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LIFE Home Blog

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  • 2020 in Review - McKechnie Family LIFE Home

    2020 was a year of tremendous growth for the McKechnie Family LIFE Home and included some exciting milestones for the research facility and the researchers who inhabit it.   The LIFE Home team took some time to reflect on our year and below are some highlights: 

    January 2020 - JohnCo Construction completes finishing touches on the LIFE Home 

    February 2020 - Director, Wendy Rogers, makes first media appearance promoting the McKechnie Family LIFE Home 

    May 2020 - LIFE Home team meets for the first time post-shelter-at-home order to continue planning, moving forward the progress to facility operational status.  

    June 2020 - Stocks Furniture delivers all furnishings for the McKechnie Family LIFE Home. 

    July 2020 - Camera and AV system installation begins!

    August 2020 - First Robot takes up residence in LIFE Home/LIFE Home hosts the inaugural class of the Master of Science in Health Technology

    October 2020 - LIFE Home smart appliances begin to be installed 

    December 2020 - Website officially Launches 

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    As we move into 2021, we are so excited to continue this progress and begin to host our first research activities in this cutting-edge space.   Be sure to keep up with our blog to continue to follow our journey! 

    ""“LIFE

  • LIFE Home Website Launches!

    After much work by the LIFE Home Team, the College of Applied Health Sciences Communications Department, and our web design partner Water High Creative, we're proud to introduce a new standalone page for the McKechnie Family LIFE Home.   On this new site, there is information about our team, information on the facility, and resources for use the LIFE Home.  

    Check it out for yourself here

    "“LIFE

  • Master of Science in Health Technology Students Work in LIFE Home

    The inaugural Master of Science in Health Technology class has been working on their course work and designing prototypes of health technologies using the McKechnie Family LIFE Home facilities.  These students have put the Health Technology Innovation lab to use working together to mock up prototypes of different health technologies that could innovate health management and care in the future.   The LIFE Home facilities have allowed these students to work on these projects in-person and collaboratively while maintaining the required safety protocols with thoughtful management of work areas and through the use of the university-wide COVID-19 testing requirements. 

    "“LIFE

    "“LIFE

  • Smart Home Technologies and Appliances - Making the McKechnie Family LIFE Home into the Home of the Future

    The McKechnie Family LIFE Home is a cutting-edge research facility, which in large part is due to the smart home technologies that have been selected to populate the spaces.  When approaching the smart home technologies to place in the different rooms, the team made an effort to not be brand/OS specific so that researchers can assess a variety of technologies and how they interact with one another to allow for more successful living.   Below is a list of the smart technologies that are currently in the home.  

    -Samsung - Family Hub 4-Door French Door Smart Refrigerator 

    -Samsung - Linear Wash 24" Top Control Built-In Smart Dishwasher

    -LG -  French InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Refrigerator with Ice Maker 

    -Amazon Smart Oven, a Certified for Humans device 

    -GE® Smart Countertop Microwave Oven with Scan-To-Cook Technology

    -Atomi Smart WiFi Coffee Maker Compatible with Alexa & Google Home, iOS and Android

    -Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker 

     

    Additionally, the team is in the process of selecting and purchasing digital home assistants, smart home sensors, and other smart home technologies that will round out the smart technology suite offered to researchers and research participants in the home.  

    "“LIFE home

  • McKechnie Family LIFE Home Partnership with Stocks Furniture

    The LIFE Home team, in partnership with Stocks Furniture, have outfitted the McKechnie Family LIFE Home with modern and functional furnishings.  In a recent visit (pictured here), the LIFE Home team met with Terry Martin from Stocks, who has been a key player in the planning, ordering, and delivery of our furniture, to address final touches to our furniture package.   This partnership has been tremendously beneficial, and we can’t think Terry enough!

    "“LIFE

  • Inaugural Master of Science in Health Technology Class Begins in McKechnie Family LIFE Home

    The newly-launched Master of Science in Health Technology program, a part of the Health Technology Education Program, held its inaugural event in the McKechnie Family LIFE Home on Friday, August 21st.  This event consisted of students and faculty, both in-person and virtual, launching the program and making introductions.   

    The Master of Science in Health Technology students will be completely in-person this semester thanks to appropriate social distancing and sanitation practices within the McKechnie Family LIFE Home.  It's incredibly thrilling to see the space beginning to be occupied and used to better the lives of the students in this program.  Onward and Upward from here!

    new classroom in LIFE Home building

  • McKechnie Family LIFE Home Welcomes First Full-Time Resident - Stretch by Hello Robot!

    The McKechnie Family LIFE Home is thrilled to announce that we have received our first robot to be used in research and development tasks around the home.  Stretch is a novel research robot that was developed by Hello Robot.   Stretch will Interact with people using a low mass, contact-sensitive body, work in clutter with a compact footprint and a slender manipulator, remain mobile, only weighing 51 lbs, and assist in vital research and development activities around the LIFE Home.  

    Pictured below is the unboxing day for the Stretch robot where members of the McKechnie Family LIFE Home team as well as those working on human-robot interaction research were learning more about the functionality of Stretch and taking it through some trial activities.  

    For more information on this exciting robot, please visit their website at https://hello-robot.com/

     

    “LIFE

    “LIFE

  • Camera and AV Installation Begins!

    The AV team has been hard at work in the McKechnie Family LIFE home finalizing locations for the cameras/mics and has begun installing in some locations.  The McKechnie Family LIFE Home will be equipped with cutting-edge cameras and microphones allowing for researchers to never miss a moment of their research participants' experience within the facility.  

    “LIFE

  • Furniture Installation (Almost) Complete!

    As of Monday, July 6th, the McKechnie Family LIFE home is now almost completely furnished!   This is a particularly exciting milestone as the LIFE Home team has been working with our partners at Stocks Furniture for over a year on the careful selection of the furniture to be accessible, modern, and within the LIFE Home aesthetic.   

    Soon, we will have photos of the interior to show but in the meantime, a hint.   Our aesthetic is very "Loyal To You, Illinois" with features of Orange, Blue, and White.  

    Next Steps -- Outdoor furnishings and installation of the AV systems within the facility!

    “LIFE

    “LIFE

  • LIFE Home Furnishings Delivered

    The McKechnie Family LIFE Home is now (mostly) furnished!   The team converged on two dates to receive shipments of the bulk of the furniture and worked with our partners at Stocks Furniture to accommodate the delivery and installation.   The renderings of the LIFE Home are now coming to LIFE and the facility is nearing total completion.   The LIFE Home team is thrilled to forge on through this summer and prepare for the fall academic semester to hopefully begin providing service. 

     

    “LIFE