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Spherical… Polygons.

I’ve been working on some equations to quantify distortion due to projecting planar objects onto spherical surfaces.

For instance, suppose you wanted to calculate the surface area of a polygon projected onto a sphere, or the surface area of Idaho. How would you do this? Is the area of the polygon in flatland proportional to the  area of the polygon on a sphere? Nope, it’s not that simple. It even involves a little calculus.

Equations and examples (hopefully) coming soon.

Pendulum Wave Preliminary Design

I have been working on a design for a pendulum design on and off for the past couple of weeks (instead of turning in overdue projects). Here are a few digital pictures demonstrating my very own design for a complicated wave and release mechanism:

Pendulum wave at rest:

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Release mechanism grabbing pendulums:

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Pendulums about to be released into a glorious wave:

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Why the extravagant release mechanism? Because this wave, unlike most, is intended to be viewed from above rather than the side. Since the amplitudes of each pendulum should be equal, they must be released at a constant distance from the center of the frame. Of course, this results in each release having a different length and each pendulum having a different release angle. Admittedly, I could have used a choppily “curved” board to release the pendulums, but that would not have been nearly as beautiful.

Lenovo X220t Hackintosh

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Update: Apparently, this post has been attracting a little traffic from people who want to do something like this. For my x220t (the tablet version) hackintosh, I followed the guide posted here by user “peroxide”: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=102098.
Note that the built-in wireless is not supported. I suggest a Mac-compatible USB dongle. 

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Everything seems to be working quite well except for wireless (intel cards are not supported) and battery indicator.

Senior Project

Not much to look at, but still, nothing beats the feeling that comes from watching your design become reality.

This is an all-terrain wheelchair I designed and my team and I constructed for a senior project.
The intended recipient is Jose, a young Guatemalan who has limited to no use of his legs. I chose this project specifically over a more technical one because I love kids and am easily moved to try to make a rough life easier.

Initial design:

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Exploded view:

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Final product:

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Again:20120226-003756.jpg

My team took first in a school competition sponsored by Cummins. A very pleasant (and unexpected!) honor.