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Starting where we are right now in our design, we would begin our dissemination process with a Kickstarter campaign. This would allow us to gain the necessary funds to continue our research and experimentation so that we can offer an outstanding product. Further research is needed to optimize the performance of the earthquake simulator in several areas. First, the electrical components need further exploration. It is important to determine the correct amplifier and speaker/tactile transducer combination. The system should produce maximum vibrations while still keeping cost within a reasonable range. Next, the medium in which the vibrations is transmitted is crucial. While it would be ideal to have students select the medium(s), certain types are better than others (i.e. sand or soil or jello). Even the type/grade of sand can have an effect on vibrations. Thus, experimentation with a wide variety of mediums is necessary to guide users toward those which will produce optimum performance. In the end, however, the selection will ultimately be left up to the users. Lastly, experimentation must be done to determine the appropriate material to be used for the model buildings. As with the sand, certain methods/materials will be more ideal than others. This selection process is related closely to the electrical system selection. As the output vibrations are able to be increased, sturdier/a wider range of materials will be able to be used.

Once we have finalized our design, we will launch a for-profit, open source company. The designs and details of our earthquake shaker will be entirely open source. We will provide a list of materials, instructions, sketches, and any other information necessary for users to build their own sound based earthquake simulator. The materials list will be composed of several options for various components, depending on availability to users as well as performance levels. For instance, one type of speaker may not work as well as another, but it may be the only option available to someone. We will also have a discussion forum on our website that will allow teachers/users to give feedback on the device. They will also be able to suggest enhancements and discuss any modifications they made as they used the system.

We will also have an experiments/lessons section. This will detail possible experiments that can be done with the earthquake simulator. As with the forum, it will be open to submissions/suggestions from users.

We will also sell earthquake kits on the website. This will be for users who wish to simply buy all of the materials at once instead of search for them on their own. The kits will most likely be of a mix-and-match style, allowing users to select the different components (amp, speaker, substrate, container, building material(s), etc.). Again, this is done to allow for a balance between cost and performance, depending on the user’s needs/preference. This model largely is based on the Arduino business model.


  • Launch Kickstarter campaign
    • Funding, validation & initial dissemination
  • Enhance design
  • Launch for-profit company – Open Source
  • Website
    • DIY instructions
    • Purchase complete kits
    • Discussion forum
    • Experiments & Lessons section
  • Sell completed kits
    • Users select specifics parts