Lucas K Watson

A roboticist and maker. Interested in the applications of research, particularly in robotics and acoustics.

This page is out of date. Contact me for an up to date portfolio.

Projects not in my portfolio (yet).

Home Assistant

November 2017 (In progress) — Personal Project

Using an Android Things developer kit I received at a Hackathon, I created a home assistant which caters to my house.

The 8-segment display which shows the time until the next inbound T (Boston subway) will arrive to the nearest stop to the house.

Utilizing the camera, the device detects faces using the Cloud Vision API, and upon seeing a face, greets it by saying "Welcome home". Currently, I'm working on integrating facial recognition, such that the device will be able to say "Welcome home [name]" for stored faces.

Current work also involves integrating the Google Assistant API.

Tech Used.

  • Android Things Developer Kit
  • Google Cloud Vision API

Sonic Levitator

February 2017 — Personal Project, Team of 2

Working under Professor Holt, a student and myself were tasked with improving a sonic levitation demonstration. 4 speakers serve to levitate a styrofoam ball in a chamber. When running, the apparatus is very loud, and requires a large setup with bulky frequency generators and amplifiers.

My part of the project involved simplifying the large frequency driver setup to a smaller, portable system. To accomplish this, I moved frequency generation to small ATTiny85's paired with Chebyshev filters (based upon this). Then, a parent Arduino controlled 4 of these generators to ensure their phases were linked.

Tech Used.

  • ATTiny85's (Arduino)
  • Chebyshev Filter

Neural Network

November 2016 — Class Project, Team of 2

For a final project in an introductory Python course, I worked together with one of my peers to create an implementation of a Neural Network from scratch in Python, using Numpy. We used the common MNIST handwritten digit database, and set out to create a network to recognize digits.

Our network used the Stochastic Gradient Descent, along with optimizations like minibatch for training. We also implemented a basic form of annealed learning. Our network reached a peak accuracy of about 96%.

Miniature Pinball Machine

November 2016 — Class Project, Team of 3

Group project in learning methods for machining different materials. Made from acrylic and HDPE. Uses spring and moment arm mechanism for lever action.

Tech Used.

  • Gibbs CAM
  • CNC Machine
  • Solidworks

Coffee Roasting

January 2017 — Personal Project

Roasted single-origin beans on a stovetop. Kept log of roast time, temperature, and color. Blind tasted each batch and compared to data, qualitatively verifying the relationship between roast time and certain flavor characteristics.

3D Printed Wax Mold

December 2016 — Personal Project

3D printed mold, mimics elements of a metal casting mold, uses wax. More successful design created allowed part to be removed (not pictured). To be used as a teaching tool.

Clock Stand

September 2015 — Personal Class Project

Given challenge to create a simple stand from a steel bar, allowing for two viewing angles of the clock. Design only uses bends, no welds or joints.

More not pictured:

  • Custom built 3D printer
  • Design of two Haunted House rooms