My At-home Lab

Posted by: Amira, Wily Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August
14

I had access to everything at MIT: table saws, metal cutters, soldering stations, and every tool you can imagine. At home I have…well…I have a table and a hand drill?

As someone who loves tinkering, it has been especially hard to transition home without the usual resources I have on campus. Sure, I have to worry about not being with my friends, having to now do chores, and, of course, worry about the possible pneumonia and life-threatening conditions I can get from COVID-19. But where am I going to 3D print my motor mount?

Luckily for me, I’m a hoarder. Ever since my first hackathon, I’ve been collecting microcontrollers, sensors, perfboards, motors, sheet metal, and multiple sets of screwdrivers. I have essentially brought my entire lab home! And I want to give you a tour of it so you know just how much of a hoarder I am, and to take a chance to “ooo” and “ahh” at my multiple unfinished projects.

I’m an aerospace engineer, so it’s safe to assume I love drones. I have a pre-built airplane that I fly at the park down the street from my house, and I am currently making a quadcopter drone! The only problem is 3D printing the parts I need; thankfully, I can do so online!

Above: The pre-built airplane

Above is the 3D model for the quadcopter using SolidWorks

 

I’ve also been working on a few RC cars. I found five of them in a garbage can and couldn’t resist but to take them home, clean them up, and re-wire them. I have re-built three of them and the two others need 3D printed parts; the ultimate goal is for them to communicate with each other using Bluetooth so that you can control all of them with just one controller. To test them, and for some fun, my family and I set up a course in our basement made of PVC pipes!

 

Above: Two of the five RC cars, ready to go!

Above: The race track

 

And those are the large projects I’m working on. Classes start soon and while I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed my weeks off settling down at home and working on fun projects, I have to say I’m excited to be doing some coursework. Don’t get me wrong though, in a few days I will be right back at my workbench, tinkering with more electronics. For now, I have a drone to build! Stay safe & squeaky clean!

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