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Rafigh (Companion)

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Rafigh (“companion” or “buddy” in Persian and Arabic) is a living media interface for support of behavioural intervention (e.g., speech intervention) for children. This prototype encourages children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other emotional disabilities to learn how to become more caring and nurturing. It consists of two parts software and hardware. The software is a suite of therapeutic games and learning activities (a reading activity and several speech exercises) on an iPad, desktop, or laptop computer that encourages children to engage. The hardware consists of a custom-designed box that contains a living mushroom colony and an irrigation system, connected to the iPad wirelessly. The mushroom colony is completely non-toxic and is made primarily from used coffee grounds injected with live mushroom spores. The mushrooms, when properly irrigated, will grow to their full size in about two weeks (the speed and length of growth depends on the mushroom variety and has varied from 10 to 14 days). The irrigation system consists of an automated power switch connected to an aquarium water pump and controlled by an Arduino microcontroller that is connected to the iPad via wireless radio. Thus, the frequency and duration of irrigation can be controlled by the iPad application. The more time the child spends on doing the activities, the more water will be given to the mushrooms. The amount of water administered is within a range to avoid over watering or under watering the mushrooms.

Digital living media systems combine living media such as plants, animals, and fungi with computational components. They can better motivate children to use target applications (i.e., learning and/or therapeutic applications). This design incorporates input from children, parents, speech and language pathologists, as well as teachers into the design of a new system. Rafigh is a digital embedded system that uses the growth of a living mushrooms colony to provide positive reinforcements to children when they conduct target activities. The growth of the mushrooms is affected by the amount of water administered to them, which in turn corresponds to the time children spend on target applications (e.g. Angry Birds application and others). It shows signs of responsibility, empathy, and curiosity towards the living media. Rafigh encourages communication and collaboration between the participants.

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as of: 
04/03/2017
Seller(s): 
Rafigh (Companion)

Made By:

Melanie Baljko, Ray Feraday, Toni Kunic, Nigel Livingston, Leo Spalteholz, Connie Ecomomopolous, Brandon Haworth
Melanie Baljko, Ray Feraday, Toni Kunic, Nigel Livingston, Leo Spalteholz, Connie Ecomomopolous, Brandon Haworth Organization Type: 
Manufacturer
Foad Hamidi is an interaction designer and digital media practitioner specializing in interfaces for people with disabilities and digital collaborative creativity. He is also a poet, singer-songwriter and cultural activist who is passionate about empowering marginalized artists and engaging people in dialogue. He was born during a revolution, survived the longest conventional war of the twentieth century (the Iran-Iraq war) and is now living peacefully in Canada. He wrote about how, with the help of Michael Longford, from the Design Department at York, Melanie Baljko, Ray Feraday, Toni Kunic, Nigel Livingston, Leo Spalteholz, Connie Ecomomopolous, and Brandon Haworth developed the prototype Rafigh.
Web Address: 
The Rishman Blog
 
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