I’m a computer programmer with an interest in electronics design. Originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., I studied computer engineering at CWRU and subsequently worked at software development firm Atomic Object. Currently, I am located in Palo Alto, Calif. where I am the lead engineer at Pebble.
Other interests include participating in various projects, travel, exploring the outdoors, and occasionally attempting photography.
The Tesla Orchestra’s performance featuring a musical solid state Tesla coil premiered at the 2009 Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010 the group went on to perform in Rijeka, Croatia in a concert organized by Peek&Poke Retro Computer Club to honor Nikola Tesla.
I designed several pieces of control electronics as well as assisting with the general Tesla coil engineering effort.
I collaborated with Dash 7 Design and Ian Charnas to create the Waterfall Swing, an interactive artistic installation in the form of an oversized swingset. Riders’ motion is sensed by rotary encoders; then, software running on a laptop computer controls 273 solenoid valves to create a wall of water which is interrupted just in time for the rider to swing through. Alternatively, the valves can be used to “print” images and text in the falling water.
The Waterfall Swing was a popular attraction at several Maker Faires in 2010 and 2011 as well as the 2010 Cleveland Ingenuity Fest. It was also mentioned in Make: Magazine Vol. 25.
I designed solenoid control boards based on the Atmel AVR microcontroller, since there were no available commercial products that could meet the project’s tight schedule and budget. I also implemented the control software including a custom RS-485 based protocol to link the swing electronics to the computer.
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