Introduction

Hello, I’m Josh. This website is an ongoing work in progress. It currently represents a portfolio of projects I’ve created and contributed to during my time as a mechanical engineering Master’s student at Boston University, College of Engineering. Below are short descriptions of some of these projects. Click the links to see more content about each.

 

Dolores

Dolores is the name I gave to a robotic hardware platform from Pololu called M3π. This little two-wheeled robot was used to implement a visibility-based path planning method in a pursuit-evasion context. I developed an algorithm that processes audio produced by an evader with the goals of shortening paths planned by conventional visibility-only methods and increasing the range of environments in which only one pursuer is needed to locate an evader. See more…

Tinkerbot

Tinkerbot, named after the on-campus nickname for BU’s Singh Imagineering Lab, is a dual extrusion FDM 3D printer I designed entirely from the ground up in Solidworks. See more…

Other Projects

Below is a collection of things I’ve made for class or for fun. Click on the images to learn more.

      

About Me

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

Douglas Adams has always been one of my favorite authors and perhaps that’s as insightful as anything else I could share here. If my life is a “place invariant” system, then where I started doesn’t matter as much as how far I’ve come.

Initially a percussion major, I played in several bands throughout my undergrad at James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One of these was a campy science-fiction themed synth-rock group called Pelicanesis. The “Keyboard Synthesizer” project actually grew out of an idea the band had to make live shows more interactive.

After a few semesters of 10-hour marimba practice sessions in small rooms with no windows, I decided I would try my hand at deliberating some big picture problems. So naturally I enrolled in a Chinese course and promptly changed my major to International Affairs. I read about the socioeconomics of Chinese liberalization and the efficacy of global sustainability policy, which is all quite interesting and significant. But by the time I graduated, it was clear that rhetorical arguments and analysis weren’t the best way for me to contribute.

I spent some time as a snowboard instructor at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, California, where I was able to concentrate on my physical health and reevaluate my strengths and goals. I read books about cosmology and technology and built a few things including this guitar amp. It was during this academic hiatus that I rediscovered my curiosity about physical world and my passion for projects and problem solving.

The goal is still to help tackle some of the big picture problems, but in a narrower, and hopefully more quantifiable way. I want to help create technologies and processes that might increase quality of life, or create a safer, more efficient work environment, or facilitate the implementation of renewable technology. The field of robotics has the capacity to channel these motivations.

So I moved to San Diego, enrolled in some mechanical engineering prerequisite courses, and brushed up on my coding. The freely offered, “self-assembled,” Nand2Tetris course from MIT was particularly engaging. While at San Diego City College, I worked as a tutor in the Math Center and quickly became a supervisor. After a year and a half, I was accepted to the LEAP program at BU, where I found the true meaning of hard work; and where fortunately I’ve had the grit to excel.

Thanks for reading!

Check out the social media links below to see my other hats.