Evaluating How Social Groups Protect Modern Waterways; Pantastic Home Fire Prevention: A Device for Kitchen Appliance Monitoring and Alarming

Zyglowicz, Noal, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Elliott, Travis, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

My Technical Report covers my team’s capstone project, Pantastic, a microcontroller-powered home safety system that assists users in preventing residential fires caused by natural inattentive behavior. Residential fires are largely caused by accidents related to cooking. These accidents are mostly caused by careless multitasking or forgetfulness. Pantastic uses a microcontroller, infrared thermometer, careful circuit design, and software engineering to create a system that can track the temperature of stovetops and alert users through sounds and a web user interface.

My Sociotechnical Report analyzes how rivers are protected or exploited by participants who use these common waterways for their own benefit. Rivers have been the backbones of civilization and settlements and have dictated the development of many cities because of the benefits they provide. Rivers and their watersheds are the primary source of fresh drinking water for people and provide natural habitats for local wildlife. However, other participants in the form of entities such as companies or farms see the potential to use the river for their own purposes in transportation or agriculture which can have adverse effects on how the water can be used for other purposes. Each purpose has an effect on the other and is fought over by complex relationships organized by different participants.

The two topics are only related problems if you expand your perspective a few steps on levels of comparison much like how one needs to zoom out on a map to identify the relationships between geopolitical centers such as cities and countries. Microcontroller kitchenware safety devices are clearly not directly related to rivers and waterways. This Technical Report and Sociotechnical report only become related when you consider that both research problems deal with analyzing how community dangers can be reduced by tracking and monitoring factors ahead of time. Both dangers can both affect human lives as well as create high financial burdens if not addressed ahead of time. Additionally both problems each research problem focuses on can greatly be reduced with careful consideration and proper use. Technology can serve to aid human quality of living, but only if designed properly and used correctly and effectively by all participants involved in the issue.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Fire prevention, Community safety, Waterways, River conservation

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Travis Elliott
Technical Team Members: Thomas Forrester, Tyler Hendricks, Andrew Tam, Wayne Wong

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