Prototyping Testing in March 2017 and April 2017:

We haven’t updated the blog in a while,so I decided to add the events and developments that happened before the work began on the newest prototype since the day after the NYU Tandon Research Expo in on April 21st 2017.

The following is what we did between March 1st 2017 and April 20th 2017

After going through the first project critique in March 2017, we removed the Card Swiping lock system from the refrigerator. We introduced a colour coded sticker system. Based on this, those that shared the food only had to put one sticker on the food container. Below is an image of all the food before the sticker system.

How did we make sure that the food was still safe after more than one week?

That is the solution! If the sticker was still on a container for over a week, the container and the food was discarded. Every week day, one person from the team made sure of this.

Monday: Red
Tuesday: Green
Wednesday: Yellow
Thursday: Blue
Friday: Purple
Saturday: Pink
Sunday: Orange

If this sounds confusing, let me give an example: Simon was in charge of this duty on Tuesdays. The sticker associated with Tuesdays was Green. The sticker associated with Wednesday was Yellow. So Simon would remove any containers that had a Yellow Stickers. Of course he would also have to remove all empty containers and food that might have gone bad.

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Now, in the first week of April 2017, we had our second DFA NYU project critique. Here we decided to test the smart aspect of the refrigerator and count the number of users and how it the students used the NYU FREEdge.

The second prototype had a Raspberry Pi touch display which tracked how many users interacted with the refrigerator by taking the count of how many students opened it. It had another feature: take imaged of the food when someone closed the refrigerator. These were the smart features of the NYU FREEdge.

We did a pilot drill so that we can be sure of not damaging the coolant circulation in the refrigerator. Finally, we decided to add the display on the Freezer door, as it was not used by students.

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The sticker system remained while we used this prototype. Adding the smart component gave us a valuable data. We found out that at an average 83 people have used the NYU FREEdge each week between April 15th 2017 and May 16th 2017. However, the images were very dark, as there was not enough light to identify them. A lot of stickers were used during this time. (Even though a new refrigerator had been purchased on the 21st of April, this prototype was operational to get a better quality of data)

Below are two image comparison. The one on the left was taken when the display was attached, the one on the right taken on June 2nd 2017 (this prototype was on hiatus since May 16th 2017), showing that Friday was the day when most food was shared.


This was quite a successful iteration of the prototype. Now the team is working on a new prototype.

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