My dad and I wanted to test out the process of working together across the length of California, so we decided to enter Parallax's MicroMedic contest. We designed and built a proof-of-concept similar to the DOS project I did in for my senior project in college. The main difference was switching from high-cost optical components (lenses, lasers) to low-cost optical equipment (LEDs). An added challenge was the speed with which and distance from which we did our work; as noted in the report:
This unit also demonstrates our ability to rapidly develop and demonstrate complex systems in a short period of time by fully exploiting modern electronic components and system technology. This product was conceived and developed by two people working 500 miles apart but forming one virtual lab by means of modern data sharing and transportation systems. The entire timeline from product concept to working product was approximately four weeks of very part time work.
Although I generally value the quality of a finished product over speed, this project was a fun challenge in-between fundraising meetings for my medical device start up. I was amazed how motivating the contest deadline and my team's accountability was for getting work done.
Check out the contest entry embedded below. You can find our source code on BitBucket.