Three Undergraduate Students Cure Procrastination!

Gerald Pineda, Hanifa Hotelwala, and Carla Cobb have developed a device using Arduino that will help college students around the world solve the challenge they face with procrastination.


Pineda, Hotelwala, and Cobb can recall numerous occasions where they have attempted to study and remain off their phones only to fail because they become distracted by social media notifications that led to them spending up to an hour on their phones instead of working on their assignment. The solution? The three college students decided to create the PhoneCrast to remind themselves to get off their phones and back to work.


How does the device work? Once the user is ready to focus on their task, they will turn on the PhoneCrast and place their phone on top of it. If the phone is removed from its place on the PhoneCrast, it will start to sound, vibrate, and blink until the phone is returned.


Procrastination is a common problem for most people, and cell phone use contributes the total amount of time spent not being productive.

When asked why he wanted to work on making this device, Pineda responded, “I often have trouble keeping my attention on homework so, a device that would annoy me till I get back to it would be pretty convenient, wouldn’t it?” Pineda said.

In response to being asked about her inspiration for this device, Cobb answered, “Moving to college, I no longer have my mom to bug me and keep me focused on my homework; so, often times when I tell myself that I am taking a 5-minute break it turns into 15 minutes. This is the next best thing to my mom!”

“This will really come in handy when I have that 10-page paper to write, and I start at midnight,” said Hotelwala.

“Keeping kids focused nowadays is very challenging. Technology like this gives me hope for the future generations,” said the lead faculty on their team said about her researcher students device.

Cobb hopes to add additional features to the device including one that allows users to enable “break mode” which will allow users to take a 5-minute break, and once those 5 minutes are up, the Phone Dock will remind the user to return to work.