Sadie Moxley’s Ping Pong Ball Machine

Happy Maker Monday! This week we interviewed Sadie Moxley. Sadie is a Prototyping Instructor (PI) at the Invention Studio, but when she’s not on shift, she’s still in the studio working on her ME 2110 project. Sadie’s machine must meet the guidelines she was provided, such as being able to roll ping pong balls, collect them, and shoot them accurately into a bucket. If you’re interested in becoming a PI like Sadie, stop by the Invention Studio Monday-Friday 11am-4:45 pm and ask a PI with an armband for help!

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Throwback Thursday with the QuaranTEAM

Happy Throwback Thursday! This week we interviewed Harrison Kollias of the QuaranTEAM, which developed the fluid controls system of ResonanceDx’s rapid COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Q: Could you give us a brief description of your project for those who may not know about it?

A: We’ve spent last semester working with our sponsor, ResonanceDx, to develop a brand new, innovative infectious disease diagnostic test system. This new system will enable accurate test results to be delivered to the patient within 5 minutes, much faster than any other test on the market. Due to the pandemic, ResonanceDx’s focus shifted to meeting this goal specifically for COVID-19 diagnostics. Our team was responsible for the development of the fluid control system for a test cartridge used in this system.

Q: What was the creation process like?

A: Our team worked well with each other by evaluating each other’s strength and then clearly defining roles for each member of the team. The creation process went very smoothly as a result and our team never had any issues with meeting deadlines.

Q: What were some of the problems that you faced along the way?

A: Teamwork was never an issue for us, but one of the more prominent design challenges for the system was creating a way to move fluid without having powered electronics within the fluidic system. Our solution incorporated converting rotational motion of a motor into linear motion in a syringe to pump the sample fluid through the fluidic channels. This provided for a simple control scheme that only required the powered rotation of 2 motors to control the entire fluidic system.

Q: What do you think made your team successful in creating a fluidic package for Covid-19 rapid diagnostic tests?

A: Our team worked hard to understand and define the problem as early as possible so that we could start designing and prototyping very early in the semester. A design will be more successful with more iterations that can be evaluated. 

Q: Do you have any advice for future teams?

A: Define goals early, stay as organized as possible, and communicate constantly. There are no shortcuts.

Chris He’s Guitar

For this Maker Monday, we interviewed Chris He, a third-year BME major. Chris has been involved with the Flowers Invention Studio for over two years and for a majority of this time he has been a PI. Chris first became involved with the Studio because he researched with a lab that manufactured a majority of their supplies using the equipment in the Invention Studio. Later, he became a PI because of the many perks that came along with it one of them being 24/7 access to the Studio; the training to become a PI was also very relevant to the work that he was doing beforehand. Over the two years, Chris has worked on many projects including the creation of an electric car and a skateboard made supplies in the Studio. Currently, Chris is making a guitar with 3-D printing. He said, “I’ve always been super into music and stumbled onto the design online.” This then inspired him to begin creating his spin on the design by printing six sections of the instrument, which he has started to glue together. Chris gave this advice to those who wanted to get involved, “Get started early; many 4th and 5th years never  get involved early and regret it later on.” He also advised people to never be afraid to ask PIs for help. They’re always there and open to help other people who may not have had experience with the equipment in the Studio.

Remember, if you have any personal or class projects you want to work on, come to the Flowers Invention Studio open Monday-Friday 9 am-4:30 pm. 

Throwback Thursday with Team T.A.K.E.O.F.F.

For this Throwback Thursday, we interviewed Sebastian Delgado, a member of Team T.AK.E.O.F.F. Sebastian’s team helped design their “High School Startup Project,” where they created a plan to help teach students and teachers about the engineering field through the process of building a drone. With his teammates Teja Huggins, Nicole Catanzariti, Michael Benben, Maria Jose Serrato Gutierrez, and David Ramsey, he was able to present during the virtual Fall 2020 Design Expo.

Q: Could you give us a brief description of your project for those who may not know about it?

A: We created a platform for high school engineering projects. Students will be provided with a DIY drone assembly kit to learn about how different components interact with each other. Additionally, they will be tasked with designing and implementing a delivery system on that drone to potentially be used in real world situations (medical deliveries, search and rescue, etc). We designed a delivery system prototype as an example of what the drone is capable of carrying. In order to assist the teachers and students throughout the learning process, we also provided 2 workbooks. They will teach students how drones work and will provide guidance in learning how to make additions to the drone (CAD, micro controllers, programming, 3D printing, etc.)

Q: Where did you first draw inspiration for the idea of the “High School Startup Project,” for your Capstone Design Project?

A: The team was very interested in creating a product that would help younger students learn and inspire them to become engineers. Additionally, we noticed that drones are a very exciting and growing product that would keep students interested and engaged.

Q: What was the creation process like and how did you and your teammates come together to finish your project?

A: The team was meeting regularly with representatives from the Fulton County Innovation Academy and Global Impact Academy to understand what type of project they were looking for. In these bi-weekly meetings, the team would update the sponsors with project progress. Additionally, we did a lot of research on existing drone project platforms geared towards high school students to learn about what was successful and what wasn’t. In order to complete the bulk of the work, the team was split into 2 “sub-teams”. Half of us were focused on creating the workbooks and writing the curriculum for the schools, and the other half of the team was focused on the physical design of the drone and drop-off mechanism. We were in constant communication as a team, so everybody knew what was going on at all times. Additionally, we would have frequent team meetings so that everybody was prepared to meet with the sponsors.

Q: What were some of the problems that you faced along the way and how did you overcome those obstacles?

A: It was tough to present project updates with the sponsors without being able to meet regularly in person. In order to make virtual meetings as productive as possible, short PowerPoints were created for each meeting. If physical additions needed to be shared, somebody would bring the drone up to the camera and zoom in on specific components. Also, CAD models were created and presented by screen-sharing to show how small components functioned. At the beginning of the design phase we were focused on trying to design a drone from scratch and noticed that would have been incredibly time-consuming and inefficient to the ultimate goal of creating a project that teaches high school students. We decided it was more worth our time to choose a DIY kit off-the-shelf and focus on having students focus on designing/programming additions to the drone instead of just reading through our engineering models and drawings.

Q: How did it feel to present your project virtually during this pandemic?

A: It was a little difficult because it’s hard to use gestures to present points on the project. You can’t really point at things very easily, or show how something moves. In order to prepare for these, a lot of videos and short animations had to be prepared in case questions were asked about specific components.

Q: What do you think made your team successful in creating a model to educate students and teachers alike in the engineering field?

A: We believe that our project was successful because it was created for a big range of experience levels. The provided workbooks are perfect for students/teachers who have no idea how drones work, and for those who know how drones work but don’t know how to make additions to them. The workbooks combined with the open-ended challenge of creating a drone delivery system allow for students and teachers of all drone experience levels to learn and participate in our project model.

Q: Do you have any advice for future teams?

A: Stay on top of the school work (reports, presentations, etc) needed for the capstone class. It is very easy to focus on making progress in designing a product, so a lot of teams get stuck having to cram a 30 page report into a few days of work. As your team makes progress in certain components of the design process go ahead and start creating the figures needed for the report and write a couple paragraphs about it.

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