It became clear at the end of week 2 that we would need to get hardware in the labs ASAP. The NeuroTech team was growing rapidly (currently at 20 members!) and had several researchers chomping at the bit to get started. To do this of course we needed funding, and funding required a finalized proposal.
I zeroed in on the proposal, making it my primary deliverable for the week. Guided by the many suggestions from the project's advisory board, I began to work through the document, with aid from Colin, to make it truly representative of the ever-changing project it now supported. The proposal was officially finished on September 14th after the addition of an executive summary, a team section, a revised timeline, and several general revisions. Thanks to continued engagement and persistence from Dr, Philips, the proposal was accepted, funding was unlocked, and Colin and I were able to submit our first rushed order.
With the team rapidly expanding and new ideas flourishing, I recognized that it would be important to implement new management structures to encourage engagement and creativity without losing sight of the overall project objectives. The project leads decided that the best solution was to implement a hierarchical structure based off of participation (written about in more detail in the 'TEAM' section of the Proposal). This would increase overall engagement and allow us more ways to provide value to our hardest working researchers. We also created specialized groups for the electrical(EE), software(SE), and biomedical (BME) engineers which will each have their own weekly meetings and assigned deliverables. To make best use of the leadership talent on the team, Colin will be the primary lead for the EE and SE teams, and Anika will lead the BME team.
So far Colin and I have held two SE meetings and one EE meeting with high levels of attendance and deliverable completion. For each meeting, Colin has put together demos, presentations, and objectives to go over.
We try to keep the meetings focused around the practical applications of skills the researchers may have learned from class or outside research on this project.
I have also been reaching out to new advisors and potential partners to increase the scope and chance of success for NeuroTechnology Exploration at large. Mr. Michael Kelly, adjunct professor at RIT and Design Director at Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services, joined the project as a Design and Leadership advisor after my meeting with him on September 14th. He will be providing leadership council to me, feedback on specific deliverables, and speak to the team about 'design thinking' to help them come up with creative problem solving methods. Colin and I met with Jade Myers, Founder of The PORTAL (Prosthetics, Orthotics, Research, Technology & Accessibility Lab) at RIT, on September 19th to discuss potential collaboration with her. She is very open to the idea of collaborating and will allow our researchers access to some of her technology. Finally, I have been consistent contact with Conor Russomanno, CEO of Open BCI, to potentially foster a collaboration between this project and Open BCI. We are currently hoping to get access to expertise and cheaper hardware in exchange for formal recognition on all research related to their hardware. There are still many details that will need to be worked out on both ends, but I believe that we can from a partnership that would be mutually beneficial to both parties.
This Week's Accomplishments & Events
Spencer Logan, 5th Year Electrical Engineer with robotics and low level experience, joins the team 9/10
Reid Kovacs, Electrical Engineer with experience in biotechnology, joins the team 9/11
Dakota Sabotka, Erik Brown, and Leah Felker, Biomedical Engineers, join the team 9/12
Bryn Stricker, 2nd year Electrical Engineer, joins the team 9/12
Michael Kelly joins the advisory board for design 9/14
Research Proposal was finished and budget was unlocked 9/14
First Team Software meeting, team members were responsible for deliverables 9/16
Workflow tools created: Team attendance trackers, deliverables trackers, posted deliverables link, set team locations
Russell Cobb, 5th year Electrical Engineer with Arduino experience, joins the team 9/17
First Team Electric meeting with assigned deliverables 9/19
Meeting with Jade Myers to discuss collaboration with prosthetic lab 9/19
Order Segmentation and finalization 9/19 - 9/21
Communications with Conor Russomanno, CEO of Open BCI, about potential partnership 9/20
Creating format for, filling out, and submitting round two purchase orders 9/21