Still digging in your pencil case trying to find that pen you need? The pencil case takes up too much space on your desk? Tired of all the zipping and unzipping? A pencil holder allows you to find the pen you need more quickly and takes up less surface area on your desk, but you can't put it in your backpack and take it everywhere with you. Kollapse offers the best of both worlds by combining the two. It functions as a pencil case when it's in your backpack. Once you take it out, it becomes a pencil holder. You can open it simply by applying a downward force when setting it on a horizontal surface, and close it simply by lifting it up.
Software: Fusion 360
Materials: ABS Silicone Neodymium Magnets
CNC Brass Keychain
Materials: Brass Bar Stock
Tools: CNC Mill (ProtoTRAK)
Shí Cup & Saucer
The Ten Commandments. The base ten numeral system. Humans have ten fingers. Created from various polyhedra containing decagonal surfaces and cross sections, the Shi (ten in Chinese) cup and saucer celebrates the significant role that the number ten plays in our lives. Regular decagons can be found throughout its design, and the stacking of repeated sections is used to achieve a tapered silhouette. It is comfortable to hold in your hands, easy to drink out of, and suitable for the drinking of most beverages.
Materials: Paper Butter Board 4-Ply Museum Board
Materials: Mild Steel 1" Square Tube Mild Steel 0.5" Rod LDPE Square Tube End Caps
Tools: Cold Saw MIG Welder Angle Grinder
Finish: Ace White Gloss Enamel Spray Paint
Materials: 3/4" Plywood Large mouse pad
Tools: Band Saw Miter Saw Table Saw Random Orbital Sander Oscillating Edge Sander
Adhesives: Wood Glue 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive 2P-10 CA Glue
Finish: Rust-Oleum Clear Spray Paint
Tools: Band Saw Miter Saw Table Saw Nail Gun Random Orbital Sander Vertical Belt Sander Oscillating Edge Sander
Tools: Jointer Planer Wide Belt Sander Table Saw Biscuit Joiner Router Table Random Orbital Sander Drill Press Cordless Drill
Adhesive: Wood Glue
Finish: Mineral Oil
Bus Stop Kiosk
09/2015 - 12/2015
Taking buses to travel between West, East, and Central campuses is an essential part of students’ lives at Duke University. Every day, students rely on the bus arrival times and locations provided in the TransLoc app to either get to places on time or make changes to their schedules. While the TransLoc app is extremely useful, it’s not the most ideal way to get bus information for people waiting at bus stops. For those carrying things in their hands, wearing gloves, or engaged in meaningful conversations or other activities, checking the bus information on their phones could be quite inconvenient. There are also a lot of people, especially campus visitors, who don’t have the TransLoc app installed on their phones.
Wanting to make it more convenient for people to get bus information and make the information available to everyone, I decided to build a WiFi-connected, solar-powered kiosk that shows real-time bus information that can potentially be installed at the Duke Chapel bus stop, the busiest bus stop at Duke. After pitching this idea to Victor Chen and Tze Kang Ng, they both decided to jump on board.
As the team leader, I was responsible for setting the major goals for this project, distributing tasks among team members, and ensuring that we were making progress on a daily basis. As the team member with the most experience in electrical design, I was responsible for creating the proof of concept, the selection and testing of most of the electrical components, and the PCB design.
The video shows my teammate Victor Chen giving an overview of the project while the device is in action. Below are pictures showing the progression of this project from a proof of concept to a temporary installation on Central Campus. All the design files and source code for this project are available here.
Wireless MIDI Floor Piano
Inspired by the many different DIY pressure plates that popped up on the internet right before Halloween, and the piano scene from the movie Big, I decided to make a big floor piano myself using pressure plates made out of cardboard and aluminum foil as the keys. In order to train myself to be spontaneous and not to overthink about all the details, I enlisted the help of my friends - Jason Chen, Justin Zhang, and Steve Wang - to build this piano within 24 hours at HackDuke 2013.
As the team leader and the only ECE major on the team, I was responsible for organizing brainstorming sessions to come up with key system features, providing technical guidance to all team members, and designing all the electrical circuits. In the end, we successfully created a 25-key piano that functions as a wireless MIDI controller. While playing the piano, you can use the remote to easily shift up or down octaves, switch between different MIDI instruments, and enter the tutorial mode where the piano teaches you how to play songs by turning on the LED strips on the keys.
The video shows my friend Jason Kim and I playing a few different songs on the piano. (I had to connect a power supply to the piano when shooting the video because the LiPo batteries powering the electronics in the box had just died.) Below are some pictures showing a revision of the pressure plate design, the major components of the system, and the communication scheme between these components. The source code for this project is available here.
03/2013 - 10/2013
The name of this project is a combination of three words: breadboard, Arduino, and piano. Having played piano since the age of five, it's only natural for me to make an electronic piano after discovering the wonderful Arduino prototyping platform. I started working on this project soon after receiving the Arduino Starter Kit, and had since made several iterations, each with a few new features and improvements over the previous one. During the course of this project, I learned how to read multiple digital inputs using a single analog pin, what a shift register is and how to use it, how to build my own Arduino on a breadboard, how to build an audio amplifier circuit, and last but not least, how to solder.
In the video, I play some classic Pokémon Red/Blue music on the Boarduiano v6. Below are pictures showing the seven iterations of this project. The source code for this project is available here.
Handheld Tetris Game
09/2013 - 02/2014
Ever since I started working on DIY electronics projects, I have been fascinated with all the different LED matrix projects on the internet. After reading through the details on some of these projects, I realized that not only are they fun to work on, but they teach you a great deal about electronics. Being a huge Tetris fan, I decided to make a Tetris game console with an RGB LED matrix display.
After a few breadboard iterations, a Tetris game packed with hardware features was born. It has a beautiful 16x8 RGB LED matrix display, two LED bargraphs that indicate the current level, and a 3D printed enclosure. It plays the Tetris theme while the game is in progress, allows you to control the game using the buttons or the accelerometer, and provides haptic feedback using the vibration motor.
In the video, I show you what this device looks like on the inside, and give a demo showing all the hardware and software features. Check out the pictures below If you're interested in learning more about this project. The design files and source code for this project are available here.
The thumbnail image for this project (and the youtube video) is created in Photomatix Pro using 9 pictures spaced 1 EV apart. The increased dynamic range makes it a better representation of the actual colors of the RGB LED matrix.
06/2014 - 09/2014
The Handheld Tetris Game makes playing Tetris a lot of fun: you can listen to the Tetris theme played through the speaker, control the game using built-in accelerometer, and feel the vibrations produced by the vibration motor. However, there are also some inconveniences: its size makes it difficult to carry around, and it uses a special 2S LiPo battery charger to recharge. After finding myself playing the game less and less due to these inconveniences, I decided to make another version that's easy to carry around and USB rechargeable.
Enter the Tiny Tetris, a lightweight, pocketable, and USB rechargeable Tetris game console. It features a monochrome 16x8 LED display with 16-level adjustable brightness, a 5-way navigation switch, and a laser-cut acrylic enclosure. In addition to playing Tetris, you can also play Snake, or create 16x8 pixel art using the Paint program on this device. It comes in three different colors: red, green, and blue.
n the video, I show the three programs I wrote for the Tiny Tetris, and talk about both the mechanical and electrical design. Check out the pictures and accompanying descriptions below for more detail. The design files and source code for this project are available here.
Tiny Tetris (Adafruit Ver.)
After I finished the Tiny Tetris, I went on Adafruit's weekly Show-and-Tell to share the project with Limor Fried and Phillip Torrone. They both liked it so much that they asked me if I could make another version using components from the Adafruit store and write a tutorial for the Adafruit Learning System so that people can make their own at home. I gladly accepted their request.
Over the following two weeks, I selected components and modules from the Adafruit store that are functionally equivalent to the circuits on the Tiny Tetris PCB, designed an enclosure in SolidWorks that can be 3D printed, and wrote a detailed tutorial on making your own Tiny Tetris.
Check out the tutorial on the Adafruit Learning System. Links to all the design files and source code are provided in the tutorial.