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Unleash your stories – Henry Luo

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Innovation” is a term often used to describe big ideas to solve large scale problems. In fact, many innovations and great ideas come from a desire to make certain aspects of daily life easier or more efficient, and it is something we are all capable of. For Henry Luo, a Master  of Biological Science student at the University of Auckland, this desire came from his daily activity of cycling to the University.

 

Henry’s story

Henry uses his electric bike to get around town, an excellent mode of transport and a great form of exercise. However, Henry often has to bike at night on Dominion Road, a very busy and bumpy road in Auckland, which is particularly dangerous at night for cyclists. These conditions make hand signalling quite difficult, so Henry wanted to build an indicator for his bike that would allow him to communicate with drivers without letting go of the handlebars for a significant amount of time.

From seeing other projects done on a simple LED box, Henry conceived the idea of programming an array of LED strips in his bike indicator to display arrows or flashing animation to signal to cars.

He then took this idea to Unleash Space, where he began making his device and programming the LEDs using equipment and materials available in the Maker Space. There, he learnt how to use the laser cutter and soldering station for his bike indicator project, as well as other skills related to his project such as coding and gluing. The creative technologists in the Maker Space helped Henry develop his idea from simply adding LED strips to his helmet to a laser-cut box with LED arrays. They also gave Henry tips on which library to use for coding the LEDs and how to waterproof his device.

By identifying the problem, coming up with a potential solution, and testing it by making the physical product, Henry has undergone the processes of a true innovator. There are still some small improvements that Henry would like to work on, such as coding arrow animations and ways to communicate other messages such as breaking or warning, but constant iteration and improvement is all part of the journey of an innovator!

 

social media

Innovation” is a term often used to describe big ideas to solve large scale problems. In fact, many innovations and great ideas come from a desire to make certain aspects of daily life easier or more efficient, and it is something we are all capable of. For Henry Luo, a Master  of Biological Science student at the University of Auckland, this desire came from his daily activity of cycling to the University.

 

Henry’s story

Henry uses his electric bike to get around town, an excellent mode of transport and a great form of exercise. However, Henry often has to bike at night on Dominion Road, a very busy and bumpy road in Auckland, which is particularly dangerous at night for cyclists. These conditions make hand signalling quite difficult, so Henry wanted to build an indicator for his bike that would allow him to communicate with drivers without letting go of the handlebars for a significant amount of time.

From seeing other projects done on a simple LED box, Henry conceived the idea of programming an array of LED strips in his bike indicator to display arrows or flashing animation to signal to cars.

He then took this idea to Unleash Space, where he began making his device and programming the LEDs using equipment and materials available in the Maker Space. There, he learnt how to use the laser cutter and soldering station for his bike indicator project, as well as other skills related to his project such as coding and gluing. The creative technologists in the Maker Space helped Henry develop his idea from simply adding LED strips to his helmet to a laser-cut box with LED arrays. They also gave Henry tips on which library to use for coding the LEDs and how to waterproof his device.

By identifying the problem, coming up with a potential solution, and testing it by making the physical product, Henry has undergone the processes of a true innovator. There are still some small improvements that Henry would like to work on, such as coding arrow animations and ways to communicate other messages such as breaking or warning, but constant iteration and improvement is all part of the journey of an innovator!

 


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