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The ME310 collection is a set of project reports from the ME310 course at Stanford University. Students enrolled in ME310 participate in a product design project over the course of an entire school year in collaboration with another team from a foreign university. ME310 students take on real world design challenges brought forth by corporate partners. Throughout one academic year, student teams prototype and test design concepts and in the end create a full proof-of-concept system that demonstrates their ideas.
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After exploring various user groups and potential applications of Artificial Intelligence such as language translation, self reflection, remote communication and assistance in conversations, we decided to focus on communication within fam- ilies, particularly between parents and children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. We found that there was scope for improvement in the communication between parents and chil- dren in this age group. Parents with children between 3 and 5 years of age are familiar with the daily struggle of getting their children through routines and the negative home environment that develops as a result of the poor communication. Children of this age are at a crucial stage in terms of development of emotions, language and sense of time. They need time to prepare themselves for transitions between activities and engagement to keep them from being distracted while going through these transitions. The parent on the other hand, is concerned about their child’s schedule and getting them from place to place on time, while struggling with several other responsibilities, all while being tired and stressed out after a long day’s work. This discrepancy between the child’s need to prepare for change and the parent’s wish to move from task to task creates a lot of tension, stress and negative communication in the household. VAMO is a system that solves this need. It signals an approaching transition to the child using light queues in the house, an association that the child learns, and provides them with a Buffer Time to prepare for incoming change. Once the Buffer Time expires, the system signals the child again and guides them to the desired location. This happens through a story told using Milestones placed around the house on the path between the two activity locations. Artificial Intelligence is used to create personalized stories relevant to the child’s life to promote even further engagement by incorporating information input by the parent through the app. The routine stress and negative com- munication is replaced by one of positive communication and engagement in the family.
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- Cabral, Felipe; Shah, Simran; Zhou, Zhiheng; Serth, Sebastian; Krogmann, Simon; and Lötzsch, Winfred. (2018). VAMO. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: https://purl.stanford.edu/jx857dp6014
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