It's tradition on ski team to ski your final race senior year in costume. For our senior race my fellow seniors and I made our own stormtrooper costumes.
To make the armor, we hand sanded molds out of dense green foam and thermoformed the pieces with sheets of white plastic. We wore black morphsuits over our usual racing suits and attached the armor using a combination of Velcro, white duck tape, and a prayer. For the helmets we found a template online and lasercut cardboard. We assembled them using hot glue and painted them white, then fixed them onto our race helmets. To round out the effect, we painted our slalom shinguards white and carried around speakers blasting the Imperial March all day.
I'm Luke Ski-walker, I'm here to rescue you!
Pew Pew Pew
Helmet pre-paint job
The green is the hand sanded mold we used for the chest-plate and the white is the thermoformed plate.
My final project for my Microcontrollers Lab Class (6.115) was a laser guitar. Instead of strings it has laser beams, and when you break the beam, it checks which frets you're holding down and plays that note. I designed built the guitar myself. Check out the video to the left for the full effect! How it works: I used laser diodes and phototransistors to create the "strings." When the user breaks the laser beam, the voltage across the phototransistor changes. The microcontroller senses this, then checks which fret is being held down and plays that note. The fret is sensed using a grid of 114 push button switches (which were a huge pain to solder). Each string corresponds to a different note, which are then added together and sent to the speakers so you can rock out in style!
Final Project Video
Completed guitar without microcontrollers
The debugging station
Induction Heated Ski Boot
As a skier, I hate when my feet get cold and am not satisfied by the boot heating products on the market right now. This product uses induction heating to wirelessly heat the inside of the boot!
How it works: Inside the ski boot is a small, thin insert. This insert has a thin, ferrous metal plate in the toe area. The user stands on a platform with an induction heater inside of it, which uses a switching magnetic field to send power to the small metal plate through the boot without any wires needed! The insert also has a small temperature sensor which sends the temperature back wirelessly via NFC (Near Field Communication). The system shuts off when the desired temperature has been reached and the user can step off the platform and continue skiing in comfort!
I built the original prototype for Power Electronics Lab (6.131). For my Product Design Engineering (2.009) class, I proposed this idea as a potential product. I led a small group of students as we pursued further versions of it, and ended up with a mockup of the product as seen in pictures here.
The boot with insert on the platform
Ski Boot Heater Demo - 2.009 Mockups
I performed the demo of our NFC-controlled induction heated ski boot insert for the mockup round of 2.009.
We made the platform clear so you could see the circuitry inside
Complete setup with insert outside of boot
The induction heater itself complete with work coil.
Robotic IV Pole
For my Product Design Engineering (2.009) class, I was on a team of 25 people and our goal was to create an Alpha prototype of a consumer product. We created an automatic IV pole that follows the patient around hands free.
As this was a mechanical engineering capstone class, I was one of only two electrical engineers on the team. I led the electrical subteam of about 6 people, and together we made the thing work! In addition to my management duties I also took charge of sensor integration, the power module, designed the central brain PCB, and did much of the electrical assembly.
How it works: The patient is already connected to the pole via IV tubes, and we add a small tether clipped to their clothing. This tether is connected to a string potentiometer and angle potentiometer, so the information about the patient's distance and angle to the pole is encoded. This information is collected by a microcontroller and sent to a Raspberry Pi running ROS which would use a pathfollowing algorithm to follow behind the patient (can't take credit for this one - the work of my fabulous EE team!). There were also several sensors integrated as safety mechanisms such as bump sensors and cliff sensors so the IV pole won't fall down the stairs or get tangled up in obstacles.
Under the hood! This is the mostly assembled electrical system for the final product.
Our tech review version of the product was a little less polished - it used omniwheels and a simple proportional controller to follow the patient.
Close up of the electronics for the tech review version.
M. Eng Thesis
The title of my M. Eng. thesis is Laboratory Assignments for Teaching Introductory Signal Processing Concepts. The abstract of my thesis is as follows.
This thesis proposes labs for a new, applications-based signal processing class. These labs span topics in audio, image, and video processing and will combine signal processing techniques with computational tools. The goal of these labs is to improve student understanding of signal processing concepts and show them the power of signal processing in everyday applications.
The labs I've designed for this class include: a chord detection lab, a musical fingerprinting lab, a JPEG compression lab, and a video movement magnification lab. For a PDF of the Introduction and Conclusion of my thesis click here. These lab assignments will be used in an actual MIT signal processing class, so I haven't included the chapters detailing the labs themselves as students could find them and use them to skip to the solutions of the assignments. If you're interested in more details about my thesis and the labs themselves, please contact me directly.
Video Movement Magnification results on simple frame with one-directional movement. First row is the resulting frames, second row is the phase for each frame, and the third row is the wrapped phase difference.
Afterglow Light Suit
Inspired by the Afterglow Lightsuit video (click the link to watch you won't regret it!), my ski teammate Val and I decided to make our own lightsuit for night skiing! We got most of the supplies from Walmart and sewed the strings of LEDs on while different teammates modeled it. I soldered the strands together and sketchily waterproofed the large LiPo battery which we stashed in the pocket of the black sweatshirt. We got some decent footage, especially skiing Beacon Hill after one of Boston's infamous blizzards of 2015!
Navigating the fearsome Boston winter
Video of our Afterglow suit
Climbing Beacon Hill during Snowmageddon 2015!
Op Amp Design and Simulation
For my CMOS Analog Electronics (6.775) project, I had to design, and simulate an Op Amp using Cadence to meet certain specifications. To learn more read my paper!
Schematic of 2-stage Op Amp
Spectral Analysis of Signal
For my Discrete Time Signal Processing (6.431) final project, I had to use MATLAB to characterize a noisy spectrum as well as create a spectrogram for a time-changing signal. Feel free to check out the reports! The spectrum characterization report is here and the spectrogram report is here.
DC/DC Converter Design
For my Power Electronics (6.334) final project, I had to design, spec, and simulate a DC/DC converter using LTSpice. Feel free to check out my final paper attached here. Note: a few of the graphics are missing.