Monday, February 18, 2013

Pull-Up Bar

This project was mainly inspired by Raku (and the fact that I found a perfectly sized steel tube in the MITERS stock pile). Though getting more exercise has been a thought of mine for a while. During robot season in High School, I wouldn't really play sports or exercise on a daily bases. Now at MIT, it's constantly "robot season" with MITERS and all. Having access to a convenient pull-up bar may help with my lack of exercise (Broomball helps a bit too :).

More on the building process after the break:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Loft and Painting


When Raku, my roomate, and I opened the door to our room, it was plain white. White is boring. So we bought some "Mango Orange" paint from Dickson Brothers and True Value (we bought a small tester then a big gallon). Both of those hardware stores are near the MIT/Harvard Square area. I found some Gaffer Tape around the Edgerton Center, and Ed Moriarty, a truly awesome and inspiring person who works at MIT's Edgerton Center, found some paper I could use for preventing paint blobs. We then proceeded to tape all the places we didn't want to get orange paint on. (I really wish I had pictures of this process. That was back when I wasn't a blogger).

So, I need to back up a second. Raku and I signed up to be roommates, but we were assigned two different singles. During Rush, we had heard the idea that two people moved into one room and then turned the second room into a movie theater/building/everything/awesome room. Raku and I decided to do something similar. We planned to paint one room orange, the other blue, and then put portals on the doors.

We slept in our other single while we were in the process of painting. We basically went the first month at MIT without completely unpacking our suitcases.

After putting two coats of paint on, it turned out really nice.


We both wanted to build a loft. We managed to scrap some nice 2x4 and 4x4 boards by helping disassemble the fun rides in East Campus's courtyard. Every Rush and CPW, East Campus builds awesome contraptions (like roller coasters and ride-able double pendulums).

(Skipping all the design process) Here's the final product. If you want to read about the rest, click the read more link below the image.

Completed Loft :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lego Tetrix Nuts and Bolts Sorter

In my senior year of High School, I took a class on Engineering Design and Development (EDD) with Project Lead The Way (I think it's funny that their acronym has more syllables than their name). In the class, we went through the ten steps of design and development to ensure that our product met its design specifications in the time allotted and had a market for the problem it solved.

Mr. Ehnert, Lathrop High School's engineering department Instructor and LHS FIRST Robotics club Coach, has 15 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams that he takes to the Alaska State tournament every year. (That's a lot of nuts and bolts).

I decided to make a project that I could leave with Lathrop as a sort of "going away" present for Mr. Ehnert.   That's when the idea of a "Magic Sorter" was born. The purpose of this Tetrix Nut/Bolt Sorter was to decrease the amount of time spent on sorting robot parts. By doing so, it would also increase the time for productive robot building. In the class, I made 3D printed and laser cut models to solve the sorting problem and complete it's purpose. However, the "Magic Sorter" didn't work as well as I envisioned. So, I worked on improving it over the summer.

I started playing around with mechanisms in my Lego box. And, well I decided to build the whole thing out of Legos. I didn't have a "blog" back then, and I didn't take any pictures. The pictures below are from when I came back during Winter Break after my first semester at MIT.

"Magic Sorter"

Hopper and Laser Sorting Section

Here's the Tetrix Sorter in action! I took a bunch of short clips when I came home for Winter Break. I finally got around to compiling them into a "pretty" video. Enjoy!

That last clip is at a weird angle. I wish I could take a better video to get the whole thing functioning, but I'm currently about 5238 kilometers away from it (thanks to Wolfram for that statistic).