A New Beginning

Things this semester are going to work a little differently than usual.

First, whereas in previous springs I had just wandered into the Pappalardo undergraduate teaching lab to check on and occasionally advise mechanical engineering sophomores in the 2.007 design class (to atone for my sins), this time around I am more deeply involved in the class as a teaching/lab assistant. Now I will proceed to steal an image from the Book of Eli and finally reveal what it is I’ve been working on with the rest of the 2.007 producers:

See? I said a month and some ago that the 2.007 game is going to be either a riot, a shitshow, or a circus. It’s clearly very close to the latter, though I will not discount the possibility of rioting. Eli’s writeup on the game is in his post and the MIT internal class management site for the class is here.

The table has some electronic scoring elements designed by yours truly. The high-striker game is electronically scored using IR breakbeam sensors, and a Deltronics DL-1275 arcade game ticket dispenser is behind the America-colored ticket booths (made of laser-cut MDF and plywood). The whole thing runs off a class-issue Arduino mothership.

Don’t ask about the clowns – they were not in my jurisdiction.

But there’s more!

Yes! 2.00scooter is returning once again! This time under new management, namely me. The lab section was not going to run this semester since its usual Electric Vehicle Team staff all have to either graduate or do thesis work in order to graduate. I decided to take over the operations since I wasn’t really satisfied with the organization from years past and what the students were actually producing by the end of the semester. There’s a little more Academic Rigor this year and more required design work instead of cut-and-fit.

The section has 11 total people, so I’m hoping to see 11 (possibly 10 since there might be one group effort) more random vehicles trolling the campus by the end of term.

This is one of the first uses of the newly renovated Building N52 space of the MIT International Design Center (I suppose if you asked me what research group or lab I am affiliated with, the answer would be IDC. That explains my random Singapore trips with the least amount of metasyntactic variables). It’s right upstairs from MITERS, so basically I’m going to do everything but literally live in N52 for the time being.

Since the space is still new and barren, it looks kind of like a software company office. I’ve been taking steps towards making the space usable, and one of those is creating a minishop upstairs that will have most small fabrication capabilities. A full shop machine selection, including the auto garage and MITERS, is downstairs, but there’s no reason to have to go all the way down just to drill a hole. So a room is being populated with small garage tools, hand tools, etc.

Soon to be in the same space will be a set of electronics tools such as soldering stations, hot air stations, oscilloscopes (nice oscilloscopes!), etc. And most likely a mini mill and mini lathe, since you can make spacers, standoffs, and other small annoying custom hardware on those fairly easily without resorting to the 19″ LeBlond.

All of these process threads means I might not be building anything particularly epic or involved this time around. But on the other hand, I’m also taking a class called Design for DIY Manufacturing. This could prove interesting.


2 thoughts on “A New Beginning”

  1. Sounds like you will be learning by teaching, Charles. Don’t get too stressed about the day to day, remember to enjoy the ride.

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