Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Arduino Project

We are pretty much done with our project. The only thing left is to tweak the code to decide how exactly we want it to drive. Our car has steering power and back wheel drive. I feel like a cheater for using hot glue on K'Nex, but it was necessary in order to integrate the electrical components. Here's a picture:

The rubber band in the back goes around the motor and a wheel to make it drive. The servo controls the steering. The orange guy is just for fun. =)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Chambana

Hello All,

I survived swimming with bull sharks&it was awesome!

On an engineering related note, I spent a good part of Sunday working on my EOH project for MatSE. It's not perfect yet, but I did some initial experimenting. We are making home made lava lamps and exploring how they work and how to manipulate them using different materials. It's actually really hard to get it to work, but I got some of the smaller bubbles of lava going. Here's a video!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chichen Itza

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm still in Mexico.

Today, I went with my family to the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. It was really cool to see the ruins and stuff there and to learn about how advanced their knowledge was. They must have had some really good engineers!

That picture shows the pyramid at the Spring equinox. If you look at the stairs on the left, you can see that the sun makes a snake shape running down the side of the pyramid. This happens only at the spring and fall equinoxes. Also, there are 91 steps on each side, 91x4=364 and the top is one more, which represent the 365 days in a year. There was some other significance to it having 9 levels, but I can't remember exactly how that worked in. Even cooler, is if you stand in line with one of the stair cases and clap, the echo makes this crazy noise that sounds exactly like the call of a certain bird that the Mayans considered to be special.

They were some pretty smart people... hopefully they're wrong about the whole 2012 thing though...

I'm going diving with bull sharks tommorrow! Hopefully I'll return in one piece!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hola from Mexico!

Hello iFoundry, and whoever else reads this!

I arrived today in Playa del Carmen where I am spending Thanksgiving break with my family. The weather is a thousand times better than in Champaign! I'm going SCUBA diving all week... and hopefully doing an 80 ft bull shark dive later in the week! I love sharks. Which reminds me that I have been thinking about these Passionate Pursuit things that Kevin thought up. Unfortunately, I have class on Thursday at noon next semester that I cannot change. And that sucks! I think that we should change the time of the meeting week to week so that the people who are stuck with class at the designated time aren't always left out... because I would love to stand up and talk about things I like for as long as anyone is willing to listen.

Some ideas for things I am passionate enough about to pursue:
-sharks (although pursuing them is not always the best idea) and SCUBA diving in general
-German, Germany, German food, German everything. basically.
-traveling the world
-art (making my own... I know very little about art history)

Hopefully I'll be able to participate.

See you all soon!


Monday, November 16, 2009

I have a plane ticket!

I'm very excited because I purchaced my plane ticket to get me to Indonesia! I have organized with all of my teachers to miss the last couple days of class and take my finals early, and am now a ticketed passenger ready to go. I'm a little apprehensive, since I really know nothing other than that the project is to build an aggregate sorting plant and a geo-textile path. I don't actually know how to do either of those things, so I am asuming that I have a lot to learn. Regardless, I am extremely excited! I can't wait to report back to iFoundry (especially my ESS team) about everything I do there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Love K'Nex.

I spent most of class on Monday working on the body of our project, which, as I said before, is going to be made out of K'Nex. I had my mom mail me some last week and I started fiddling around coming up with ideas. Our group has changed plans A LOT for this project, but I think we have finally decided that we are going to build a car. The arduino will be used to steer the car as well as use power it with back wheel drive. Hopefully next week, we will be able to complete the body and start attaching the arduino to it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November?

Hello all,

I feel like I probably should have started this sooner. Oh well.

So today in ENG 198 our group decided that we are going to use K'Nex to build the mechanical parts of our Arduino. That's pretty thrilling. I'm going to have my mom send them tomorrow so that we can have them in time for the next class. We decided it would be easier to use K'Nex than to have to deal with glue and wood and saws and screws. And whatever else that entails. Are we allowed to use duct tape? Suggestion: there should be an iFoundry K'Nex class. I'd take it.

In other engineering-related news, I may be going to Indonesia this December to volunteer on a project with students from Singapore. Again, very exciting.

Also, Friday night we had an ESS social event. We went to the Homegrown Talent Show at the union, and saw all sorts of crazy displays of talent. We are considering organizing an iFoundry talent show. Hahaha