Project Innovations Discussion Question

Project Innovations Discussion Question


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For this challenge, you will use an assortment of “household” objects listed below to build/construct an innovative tool designed to assist a person who lives alone and has limited mobility (of course this is a hypothetical person but you can model this after a real person you know).

The person uses a walker to move around the main level of their home. They have sufficient mobility to navigate the space, however, it is a struggle to bend down and impossible to use a step stool. Everyday activities in general are difficult: emptying the dishwasher, collecting laundry, cooking, putting groceries away, taking out the trash… you get the idea.

Your innovative tool should help solve or alleviate those issues or others you identify!


Prototype Level: low-fidelity. A low-fidelity prototype is a rough, simple version of your concept. I should be able to understand how your design functions, yet it does not need to be pretty or have every attribute operational. When you present your prototype in your documentation you will describe how your design functions and you can walk us through any additional, relevant features.


While it may seem constraints limit creativity, they actually force the ideation process to expand in different directions thereby spurring “out-of-the-box” thinking. To create a similar experience for your Home Helper challenge, we are giving you the following constraints which will limit the time you have to construct the prototype and the materials you use in your design. (These are the same sort of constraints we use in-class.)

Time: 90 minutes to brainstorm, prep, build, and document. If you want to use more time you can with no penalty – but 90 minutes is what we use in class. It will be challenging, but that is the point!!

Resources: You may only use the items you have available where you live. Suggested materials are listed in the table in the section below. You may use as many of each object required by your design as you need.

Note: the items listed below are suggestions. You may find a cool material that is the perfect fit for your idea – go for it! This is part of innovating!


The following items list should get you thinking about construction materials you have at home or in your dorm room. Tip: Take a walk around your home, look into cupboards, drawers (the junk drawer is the best), and start assembling a pile. Think about the challenge, sift through your pile, and start to sketch. Sometimes it is the materials that drive the concept.

paperclips glue straw(s) food container chopsticks
paper plates string jar clothing pin tape
paper cardboard tube can rubber bands milk container
cardboard paper wire foam bag (paper/plastic)
ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE: 100 total points

Brainstorm Process: 25 points

Record your brainstorming process in a Word document, include pictures pic of your brainstorming process. Describe the process you used to come up with various ideas and share one resource/strategy you found that supported your ideation/brainstorming process.

Prototype Demonstration: 75 points

Demonstrate how your prototype works. You can upload a video of the prototype in action (best)


thoroughly demonstrate how your prototype functions through a design document with pictures of the prototype and text describing the features and how it all operates.

IMPORTANT! In your video or document you MUST answer the following questions as well as DEMONSTRATING how it works

Describe the tool and the materials you used in your construction.
Discuss how it will address a perceived need of the user.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating the item?
Do you feel you were successful? Why or why not?
Did you fail? If so, what did you do to recover and move on?

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