Alarm Clock. When I sat through her presentation of her work, it was incredible to see how much she has grown since I met her as a Sophomore. She served as our robotics president for two years and our team will never be the same without her. With this project she took on electronics and programming, two aspects of engineering she had not focused on before.

She was creating no simple project, but what I love most about Amanda is how she has an endless supply of energy and will persevere through all obstacles. Randy Pausch's quote that, "brick walls are there to show us how much we want something," is personified in her. Her math teacher and she both agreed that she is much more capable at courageously approaching any problem she encounters and she continues to be interested in both Business and Engineering. I am so grateful to have women role models like Limor Fried to share with Amanda to inspire her. This project was made possible with Arduino, AdaFruit Industries, SparkFun, and the Arduino Cookbook for parts, resources, and inspiration. So without further ado, here is her project.

Run Away Clock
By Amanda Snyder
Can the new and improved Clocky help students wake up on time for school?
Given the number of students not coming to school on time, students clearly need a more effective way of waking up on time.  The purpose of this project is to improve the already existing Clocky to help students not only wake up on time, but to come to school awake and prepared.  The Run Away Clock will be able to tell time, run away from the user when an alarm goes off, and flash lights as it runs away from the user.  I created a program to implement all these features using an Arduino Uno and an accelerometer.  The accelerometer will cause The Run Away Clock to hit an object and, using a sensor, back up from the object it hits and start running away again.  After completing the clock, I gave three students The Run Away Clock and had them complete a feedback form so I could refine the product.  I have also created a pamphlet for students interested in creating their own Run Away Clock.   

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