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Cardibo: The Creative Process

Campus | November 7, 2011

It’s a dreary, rainy morning and after much internal debate, you drag yourself out of bed and make the trek to Cousens Gym. Upon arriving, you see that all the machines are occupied; you have to wait for a half hour before getting on the treadmill. If this scenario sounds familiar, you are one of the many students on the Tufts campus affected by overcrowding in the gym. And, in case you haven’t heard, there is a solution.

Jackson Dolan and Rameen Aryanpur, two fifth-year students in the Master’s program for mechanical engineering, have invented the new smartphone application “Cardibo” as a way for students to see how crowded the gym is before they decide to head over for their workout. Cardibo, earning its name from the words “cardio” and “jumbo,” made its launch earlier in October, and has been largely well received by the student body. A few days after it debuted, the website crashed from such heavy user traffic.  “We’ve gotten such a good response from everyone,” Dolan said, “that it’s really driven us to keep working.”

Dolan and Aryanpur seem to make a great team. They are dynamic and easy-going, while also passionate about Cardibo and about innovation in general. “We try and do things that we think are going to help people and also be cool,” Aryanpur explained.  “We like doing these kinds of [projects] because it’s inherently fun. We both get really into [working on a project] and, before you know it, it’s three months later.”

And that description is definitely accurate in the case of Cardibo. Dolan and Aryanpur explained how the original idea was born as a project for a design class last fall, and has taken much longer than they expected to reach their standards of perfection. The duo is always making small changes and tweaking various features, keeping their goals and additional ideas in mind as they work. Most recently, the Cardibo app now has the ability to use past data to determine the typical level of gym traffic at a given time during the week. In the future, for example, they aim to allow users to track personal data from different workouts as a means to creating an online personal training log.

While Cardibo is their main focus, both Dolan and Aryanpur have other invention ideas floating around their minds. Dolan is not shy about labeling himself and Aryanpur as “very creative people,” and listening to them talk, it’s pretty undisputable. Dolan described another of his projects (shoes that light up different colors based on how fast you’re running), and it wasn’t long before they proceeded to share their perspectives on continuing their inventive endeavors after graduation.

Their answers show signs of both zeal and self-control. Aryanpur explained, “Now is the time to do this kind of thing,” adding that, thinking in the long-term, he doesn’t like the general lack of security that would arise from pursuing a career as an entrepreneur right out of college. Dolan elaborated by saying, “We don’t want to have to ‘quit the day job,’ we want to do this before we have that day job.”

But while both students may seem convinced that they’d be content taking on regular old “day jobs” at any time in the midst of creating their inventions, putting an end to their innovative pursuits may prove to be a difficult task. Referring back to the time it’s taken to get Cardibo off the ground, Aryanpur said, “The timeline has definitely expanded, and life kind of got in the way. But luckily for us, this has turned into life a bit more, so there’s more time for it.” O