In Australia every year, around 18,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer . Many will go on to have breast removal surgery, called a mastectomy. Only 12% of women who have a mastectomy will have reconstruction, and will instead opt to wear a silicon-based prosthetic.
These prosthetics are “dumb” – they’re just silicone. They have 0 USB ports. What a great opportunity for open hardware!
As part of her term project in the Masters of Applied Cybernetics at the 3A Institute at The Australian National University, Kathy Reid, herself a breast cancer survivor, developed a prototype called “SenseBreast” – a sensing, smart, mastectomy prosthetic based on an RPi 3B+ and a Sense HAT. This was a “mucking around” project to learn Python, and she didn’t expect it to work.
Narrator: It worked.
In this poignant, funny, challenging, technical, entertaining and irreverent presentation, she explores;
– motivations for the project, including a desire to keep sensor data private and personal – after all, who’s watching?
– hardware design and sensor challenges in open hardware and Python
– prosthetic design and how to build a fake breast to contain hardware
– lived experience wearing a smart prosthetic
– implications for this technology, such as in post-mastectomy recovery
– and reflections on the broader landscape of wearable technology
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Wed Jan 15 13:30:00 2020 at Room 7