Computer Interfacing and Automation

Standing:  Phil Thoden, Mike Russell, Anthony Visceglia, Jason Patel, Sean Longfellow & Josh Hanson
Sitting:  Cory McHerron, Clyde Bucannan, Alex Strickland, Joe Lang

read background information        behind the scenes       projects gallery

    This year, there were a group of students working on similar "plotter-type" projects, as well as several students who came up with quite unique projects that met the design specifications.  In the "plotter" category, Sean Longfellow, for example, built a Connect The Dots plotter which draw a pattern of dots and then go back and connect them to create a WTHS logo and other such patterns.  Jason Patel's plotter, RoboWriter, writes on paper mounted on the main stage, and Mike Russel dubded his plotter Name Tag O' Matic, dedicated to creating those "Hello, my name is ..." nametags that we all hesitate to wear.
    In the "unique" category, Alex Strickland designed a computerized Calculator Button Presser machine for those who don't like to do their own calculator button pressing.  Clyde Bucannan created the Fill O' Matic, designed to refill empty ink cartridges.  Cory McHerron created an automated Towers of Hanoi robot that would move the various sized disks to solve the towers of Hanoi puzzle.  Matt Schiavi created The Claw, a robotized mechanical claw of penny arcade fame.
    Phil Thoden, was another contender for the CD Burn O' Matic-- designed to automatically burn CD's, but ran into a lot of trouble trying to design a gripper that would pick up and release the CD's.
    Two people tied for "best of show" this year.  Anthony Visceglia  created a Robotic Mouse that could be trained to run through a maze (or could also be set to "discovery mode" to find it's own way, while Josh Hanson created a robotic Connect Four machine that played against you (and usually won)!
    If you were to ask any of this elective class's participants, they'd very readily tell you how challenging the course is, but quickly add words like "fun" and "rewarding" to the description.
    You can help support this wonderful experience:  We're always looking for old, "dead" dot-matrix printers, discarded disk drives, CPU's and CamCorders-- they're a valuable source of motors, gears, belts, pulleys, tracks, etc.  If you have some old equipment that you don't need any more and would be interested in donating it for use in the course, kindly contact Jack Bozzuffi at 856-264-5644.

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J. Bozzuffi