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Engineering Projects

by Jessica Healey

Field testing of our second iteration, a third and fourth on the way,

'Hydrilla Hunter' in progress.

Simulation data for bending (left) and the boat following its waypoint path (right).

Invasive Plant Detection Vehicle - Capstone Project

Current

Problem:

Creating a custom multihull device for a hyperspectral camera, with the goal of detecting Hydrilla, an invasive plant species. 

Process:

- Buoyancy and tipping calculations and validation

- Thermal dissipation calculations and testing

- Field testing

- Multiple iterations

NU PARSES Lab

July 2023 -Current

Objective:

To integrate sensors with flexible actuators that are origami, Kresling-inspired, pneumatically actuated units. 

Process:

- Assembled negative pressure control board for pneumatically controlled Kresling-inspired units


- Assisted in development of open and closed-loop control code, and integration of capacitive sensors with flexible actuation

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[1] 

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[2] Flexible robotic unit in test setup.

Paper: Hanson, Nathaniel*; Roberts, Sonia*; Ampomah Mensah, Immanuel*; Wu, Celine; Healey, Jessica; Furline Jr., Donelle; Dorsey, Kristen. Controlling the Fold: Proprioceptive Feedback in a Soft Origami Robot. Under peer review, 2023.

Presentation: Healey, Jessica; Ampomah Mensah, Immanuel; Dorsey, Kristen. Controlling the Fold: Proprioceptive Feedback in a Soft Origami Robot. Northeast Robotics Colloquium (NERC); November 2023; Yale University, New Haven, CT

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Overview of the design (left), design changes (right).

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SolidWorks FEA on parts of the chair frame.

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Drawing of the product (left), mockup of project (right).

Mechanical Design Project

Summer 2023

Objective:

My team ideated and designed a rising wheelchair to extend users' reach.

Process:

- Validated design through static, buckling, and fatigue analysis

- Calculated needed torque and speed, and sourced power transmission components

- Completed full CAD for design and presented to a panel

Amazon Robotics - Innovation Lab

Jan-June 2023

Thank you for having me Amazon!

  • Mechanical Engineer for the early R&D Innovation Lab, studied manipulation tactics

  • Completed short turnaround projects, demonstrating advanced capabilities in warehouse robotics

  • Expanded skills in software, mechanical design, rapid prototyping, and large-scale process improvements

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Project overview (left) and final product image (right).

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Renderings (left and middle) and OnShape CAD (right) of the system.

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In action cutting dates!

Hot Date Kitchen - 
Generate Product Development

Spring 2023

Objective:

Hot Date Kitchen is a sustainable company that makes dates filled with a spiced sunflower butter and covered in chocolate.

 

Process:

- built upon the work from the last semester, scaled up the machine 

- iterated the design to achieve consistent processing rates of 60 dates per minute

PowerHouse - 
Generate Product Development

Fall 2022

Objective:

PowerHouse products are plug and play, fully retractable solar arrays, which allow for dual use of the space. This semester we designed a PowerHouse solar array that floats on seawater, suitable for marine living.

 

Process:

- our Generate team designed and validated a drill-less, weighted base, rollable solar array design that deploys and retracts at the touch a button

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Renderings of the system.

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Fusion360 CAD of the system.

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Renderings with examples of target consumers.

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Getting the cork sizes I needed from large sample stock, machining it in the CNC, and the final waxed and assembled model in the water. 

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Some progress pictures of design iterations. I went through many different CAD models before landing on the latest design.

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The robot's URDF in RViz and Gazebo, and an image created from using VQGAN and CLIP (generated art that can be used in the future to get the public involved in using the robot to clean up trash).

Cork Trash
Collection Robot
(Personal Research Project)

Sept 21-June 2022

Objective:

I conceptualized this robot that cleans trash from waterways, produced the first prototype on a team, and solely proposed research funding for a  second model. 

Process:

- Sourcing sustainable materials/methods (creating a process in my lab for machining and using cork) and designing many iterations of CAD models

- Creating URDFs to model the robot in RViz and Gazebo

- Utilizing Python & ROS to teleoperate the model in water

- Goals: inspire the public with a connected website and/or art generated by its path

This project was presented at NU's Research Expo RISE 2022.

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Thank you for having me, Institute for Experiential Robotics!

Jan-June 2022
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PARIS Project

Objective:

PARIS, Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces, for a competition for the Department of Energy. Our robot made it all the way to the last phase of competition!

 

Process:

- Created mounts, fixtures, and covers for the base (these can be seen in the next section on this page)

- Worked with ROS on teleoperating the robotic arm with a controller

- Worked on the stereo camera, RGB camera, and LED module pictured at the top of this section

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A camera and LED module (designed by NU graduate student Michael Carvajal) that I worked on. This module sat under PARIS' spray gun. I aided in design iterations of this module, soldered all electrical components, installed it on the robot, and performed troubleshooting and maintenance.

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Jan-June 2022
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A mount I designed for multiple sensors including a camera, halogen light, and hyperspectral probe. 

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Formlabs print

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I designed this 3-piece clamp mount to attach a Kinect camera to a UR3e robotic arm. Eventually I had to accommodate a hyperspectral camera next to the Kinect, so I updated and reinstalled the mount. (Finally - not shown - this mount was printed with a Markforged printer as the last iteration.)

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Mounts/Fixtures/Prints for Robotics Projects

     Some different mounts and 3D prints I made while working at the IER. 

     Apart from the prints and assemblies at the left, one can see some parts I designed, printed, and installed for our PARIS project along the right. I made an assembly in SolidWorks and then put it together on our robot - including laser cut and bent black acrylic for the robot base's lid, cable glands, latched lid to access the battery, light mounts, camera mounts, and protective covers.

Jan-June 2022

Waterway Cleaning Robot - 
First Prototype

2020-2021

Problem:       

This waterway robot travels on the surface of the water and collects trash with a net. Created on a team. Utilized Arduino, AutoCAD, SolidWorks, 3D printing, laser cutting, construction, and testing.

 

Process:

- This solution will float and travel on the surface of water to collect litter and will have waterproofed parts, a controlled position, and a solar panel

 

- The constraints during original construction included making the design out of current Arduino components and other materials whose price does not exceed $100, and to be 100% functional in three months. 

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Boomilever Project

Summer 2021

Goal:

A cantilever-like structure called a Boomilever was constructed to withstand a load of 15 kg. Trusses were built into the center of the design to distribute the load so that each member could support less tension or compression.

Process:

- Force and moment calculations were completed to analyze the forces on each member for three different designs, and the design that redistributed force the most was built

- The boomilever weighed 14 grams and held 10 kg; the efficiency score (load divided by boomilever weight) was 714

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Mask Santizing Device

Spring 2021

Objective:

My team conceptualized and created this prototype in approximately a month. We managed a budget of $250 and purchased all parts in a timely manner. Problem: People do not have convenient ways to sanitize their reusable masks as often as they should. Need: An easy-to-use and portable UV light sanitizer for reusable masks.

 

Process:

- I learned critical technical skills: Fusion360, soldering, circuitry basics, etc.

         

- Product uses UV Light to disinfect reusable masks when the lid is closed. The UV light shuts off when the inner piece is removed and users hook their masks onto the core of the device. It is then twisted into the outer shell. It can be plugged into a wall outlet.

- Ultimately unable to 3D print, so we transitioned to a cardboard and tape prototype. The working electronic system allows modeling of the LED light capabilities. This prototype is a scaled-down model for presentation and material purposes.

Tic-Tac-Toe Board

Spring 2021

          I joined an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Bootcamp last spring. We constructed tic-tac-toe boards out of wiring, a display LCD, 3d printed pieces, and a Raspberry Pi. Worked on soldering proficiency, wiring knowledge, 3d modeling, and slight knowledge of Raspberry Pi.

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Covid-19 Safety Robot

Fall 2020

Objective:

This Covid-19 Safety robot travels and measures 6-feet distances. Oftentimes people do not social distance in public places. This is especially true in long lines at stores or restaurants. During the COVID 19 pandemic, social distancing is crucial to avoid spreading the disease. The public needs a design that will remind and enforce social distancing.

Outcome:

- Our solution measured a six feet difference between each person in lines, as well as provided visual and auditory signals as reminders to the public to maintain distance

- Enforced social distancing

 

- Made from a Spark Fun Kit with materials costing $25 or less

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