AF Sydney May Recipient: Arduino’s, Access and Autistic Spectrum Disorders

June 24, 2011

It’s with great pleasure that AF Sydney can announce our May┬árecipient, Scott Brown and his awesome project – Experiential Media & Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

This is a video of some of Scott’s work.


Here’s what appears to be a design of the device Scott will be building.

I am an Honours student at COFA in Sydney, studying Digital Media and focusing on interactive and experiential design. Currently, I am working on a year-long project which will look at how children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) respond to physical interaction with digital devices.

The format of the project will be that of a case study, working with the generous assistance of Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia). Occupational Therapists from Aspect will shortly source three families with an autistic child who are willing to participate in the study. Once confirmed, unique physically interactive devices (based on each child’s individual sensory issue) will be introduced to the family home, where the parents will observe its impact and pass feedback on to myself. Based on this feedback, further developments will be made over the next six months (for a total of 3×3 devices, ie one device for each child, re-developed three times).

A grant such as this one would be used entirely for purchasing components like the Arduino open source microcontroller, relevant sensors, feedback elements (lights, motors, audio controllers etc), as well as construction of device housing.

We were really excited to have received Scott’s submission, and are really looking forward to seeing this awesome project come further into fruition. Some of the specific aspects of Scott’s idea that we liked were:

1) It was awesome
The idea of creating a toy for children (and families) with an ASD to help them further their learning and understanding of the world was brilliant.

2) It was simple
Scott’s not trying to change the world, today. He just wants to build 9 toys (3 toys, for three families) for people that will use them for fun and understanding. He’s already spoken to and working with Aspect, and the project is really doable.

3) Our $1000 will count
Scott wasn’t asking for $1000 to ‘begin’ his project. He needed it to ‘complete’ the project in it’s totality. A trend that’s really become apparent in our meetings is that we love seeing simple, awesome projects that we can help make happen with only $1000.

Brilliant Scott – thanks for applying and thanks fr being awesome!