Distractions

Learn something new everyday…

A favorite Latin teacher of mine introduced me to an inspiring quote; I later found it was from Ghandi:

Live like you’ll die tomorrow,
but learn like you’ll live forever.

I’ve tried to apply this to both my professional, research life and in my non-work/real life. Whether I’m hanging with friends, listening to music, tinkering with electronics, playing golf/discgolf or cooking dinner I try to learn something new everyday, but, at the same time, try not to take life too seriously.

Below are some new, current and old projects I try to delve into each day.

Next Week’s Playlist (2018-)

I’ve always wanted to mix location-based information with music discovery. I want to be able to discover music going on around me. So I built http://www.nextweeksplaylist.com

You can follow your favorite venues or follow different genre’s in your city and get a weekly updated playlist of all the bands coming to town. You’ll also get an email each week for way to purchase tickets to the shows on your playlist.

The Splash App (2013-2015)

See and share moments around you. Nearby. Right now.

Splash lets you share, view and vote on photos happening around you. Splashes on your map that become popular also become bigger and last longer. And you can create your own photo feeds at the locations that matter to you. So get going and make a Splash!

I have stopped maintaining the Splash app.

AutoCoop (2013)

Back in Virginia we have 5 chickens living with us, so we got delicious eggs everyday. However, it’s sometimes a pain to have to walk out there early every morning to let them out. So I decided to build us an automatic chicken coop door that can be opened and closed using our phones. Here is the first prototype:

Features:
  • Arduino controlled
  • XBee wireless
  • Solar powered
  • Real-time status
  • Spy camera (to come…nahh)
  • Web interface

ForecastShelf (2013)

Concept:

A breathing, colorfully back-lit bookshelf that reacts to your current weather conditions and forecasts. Wall mounted and WiFi enabled. 3’x4′

Features:
  • Arduino + XBee controlled
  • Color schemes for 6 weather conditions
  • Top half depicts current weather outside
  • Bottom half shows next three days’ forecast
  • Sun moves across top with time of day
  • Sun “breathes” based on wind conditions
  • Creativity on Campus Winner for April 2013, ICAT@VT

GreenStar (2011-2012)

In 2011-2012, my friend and I began working on a business plan and system (dubbed GreenStar) that allowed people to understand their home energy usage through simple, internet-enabled smart outlets. We developed a website, a few prototype power outlets and competed in a number of business competitions. On the GreenStar website, one could keep track of their energy usage, remotely turn outlets on and off, and setup simple scheduling for outlets. We also explored how we can install these in dormitories around VT’s campus.

Awards:

We learned a lot from this project: how to do marketing, how to write a business plan, how to pitch to investors/shareholders, etc. However, as of late 2012, we stopped working on this project so we could concentrate on school.

Hokie Flying Club (2009-2014)

I’ve been an active member of the Hokie Flying Club since late 2009 and began working on my Private Pilots license soon after. I served as Secretary during 2012 and after a few hiatuses from actual flying, received my PPL in July 2014.