Mar 272012

The main idea is to mount a camera and possibly a shotgun mic to a quadcopter in order to catch epic film.


This concept was featured on Gizmodo here  and another place here was just so cool. We are especially impressed by its mobility, and have already thought of dozens of shots that would be really cool to take with this.

Here is more footage of the inspiration (named CineStar) operating.

Web Research Archive

  • Seemingly Legit Build Archive link
  • Instructables Links:
    • Good Basics for Quadcopter link
    • Extension of above: Picopter link
    • Great info on small Quadcopters link


  • Load: Camera/Mic + 2x (Safety Factor) = about 10-15lbs
  • Camera Aiming System: Similarly mounted webcam streaming to nearby computer
  • Guidance System: Quadcopter controlled by either radio or computer/app over wifi (or similar technology)

-Interested in wifi in order to stream webcam video too

Mar 142012

What self-respecting student of Georgia Tech has never owned (or wanted to own) a nerf gun? And how many of those were frustrated with the lack-luster performance of the “weapon”? That is what makes this project perfect!

This project will integrate electronics, controls, actuators, and elements of mechanical engineering in an intricate blend to enhance the original design (while maintaining as much of the exterior aesthetics as possible).

My main thought is to use a trigger-actuated “kicker” to push the next dart into a flywheel. More information and specs will be forthcoming as I have time

Mar 072012

Here is where additional info will be posted for the project. Currently all info that we do have is in the below-pasted proposal, and past experience designing and building a lightsaber hilt.

Maker’s Club Seed Money Proposal


Lightsaber Construction Quest


What is It?

The idea is to make a Lightsaber that is suitable for using as a dueling prop. The project entails machining an aluminum bar stock to the correct internal dimensions to fit the blade, as well as to be aesthetically pleasing (AKA awesome looking).


Devon and I have been very interested in fan videos and spinoffs of the Star Wars series since we first watched it. Indeed we have produced a few videos inwhich we wield the iconic weapon in an attempt to destroy eachother. It has been a lot of fun so far, but we would like to step it up to the next level (being that of Ryan Wieber, who lead the charge in fan-made lightsaber videos). Quality props would allow us to increase the realism of the scenes as well as reduce the number of props needed due to breakage.
Design and Considerations:

The general construction philosophy is based of Ryan Wieber’s Novus at (and his carbon fiber blade will be used for the blade itself). Techniques will be drawn from the many sabers created at We plan to use the lathe and mill to shape the aluminum into the hilt, and create a pin mechanism to hold the carbon fiber blade steady against the inside of the hilt. It will be important to not have sharp edges around the lip of the hilt so as to reduce fatigue and chance of breakage of the blade. We also plan on machining the hilt in several interlocking parts such that shock absorbing o-rings can be used on the inside to extend the life of the blade itself.

Skills Needed:

The main skill needed in this project will be operation of the lathe. It will be important to have knowledge of how to safely use the lathe to create the shapes that we create. A secondary skill will be use of a CAD package in order to have an idea of how we want the lightsabers to look. Additionally, with interlocking parts the solid models will be useful for guaranteeing the feasibility of the interaction. One thing that Taylor brings to the project is the experience of using a lathe to make a similar prop (also out of aluminum, but for a different size blade), and can guide the process down the right path.

Bill of Materials:

Item Quantity Approximate Cost
Aircraft Aluminum 6061
(9056K273 Mcmaster Carr)

3 ft


Carbon Fiber Blade (SaberShop)



Assorted Rods, paint,  and other trinkets





Goals and Scope:

This project is fairly simple in its setup (requires us to model the lightsaber in CAD). Realistically this project can be complete in about two weeks, so We could have some really cool props to show off by the end of the semester, even if we take a little longer than two weeks to finish.

Mar 072012

Here is where additional info will be posted for the project. Currently all info that I do have is in the below-pasted proposal, and past experience designing or building computer cases.

Seed Grant Proposal

Computer Case Project

What is It?

The computer case project is just that, a case that will be laser cut from Lexan that will house a minimal computer, (m-Atx motherboard and smaller) with the intention of being an attention-grabbing set-top box/front-end for a media setup.


This project is actually not original, but was inspired by a project I stumbled across on Ponoko (a mail order laser cutting service) that was submitted by another user (project page here: This immediately struck me as a (fairly) unique case that can be modified and personalized by the user. This along with the design challenges of organizing and anchoring the components in a logical manner are what fuels my motivation.

Design and Considerations:

I have designed lexan cases in the past, however have never actually built one. The limited factor was indeed the cost of the laser cutting service. I will have to design this case from scratch, but have worked extensively with computer components, so it will not take long. Some considerations that I will take into account include: ample cooling, and slide in assembly/mounting of drives.

The case will probably hold the following: m-Atx motherboard/cpu/RAM, a power supply, an SSD OS drive, an HDD high capacity storage drive, a slim ODD, and several case mounted fans.

Skills Needed:

The skills needed to build this project include a knowledge of SolidWorks or another CAD package in order to construct the model. I will also need to make sure I am taking accurate measurements of the components. All told, intelligent design will be the most important skill, and basic assembling will be secondary.

Bill of Materials:

Item Store Approx Unit Price Qty Total
Acrylic (colored) (open to advice)


4 (24”x24”)


Assorted Hardware Home Depot





Goals and Scope:

The goal of this project is to have a complete case before the end of the semester. Ideally it would be done far before that. I would estimate the cutting time to within a few hours, and the assembly time to something similar. The bulk of the time to be put into this project is in the design of the case. It is entirely possible for me to design this case over the next few weeks and have it ready to go beyond that. Another benefit to this project is that I can make my files available to anyone who is interested duplicating the project, or possibly even working with someone who would like to adapt the idea to their own setup (or a computer in the lab!).

More Information:

More information is be available upon request, and may be available (if I have time to put it up…) at