Robots n' Volvos Dreaming of electric sheep

Summer, Boston, Robots, and tEp

Whenever you make mikuvan plans with Charles, it should be done with a grain of salt because mikuvan never stops having mechanical problems :(.

After I accepted a summer internship offer from Adam for kiwi aero, I had to figure out a plan to move my things from Stony Brook out in Long Island to Boston right before or immediately after my last final. Since my last final for differential equations fell on a Monday, I made plans with Charles for him to drive down to Long Island with mikuvan that Sunday so he can bring up my things. Afterwards, I would take a chinatown bus up to Boston like I have always done.

But then mikuvan decided to generate a leak in a metal coolant fluid line a couple days before the moving date, and suddenly Charles was no longer able to help me.

Well fuck, sure saw that one coming. In the back of my head I had a half baked plan to rent a car and drive up to Boston in case mikuvan somehow broke down, but I never thought I had to execute on it. The last time I drove a car was when I got my license last summer, and I’ve only ever driven driving school cars before. Which meant that I never drove on freeways before, and the thought of a roadtrip to Boston by myself seemed far fetched and harrowing.

So I had a very unnerving weekend before my last final where attempts at studying would be constantly interrrupted by what-if scenario thoughts of my trip on Monday. My last final rolled around, and I was one of the first ones to finish just because I was incredibly anxious to get the trip over with and arrive at Boston at a reasonable hour- not because I breezed through it.

Then came the uber to the local Enterprise to pick up my reservation. Except it wasn’t quite that easy because the rep said they had to clear the rental reservation with their “risk manager” first and needed another 24 hours. Yeah, alright I get it. I’m 19 and they really do not want to rent a vehicle to me. Well fuck you, I’ll just go across the street and take my business to Hertz instead.

In reality “across the street” was actually just under a mile.

So I got myself a Nissan Versa for the day and drove back to campus with it. Unfortunately Monday was the day that a lot of people were finishing up finals and moving out so I was unable to find a parking spot right next to my dorm building :/. Parking was quite the disaster because I never parked in bay parking spots before, so I cut the turn too wide and ended up occupying the hypotenuse between the spot. I tried to fix it, but only made it worse and made me look like an idiot to the two cars that drove by. Oops. I gave up, pulled out of the spot and parked at another spot that I did not have to turn into.

Loading up my stuff took way longer than I thought it would because I had to make multiple trips carrying my things by hand to the car as the building was out of rentable handcarts. I planned to leave by 1PM, but it was aroud 3:30 when I was ready.

dorm my room looks so different empty



It would be great if my navigator helped me out and gave me directions

A lane change fail sent me on a different bridge to the Bronx than route google lady suggested that I take, but at least that mistake still put me on a bridge going in the right direction. After clearing New York, I hit massive traffic on the I95 in Connecticut. Worst part was being stuff behind a pickup with broken taillights. I found that out the hard way by almost rear ending him at 25mph before I realized that he was actually stopped. I tried to create some space to entice some poor SUV on the other lane to switch over but nobody fell for it.

After over an hour of stop and go I switched over to the I91 and stopped at Charlton just after the MA border for gas, a stretch, and a big mac. It was just past 9PM by the time I got there and I had been on the road for about 6 hours straight. I was driving in the 85-95mph regime to keep up with traffic in the left lane. The versa really didn’t like operating at those speeds, and my MPG tanked to the point where I would probably just barely make it into Boston if I did not fuel up. If I got the rated highway mpg in real life, the trip could have been done comfortably with a single tank. Which meant that I turned the 39 highway mpg into more like 29.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I entered the Boston city limits and crossed the beautiful Bunker Hill cable stayed bridge over the Charles River.

By 9:50PM I finally arrived in Everett. Thanks Versa-chan! :).


I’ll be living at tEp in Back Bay while I work in the Everett area for the summer. The party on Thursdays at 22:22 is great and I met lots of really cool people already :). Looking forward to a super wacky summer working for a crack startup and living at a crack home.


Now time to cad up my micro spot mini robot leg. (And then write about it).

Oh and I got purple hair before moving to the purple palace. Thank you so much Leanne!


Beep. Signs of life detected?

I almost forgot about this thing. Heheh. I’m soooo lazy.

But d’awww, I was so cute 2 years ago. I still need to do a write up of that stupid freshman year project. I’ll promise myself that I’ll do it after finals :)

Anyways, quick run down of my sad unventful life since my last blog activity.

-Helped the ASME organization with an electric go-kart project during the second half of my freshman year. Attempted to race at NYMF, but encountered steering issues last minute :(. Linkage rods were wayy undersized because a planned reinforcing tube did not get around to be welded in place. I might write a detailed recollection later.

-Finished freshman year and took the time to read about classical control theory and familiarized myself with Eagle PCB design. I designed a small 3-5A dual channel motor controller that used TI DRV8825s with a MPU6050, but I held off on actually assembling it. I might go back and redo a motor controller with discrete mosfets for power stage if I ever feel the urge to.

-College started again and did school things >.>

-Went on a roadtrip with Jamison to Franklin 2018 :) Super tiring weekend, but it was really fun helping Jamison with his robots. LIRR to NYC > Bus to Boston > Drive to Philly > Drive back to Boston that same Saturday night into Sunday morning > Bus back to NYC > LIRR. All in the span of a weekend, I was so tired I never thought sleeping in a car could feel so good. I must have caught something from Franklin, because I was sick for a month after I got back :(

-Went to Boston for winter break, helped Charles with drone things and lent a hand assembling the new (M)Ass Destruction arena. Thanks Charles for all the arena design quirks that the AA guys had to deal with! I’m glad Fred’s complaining made it funny. Also fell in love with hot hatches after riding in Fred’s Subaru WRX STI.

-Last minute built a beetle undercutter called Mitsuha for MassD. The blade did not stay in the slightest (lol) because I ran out of time and printed an onyx pulley in the hours before MassD. When Charles got back I used his lathe and machined aluminum weapon pulleys. I should really consider not throwing stuff together at the last minute next time.

I’ll definitely drive Mitsuha again for future events! Maybe Dcon 2018….

-Vantrucked with Charles, Bailey and Alex Crease to Motorama 2018

-Popped back up into Boston and crashed in Charles’ evil drone lair again to machine and weld Overhaul together. I never knew tig welding was so fun ^.^ Hazardous things are the best.

-Skipped two weeks of school and flew to LA for the filming of the new season of Battlebots! Oh my god. Cali is amazing <3; I’ll never forget those two weeks. Definitely doing a more detailed write up when I haz time.

-Accepted Adam’s offer to work for kiwi aero at evil drone lair during Battlebots. Big thanks to Rebecca for pointing me towards MIT’s tau epsilon phi chapter as a housing option. I’ll be living at tEp for the summer while I work in Everett :). I really look forward my summer arrangements.

And this brings us to the present day. Classes just ended and gave way to finals week. Trying my best to like, not fail my classes lol ;_;

K. Now time to sleep then study.