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SBIR Phase I: HanCraft-based Hand Gesture Controlled Robotic Toy Platform for Gender Neutral STEM Learning

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1520477
Agency Tracking Number: 1520477
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-06-30
Small Business Information
10570 Whitney Way
Cupertino, CA 95014
United States
DUNS: 078658977
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Raja Jasti
 (408) 489-8622
Business Contact
 Raja Jasti
Phone: (408) 489-8622
Research Institution

This SBIR Phase I project proposes to develop and test a new craft-based hand gesture controlled robotic toy platform and accompanying game scenarios to engage students, in particular girls, from middle and high schools in STEM cognate fields of physics and engineering design. According to NAEP 2009 data, only a small percentage of the students - 34% of 4th graders, 30% of 8th graders, and 21% of 12th graders performed at or above the proficient level in science. Science and Engineering Indicators show that less than 40% of students have taken some physics and less than 10% have taken engineering in high school. This poses a serious challenge to the global competitiveness of US. While Robotics can be effective in STEM education it is mostly popular among boys. However crafting and electronic textile communities tend to attract girls. This proposed innovation allows kids to create custom robotic parts out of craft material, easily assemble them and control them using hand gestures. This project aims to develop and test a cyber-physical 'craft-based' hand gesture controlled robotic toy platform for STEM learning that is gender neutral. It combines handcrafting/making, electronics, robotics, gesture interfaces and interactive gaming scenarios to enable middle and high school students to learn STEM. Kids can use the kit to make any toy of their imagination using everyday objects as material and play with them using hand gestures. Phase I of this project focuses on (1) developing new design capabilities for the play value with the kit (2) create proof-of-concept play/game scenarios and (3) conduct preliminary testing to demonstrate gender neutrality, learning, engagement and play-value the kit offers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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