Simplified Solidworks model showing the successful dual deploy design

CNC mill tool path to cut blast caps from a block on aluminum

NASA Student Launch with AerospaceNU

  • The Competition

    • Nasa Student Launch is an annual competition where college teams develop new rocket systems and landers

    • Each year, the competition changes dramatically with new sets of objectives

  • My role

    • To land the rocket safely, a system was need to deploy 2 chutes in succession

    • The first would be deployed by the black powder charges at stage separation but the second needed a mechanical system

    • I led the team designing the mechanical "dual deploy" system

  • Results

    • The fully redundant deployment system successfully developed after several design iterations

    • Flawless performance on test launch

    • Unfortunately, it was never used in competition due to the event being cancelled entirely for COVID-19

Robot opened up without the tap trap showing its electronics

A typical round showing the corner then trap strategy

Critter Crunch at MileHiCon

  • The Competition

    • 2lb class combat robotics completions held annually with about 20 competitors

    • Fights are on a wooden 8ft x 8ft platform where falling off is a loss

  • My role

    • I competed as an individual

    • I did all of my own CAD design (Rhinoceros), metal construction, coding (Arduino C++), and electronics

    • Made a cellphone remote controller app linked over Bluetooth

  • Results

    • The first year I came in with an admittedly underpowered robot and an ineffective weapon but took notes on the keys to the competition

    • Lessons:

      1. Sharp weapons do next to no damage to most opponents and are a waste of weight

      2. Grip on the play floor is key and getting the opponent's weight supported by your wheels is often a winning factor

      3. It is better to be in control with high torque motors than to be fast

    • Won the next two years in a row with the battle bot shown

    • Strategy:

      1. Opponents are first corned to force them onto the bots shallow greased front wedge

      2. The sticky web closes on top to prevent escape and they are driven off of the board with the increased traction of having their weight on my wheels

Example of a BEST competition. The robot (bottom) was able to manipulate the game field (top and middle) to score points and win the competition that year

BEST Robotics Competions

  • The Competition

    • Annual competition where teams are given a set of raw materials

    • Robots are constructed in 6 weeks using only the provided materials to level the playing field for all teams

  • My role

    • I led the robot mechanical design and build team for all 5 years that I competed in the competition

    • I was often the student who both drew up the initial CAD models and did a large portion of the hands-on building work in the final weeks before competition

    • I worked on 3 different teams as I moved schools

  • Results

    • Won first place in 4 out of my 5 years competing and took second the remaining year out of ~30 competitors each year

    • I learned many soft skills in team leadership and how to resolve conflict in an engineering environment

    • I also learned the often underappreciated skill of making a careful and thorough problem definition before diving into solutions