Projects

This is a collection of some of the personal projects I've enjoyed.  Please feel free to email me at andrew@shrad.org for more information on any of these projects.

- Hackster.io/andrewrgross

 

- Instructables.com/member/AndrewRGross/

 

- Github.com/andrewrgross/

 

- Thingiverse.com/andrewrgross/designs



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Electronics & Robotics

CRASHbot: A ROS/hacked Roomba helper robot - HACKADAY  ~  Hackster.io
 
Bellamy Crashbot is a work-in-progress general helper and companion robot running ROS on a Jetson Nano and riding on top of a hacked Roomba. Bellamy uses an XBox 360 Kinect camera for color, IR, and depth vision. For more information, check out my project Confluence Wiki.




 
Sareen Lab Custom Bioprinter - Video Overview - Sareen Lab Website

The paper describing the construction and operation of this printer and its accessory hardware is currently undergoing peer review, but in the meantime I can share the supplemental materials outlining most of the key technical details.

The building a soft-material printer was just the beginning.  Replicating tissue required far more engineering solutions than I could've foreseen.



RFID Access Control System - Hackster.io

This is an RFID door lock for HexLab Makerspace (now Sufficient Space Makerspace).  It controls access to the building for dozens of users, and is the prototype system for eventually controlling all dangerous equipment and tracking use for billing.

This system has been doubly challenging due to the need for extreme reliability and ease-of-administration even for non-technical managers.  Plus, it has to look cool!





Toy Spaceship Dashboard - Hackster.io

A toy computer console for piloting a spaceship or any other vehicle a kid can imagine and of receiving trusted video transmissions. It consists of a Raspberry Pi with a screen programmed to run a Pygame program capable of displaying various dashboard screens and checking a remote folder for recorded videos from family members.








Baby Mobile -
 Hackster.io

This mobile consists of two spinning arms controlled by an Arduino Uno. One arm bears five colored light up shapes. This was a challenge both technically and conceptually. The biggest technical challenge was incorporating a slip-ring within a gear to transmit power from a continuous rotation servo motor to enable operating lights on a continuously rotating arm. Conceptually, though, I had to develop a robotic routine that could captivate AND soothe a baby. He's a tough audience, but the results speak for themselves.




Robot control scheme - Hackster.io

This was a subsystem of an underwater robot.  A Raspberry Pi reads input from a PS3 controller, then relays instructions to an Arduino, which controls speed controllers that control brushless motors.








Underwater Photobooth (The Shelfie Machine)

This is a Raspberry Pi Photobooth inside an acyrlic waterproof housing.  It's activated through the housing via a button with a hall sensor on the inside.  It was built for an underwater convention and provided some great shots.






Prosthetic Costume Arc Reactor - Instructables


This was a lot of firsts: the first time I designed a PCB, the first time I etched a PCB... I didn't even know how to solder, and this required me to reflow solder paste to attach surface-mount components.

The work was all super worth it.  My husband continues to use this for conventions and photo shoots years later.



Modeling, Sculpting, and 3D Printing

Custom Comic Book Figurines - Instructables

These are two characters from the comic book and Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. On the left is Ben, who has a portal in his chest from which he can summon monster tentacles, and the other is Klaus, who can channel the dead.

I had a great time learning how to model figurines (these are 1/10th scale) and forming the vision of the characters as I wanted to portray them.




  Baby's First Mission Control Console - Hackster.io

Another fun project in human-centered design. Can I design an engaging sci-fi inspired control panel for a baby? Well... yes, I did. Click the link to learn more.


 
 
 
 
 
3D Printed Captain America Helmet - Instructables

This was a very basic, easy 3D printing project.  I was surprised that there wasn't a guide on Instructables, so I added one.  Print.  Apply wood filler.  Paint.









Mjolnir - Imgur

This project went wrong, but that's fine.  You learn more from mistakes.  The intention was to replicate the classical version of Thor's famous hammer from the legends using plaster.  I learned a lot about plaster casting.







Fiberglass Captain America Shield - Imgur

The results were mixed when I tried to make Cap's shield because I tried to keep it cheap.  I used a cheaper disk sled than I should've, and applied fewer layers of fiberglass. But I learned how to apply fiberglass, so it worked out.







Woodworking


Chicken Coup - Instructables


I built this chicken coop for my neighbor. It was a big endeavor, but it came out great!








Easy One-Day-Build Toddler Learning Tower - Instructables
 
 
Calvin wouldn't stop climbing on chairs, so I met him half way and made him a riser so he could reach tables safely. 

This happens to be my current favorite project in at least the last year. I absolutely love watching him climb up and down it all day.
 
 
 
Lasercut box - Imgur


This was a gift for a Secret Santa. I provided one finished box and one unassembled as a kit.









Tabletop / Vertical Convertable Chess Board - Instructables


This was a gift for Jack. It's a little high-concept, but it works! You can use it to play chess on the wall or on a table. You can even convert mid-game!






Chupa - Instructables


What are weddings if not a time to build a physical representation of the home created in the union? Sigh. This was a great day.









Climbing Hangboard - Instructables


The most impressive part of this was that it doesn't require any drilling into walls to mount. I just built it very carefully to sit in the existing molding, and 8 years later it's still strong as hell.







Free-standing Sun Shade - Instructables


A friend asked for help creating shade at a convention, with the restriction that no stakes were allowed. I'm almost shocked this worked as well as it did.









Textiles & Costumes


Captain America Leather Jacket - Instructables


I wanted a cosplay jacket subtle enough for everyday wear.  This project took about 80 hours over 6-weeks and cost around $80.  I love how it came out.

I made this around 2018, and I'm delighted that Marvel has since introduced USAgent into the MCU in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I'm excited to see if this changes the reactions to this jacket once I can wear it to conventions again.
 


Jafar Costume 

This costume for our annual costume contest at work was one of the first times I tried making a costume from whole-cloth (literally).  Instead of looking for items from thrift stores, I bought fabric and clay for the serpent.  The results look... deviousss.







Captain America Costume - Instructables

This was my first sewn costume, and also marked a turning point in my fondness for Captain America.  I love the idea of someone so earnestly trying to do good.










And the rest

Here are some others from long ago for which I don't have a write-up. But feel free to ask me about them!
 
Magic Mirror with Voice Response

My brother and I followed general guides on building a magic mirror, including instructions for installing Amazon's Echo software.  The thing I like best is that it offers Alexa voice assistant functionality, but the user has low-level control over the hardware and the wake system for improved privacy. 
 
Lofted Bed  
 
When first moved into a one-bedroom apartment with my now husband we were just roommates, and I figured I could maximize space if I raised my bed up on a loft so that the space below it was still available living space. This was no child's twin-size bunk bed, though: I built a massive frame to elevate a full queen size mattress 5-feet up.  It was an impressive bit of woodworking that my husband said made our house look juvenile and ridiculous, and so it only lasted 6 months before it was dismantled and the bed reduced back to ground level.
 
Book shelf 
 
My apartment has a recess in the bedroom that had a ginormous TV in it when I moved in. The landlady thoughtfully offered to let us use the TV, but instead I politely asked her to remove it and then built a recessed bookshelf.  






 
Deep Sea collection box

During grad school one of my primary projects was the design of a 20-L stainless steel box with a lid that contained a 5X concentrated preservative solution meant to freeze RNA for later analysis. It was sent down to the bottom of the ocean aboard a remotely operated deep sea robot so that we could toss samples into the box, then close the lid to seal in the samples and release the preservative in order to keep them in a pristine state as we transported them back to the surface for RNAseq analysis.








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