Past Work: Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access

I never got around to posting about my time at Georgia Tech’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), where I was a researcher and shop manager. CATEA designs and tests all sorts of technology to help disabled people. The entire lab is a sort of skunk works operation; imagine Myth Busters “what crazy thing do you want to try today”. I was responsible for bringing to life the ideas and inventions of several Georgia Tech professors and their grad students. I had an entire shop at my disposal and best of all a Georgia Tech VISA card!


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Machining and Anodizing

To use the CMU machine shop full time, I had to take a small course on machining. The class was straight forward, and I knew about 75% of what was taught. I did learn a lot though and picked up some new tricks. We learned the main concepts through two small projects, a pencil holder and a plumb-bob, performing the cutting operations ourselves. Once the skill was demonstrated, we moved on, so most people didn’t finish the projects. However, I spent a little time after class putting the finishing touches on the parts. I’ve machined a million parts for previous jobs but never had the opportunity to display them. While these two parts are pretty basic and not a good indicator of my skill level, I thought it would be fun to “do it right”.

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